Removing Mindset Blocks – 5 Tips to Controlling Your Inner Self Talk

One of the biggest blocks holding you back from your successful outcome is that inner voice that tells you that you aren’t good enough.

‘Self talk? Ummm… No I don’t talk to myself’, you say?What was I thinking?

I beg to differ!

Self talk isn’t necessarily about talking to yourself in the mirror, or just randomly talking to yourself at random times. Self talk is an inner dialogue that guides us, whether we like it or not!

It’s that voice that gives us meaning to how we feel. It’s the narrator of our own life. Problem is, unfortunately we can’t have Morgan Freeman narrating our life, and it’s not something we can script!

In this post, I’m going to talk about how negative self talk was controlling my life and I’m going to share with you some simple tactics to combat this self talk so you can be more aware of how you think and feel on a daily basis.

For many years, I let self talk control my life. It ruled me. Thoughts like ‘Joel, you aren’t good enough, you aren’t smart enough, you aren’t …..’  and the list went on and on! I grew up with the self talk of ‘I’m not normal’. And although I wasn’t you’re average child, I certainly wasn’t abnormal either! But my self talk told me that being different was bad.

The Results of My Self Talk

After many years of similar thoughts, I had convinced myself that I simply wasn’t good enough. That maybe I would become a recluse and a fumbling idiot. My mind would then look for opportunities to back up this self talk. The minute I’d do something silly, or make a fool of myself, then the instant self talk was ‘see, I told you so!’. When this self talk becomes so one-sided, the result can lead to a fair amount of self hate and destruction.

Become Aware of Your Thoughts (Mindfulness)

silly glassesOne of the biggest tips I can give you is to learn to become more aware of your thoughts and self talk. A great example of this that’s always stuck in my head was illustrated at a Christopher Howard seminar I attended some years ago. The speaker placed on an oversized pair of tinted glasses, that looked absolutely ridiculous – to make a point. The lesson behind this was that our perception of the world is so heavily influenced by our thoughts and feelings. In essence, we are all wearing these oversized glasses everyday. For example, two people in the exact same situation will interpret their experience it in a completely different way. One person may see opportunities and abundance all around them, while others will see only misfortunes and will take to complaining at every given moment.

For most of us, this will happen automatically. We can get ‘stuck’ or caught into a pattern that we keep repeating, over and over. I’m sure you know what I mean, if you don’t – think about people you know that love to complain on a regular basis!

So how do you become more aware of your thoughts and snap out of these spiralling patterns?

Here are my top 5 tips to take charge of your self talk!

  1. Practise Mindfulness. It’s like picturing yourself as a third person, watching and listening with immense curiosity and interest. Wanting to know why something is, and why your brain acts a certain way. For example, if your self talk says that ‘you’re hopeless and that life is crap’, your third person awareness acknowledges the self talk, and questions where it may come from. Have I said this before to myself? When do I usually say it? Is there a common trigger? When you keep practising thinking outside of your self talk, you start to be able to actively control and influence your self talk.
  2. Change your Environment. We don’t quite realise just how much our environment impacts upon our mind and its chatter. From the people around us – who sometimes affirm our negative self talk, to the physical walls surrounding us. One of the best things you can do is mix it up a bit. I’m not talking about completely changing your life overnight, but make a few small changes. For example, take more time for yourself. Get outside, find somewhere where you feel at home, at peace. Somewhere where you know you’ll feel happy, just by simply being in this place. Make it your mission to visit this place more often! Make it part of your routine. The same is true with the people around you. If they make you feel like crap, then make an effort to surround yourself with more people that lift your spirits. The best place to start is to connect with a group of people that share your own interests.
  3. Practise Gratitude. The art of practising gratitude can do wonders for our mindset and our self talk. Initially it might be difficult to practise. Your mind might fight the idea of simply being grateful for the things around you. It’s not always an easy task. But when you focus on this on a regular basis, then things will start to change. You’ll start to notice more of the positive aspects in your life to the point that it will become unavoidable. It’s not an overnight solution to changing your self-talk, but regularly practising gratitude can help you move in the right direction.
  4. Calm Your Mind. Many of us live hectic lifestyles. We spend so much time in our work environment, being ‘busy’. We may only devote time to exercising our body, but we don’t give ourselves time to calm our mind.  I’m referring to meditation here. When you allow yourself to meditate, you allow your brain to ‘defrag’. Even 10 minutes a day can make a difference! When you practise calming your mind, your self talk will naturally start to change for the better. At the very minimum, you’ll become far more mindful of your thoughts!
  5. negative_self_talkKeep a Journal. Keeping a journal is a fantastic way to recording your thoughts over time. You can track your progress. You may find it empowering to burn or distory the journal, if you feel you’ve made significant progress. It’s the act of releasing the negativity from your past.

You live with that person in your head for the rest of your life, so you may as well teach them a lesson or two on how they should behave!

I’d love for your to share your experiences. How have you changed your self talk for the better? What tips would you share? Please leave a comment below. 

Image credit: waynesutton12, (Flickr),  twenty_questions, (Flickr)Jackvinson  (Flickr)

 

 

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