It’s weird to talk to yourself…right?
Actually, it’s completely normal. And we do it ALL the time.
For those of you thinking “I don’t talk to myself, what’s this chick talking about? … hmm I wonder what I want for dinner…maybe Thai. No, not in a Thai mood… maybe sushi… yah, sushi for the win!” you just did it.
Sure, if you had that conversation out loud with no one on the receiving end it would seem a little odd to passer’s by – but that’s not usually how it goes. In reality, we have conversations with ourselves all day, every day.
And if you don’t believe me, watch your thoughts for a few minutes here and there – let me know if you can prove me wrong.
Does what we say in our heads really matter?
Well I think Henry Ford says it best;
“Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t,you’re right”
Whenever I read this, I’m reminded of the power my thoughts have over my actions.
If I think I can’t do something, let’s say an exercise I’ve never tried before, I’m more likely to talk myself out of it and not try it at all! An opportunity to try something new, learn, or grow, is completely squashed by the simple thought “I don’t think I can do that”.
Luckily, the opposite is also true. If I think I can do something, I have more confidence in myself, and am more likely to succeed, if not at first, eventually.
For example: if I see a new exercise, and it looks similar to one I’ve done before, I might think “hey, I bet I can do that, let’s give it a try!”. And boom, action is taken in the direction of my goals. Easy peasy.
Well, it’s not so easy when the context goes from what you can or can’t do, to who you are or who you aren’t.
Let me explain.
Positive and negative self-talk have gotten a lot of, well, talk, lately in health and wellness circles. Both are equally powerful mental tools, however one can be used for good, the other for evil.
Self-talk is exactly what is sounds like. Dictionary.com defines it as
“the act or practice of talking to oneself, either aloud or silently and mentally”
Again, the context of the words we say to ourselves is what matters most here.
Positive self-talk has the ability to build someone up, and negative self-talk has the ability to break someone down. The kicker is, whether we say nice things to ourselves, or hurtful things to ourselves, we’re right.
When the background music to our lives is;
“I can’t do anything right”
“I’m so stupid”
“No wonder no one likes me”
“I wish my stomach didn’t jiggle when I walk”
It’s easy to see how people can be buried in their own shit. When we’re in this mind set we’re definitely not going to be giving off positive, open, happy vibes!
More than likely we’re sporting our resting-bitch-face, and not the good one that comes along with being bad-ass and on a mission.
On the other hand, when your life theme-song is “Run the World (Girls)” by Queen B the conversation might go a little more like this;
“I got this”
“I look damn good in this dress”
“I’m so ready to crush this workout!”
“That looks like a challenge… let’s do this!”
“Sure I’m not perfect, but no one is, so no point in worrying over it. YOLO”
These thoughts are empowering, and trust me, when you’re in this frame of mind people notice.
All of a sudden you’ll get a lot of “you’re looking great, what’s different?”
Which is kind-of a backhanded compliment if you think about it, but a compliment all the same. The point is, you’ll radiate that positive energy, zest for life, and start to embody that positive image that you have of yourself.
One thing to make note of, is that this all comes from YOU.
If someone tells you you’re ugly and you believe them, you’re making them right, even if it’s not true (and it’s NOT by the way, we are all beautiful in our own way, a cheese-ball statement I know but I firmly believe it).
Some of you may be thinking “how do I start using positive self-talk? I’ve never really been nice to myself…ever”
Great question, for this I use the “fake it till you make it” strategy.
I went through a period of time where I genuinely hated my body. In the lowest lows I took to positive affirmations and focusing only on the things I really loved about myself. At that time it was my eye colour, hair colour, and the fact that I still had my health despite not being the size I thought I should be.
I would repeat “I love myself” until I started to believe it. Sounds nutty, but it worked for the short term. Mind you, much more in depth work has been done to cultivate and maintain this self-love. Still, positive affirmations are a great place to start if you’ve got nowhere to go but UP!
Moral of the story:
YOU write your story. You can be the hero, the villain, the victim, whichever you choose.
If you choose to be as kind and compassionate to yourself as you are to others it will show and you will absolutely glow with positivity.
If you choose to believe the haters and get down on yourself you will surely shrink under that grey thunder cloud that follows you around.
So talk to yourself. But be kind, be compassionate, and be loving. Talk to yourself the way you talk to the people you love, and watch your world change.