Examining Your Own Self-Talk
Our self-talk can sometimes be like the comfortable blanket or the old shoes we love. And, sometimes, it’s our concerned parent voice that keeps us on the straight and narrow path.
We all have self-talk messages that we cling to for a reason. Sometimes they support us and other times they hold us back. It’s important to be aware of what function they have in our lives.
How much better would it be, though, if we used affirming, positive self-talk?
What statements about yourself can you create today? What do you hear your kids say to themselves? How can you empower them to create more positive ways of speaking to themselves?
SelfDesign And Self-Talk
In his SelfDesign book, Brent Cameron asked “How do we go about turning our many inner voices into a cooperative and coordinated team?” He encouraged using affirmative, positive language and avoiding commanding or negative language.
How can you practice positive self-talk?
– In a mirror?
– Into a cell phone memo feature to be played back later?
– By writing reminders on sticky notes?
– Squeezing or patting your hand?
– Reframing “I can’t do…” into “the things that I tried before didn’t work, so next time I’ll…”?
What form of self-talk works for you?
Modeling Positive Self Talk & Problem Solving
When we share our thought processes with our children, we provide models that they may pick up and adapt for their own use. Of course, it’s always good to be a bit cautious when thinking out loud, too. For example, when my son was a preschooler, a colleague called me over to hear my son modeling his dad’s thinking aloud process, as he was building a deck: “Hmmm, I could put the plank here or I could connect the planks there… I sure hope I don’t hit my %#&*?! thumb again today!”
In becoming SelfDesigners, as we focus our attention on our personal experiences, we become more aware of our learning processes. Also, we become more aware of how we have internalized the voices of those who have influenced our lives and the influence our voice has on others in our lives.
Listen to your inner voices today. Who do you hear? Whose thought process are you modeling?
How Do We Speak To Our Partners & Children
It can be challenging to talk with our partners and children in an empathetic, attuned way in their moments of distress, until we regularly talk with ourselves in a nurturing, affirmative manner. Since our self-talk plays an important role in developing positive relationships, it is helpful to become aware of our own internal dialogue and languaging patterns, from the inside out.
For example, sometimes I notice my inner voice saying ‘You always do that,’ in a scolding tone. When I shift to ‘OK, that way didn’t work out like I expected, so next time I’m going to… ,’ then I change the tone to a more respectful and affirming self-dialogue.
As you go through your day, what do you say to yourself to transform a negative inner voice into a more positive and affirming one?