A big change happened in my life when I realised, "I wouldn't even want to be friends with someone who talks to me, like I talk to myself”. That constant inner-critic in the back of my mind, commenting on everything I do.
This unconscious stream of criticism, blame, perfectionism, fanaticism, was costing me energy. It cost me self-confidence. It wasn't helping me.
My character is to be very driven, and persistent, and I am happy for that. It has helped me achieve a lot because of it.
But that doesn't mean that the fanatic, and often negative voice should be part of the game. It was time to change that!
I started journaling my self-talk. As I, and most of you, know me as a super optimistic person, I was surprised to notice the amount of negativity in my self-talk. After becoming more aware, I developed habits to turn the self-talk around.
For example, eliminating "should've, would've, could've" from my mind-vocabulary, took out a big chunk of the blame, and regret. So 'easy', but so powerful!
Our words are powerful. Words can give hope, bring comfort, breed fear. Words can encourage us, or bring us down. Words can inspire change.
Words are the most tangible manifestation of our thoughts & beliefs, without taking any action. We can influence the world around us just with our words.
Gary Chapman in his book, Love as a Way of Life uses the vivid metaphor for words are either ‘bullets or seeds’.
What do our words do? How do they make others feel? And not to forget, how do our words make us feel?
Is your self-talk an empowering 'BFF' who's by your side during tough moments, and a relaxed, calm inner-voice during the easy moments?
Are they words of encouragement, compassion? Or of (self)blame? Words of solutions & opportunities, or of problems & setbacks?
How much are our words helping us & those around us to be our best selves? It's fascinating to observe what is set into motion each moment we speak our words & become more intentional about this powerful force available to humanity.