HOW you see yourself, in other words your self concept, is one of the most powerful influences on your future happiness and success.
Research indicates that those who have emotional problems engage in negative self talk 50% of the time and yet few people admit that they talk to themselves - and as a result fail to understand the critical nature of this internal dialogue.
Negative self-talk stems from our thought process and are usually distortions of an event or situation and an over focus on what's wrong. All humans engage in self talk continuously throughout the day, the question is do you want to be a victim or victor of yourself ?
Habituated thinking patterns develop over the years and are deeply rooted within our past experiences. If you find yourself jealous of others or are frequently competitive in most situations the chances are that you were belittled by other children in your formative years.
As children, we believe what we're told about ourselves. As adults we carry on telling ourselves these same messages.
When you tried something new were you told you'd never be good at it or were your efforts the source of humour for others? Many of us would have encountered a teacher at some point in our schooling who just seemed highly critical of us. These types of experiences are the seeds of our self-talk.
Sometimes we initiate negative self-talk when we are faced with moving beyond our comfort zone. We convince ourselves and others that we're just not up to the task because we prefer to be seen in this light rather than risking failure or embarrassment.
"I can't do this" is often a screen for ' I don't want to deal with the experience of making a mistake or of failing. Our thoughts determine how we feel and how we feel influence the way we act.
There are many ways to free yourself from negative self-talk and the first and most crucial step is to become aware of it.
Do you belittle yourself ? Are you critical of your appearance, your mind or abilities?
Do you put yourself down in front of others?
Do you stop yourself from doing or trying things you want to do because you think you won't be good at it, might fail, or embarrass yourself ?
Do you stop yourself from trying things because there's always someone who's better than you?
Pay attention and actively listen to the negative things you tell yourself, and start to question how valid they are.
Find out where the negative self talk originated. Can you recall specific moments in your life that have impacted on how you see yourself today?
If you were to write a script of who you want to become how would that script read? Get writing now.
Remember, we are not born with negative thoughts - this inner dialogue is something we learn to do and can be unlearned