Don’t let limiting language drive your destiny
Even though access to ever increasing knowledge, information and any ‘how to’ you could want is only fingertips away, many people are enduring soul crushing periods of personal uncertainty and lack of clarity.
They are experiencing an inability to focus or stick to a plan or project. Or a personal sense of being stuck or not capable, not enough, or even unworthy. That would suck the vitality, inspiration and enthusiasm out of anyone.
So, what is the problem? Well, we are. More specifically the negative voice in our head. The thoughts that make up our self-talk.
Thought is how the human being creates.
Everything that has ever come into existence began with a thought. A thought that we believe in creates powerfully.
If we believe in what’s possible for us, that we are worthy and deserving of happiness, we will take action in a way that creates that. And if we believe a negative thought, it has the power to shut us down. That belief will sabotage our own potential.
Don’t be a VICTIM of negative self talk — remember YOU are listening.Bob Proctor
Get this. Our negative thoughts aren’t ours. We came into this world a clean slate. Those thoughts came from the murmurings, teachings, ideas and beliefs of others, that we absorbed as we developed. Our brain culled them from our families, the people around us, and the environments and institutions we grew up in. Our experience was filtered through them. What a set up.
We are who we are, what we are and where we are in our lives because of what was presented to us, what we heard and took on as true. These thoughts are what we repeat to ourselves. What begins to define us.
Negative thoughts become our negative beliefs. These beliefs function as our predictable frame of reference. That frame of reference influences our perception, which curates our stream of thought accordingly. Those thoughts generate the chemistry of for the feelings we experience. They drive our behavioral responses. … and by the way, how others respond to us.
It gets worse.
Our self-talk never shuts off. Estimates are we think roughly 60 thousand thoughts per day, most of which are repetitive. About 80% of those repetitive thoughts are negative. And unconscious. We aren’t even aware those negative thoughts are influencing us most of the time. Think about the magnitude of that.
Two things become clear.
We have an uphill battle becoming aware of whats driving us.
And we have incredible possibility here.
Be mindful of your self-talk. It’s a conversation with the universe.David James
The possibility is this. Your thoughts are the drivers of your life experience. They are your life experience. But you get to choose which thoughts get your attention. Humans can do that. You can make the fact that self-talk never shuts off, actually work for you.
You can transform a mindset skewed toward negativity, into one that predominantly operates as your internal solid ground. A dependable inner resource that sets you up to thrive.
Don’t waste your precious life fighting this uphill battle. Work with your self-talk. Intentionally install self-talk that creates for you. Self-talk that focuses on the amazing stuff that’s actually happening in the world, and the amazing stuff you are capable of. Change your mind, change your life.
Start with awareness.
Let’s get your negative self talk out of hiding, first.
There is no interrupting its destructive influence without the awareness of it. Once you see it and understand its impact, you’ve created choice.
You are going to want a dedicated notebook for this work. It took a lifetime to absorb and install this negative self talk. It will take time and effort to turn it into a powerful personal asset. Make the committment. Here we go, onto the 5 step process to transform your self-talk:
STEP 1-Spot Negative Self-Talk
Start noticing the self-talk of people around you.
It much easier to see negative self-talk at play when it’s other people doing it. Listen for the phrases commonly used culturally. Listen for people doing things like comparing themselves to others, forecasting negative events, devaluing themselves and others and coming from lack and self-doubt. It is insidious and contagious. Notice if you find yourself acknowledging and agreeing. Don’t do it. That only perpetuates limitation in them and you.
Notice if you take the thought on yourself and begin to feel the feeling of that negative thought. If you absorb it. If so, let that bother you so you won’t allow it in the future.
Write down what you notice, and the answers to these questions:
What was the specific negative self-talk you noticed? Did you catch it right away or did it take you some time? How could you see their self-talk was limiting them? How you would rephrase the statement into something empowering?
Be a detective for what you are saying to yourself.
These are the limiting beliefs you heard growing up. You didn’t have a filter as a kid. What your parents and others said went right in and became what you believe. What you believe about yourself now. Write down what you notice as you notice it.
Also notice when you hear yourself say or think a familiar thought that doesn’t make you feel good.
Thoughts like: I’m not good at that. I’m broke. I’m awkward. I don’t have what it takes. I’ll never be able to afford that. No matter how many times I diet always gain it back. What I feel doesn’t matter, I never make good choices. I don’t have enough…
Look deeper at that feeling. Look for the thought behind it. Where did you hear/learn that? Was it something you heard growing up? When did you start believing it? What else did the people around you say?
Where there is one thought there is usually a slew of similar ones reinforcing it, so you want to mine for as many as you can. Write them down.
Notice the effect those thoughts/phrases have on you emotionally, physically, spiritually. What behavior does it trigger in you? Write that down too.
Create a Self-Talk Log.
Make two columns in whatever notebook or journal you are using. List the thoughts you are discovering along this process, in one column. You will eventually transform each and every one of them to your advantage. Later as you craft your new phrase, capture the new thought in the other column.
STEP 2 -Disrupt the Negative Self-Talk
Time to interrupt it.
Create a physical interruption.
Snap yourself out of it. Wear that rubber band on your wrist and snap it when you catch yourself in negative self-talk. This is you clearing your mind and getting present to what’s happening.
Say out loud “Cancel, cancel,” or any other verbal prompt that will stop your thought.
Use any breathing technique you know that can immediately shift you.
Jump into some intense physical movement if you can. Pushups, burpees, a quick sprint, anything that will get you clear and focused on the moment.
Notice and write down what physical interruption has the most powerful effect on you. Whatever gives you the sweet release of the aha moment. You want this to be one of your new favorite habits.
Question the validity of the thought.
Your goal now is to see that this thought isn’t true, or at the very least, that there are other realities at play that are also true, maybe even more true.
Immediately acknowledge that this is just a thought, a belief, not a truth. Do this even though you might also be thinking, “yes but, this one really is true”. In this moment you are choosing to empower yourself as your own best friend, instead of continuing to ‘argue for your limitations, so you can keep them.’
Use these prompts:
Ask what is appearing real right now? What I’m thinking is true? What’s the opposite of that thought? Come up with examples of how the opposite is actually true.
What is actually the evidence against it? Come up with actual examples, as many as you can, that refute the thought.
Do I want to continue to invest in this thought with my attention and energy? Will believing this self-talk, and thinking this way help me create the life I want?
This new voice in your head is your greatest champion, you best ally and your new superpower.
STEP-4 Create New Self-Talk That Supports You
Start with any negative thought that you want to change right now. Make sure its’ in your Self-Talk Log.
First manipulate your mindset.
Move yourself into an open, empowered state, where your personal resources (insight, creativity, wisdom) are available to you. Do this by connecting with something that puts you in your happy place.
Change that thought into a new, powerful phrase.
Change the negative thought to declare what you really want to tell yourself.
Ask ‘what powerful things do I want to hear to replace this thought? How do I want to feel? How would my happy and successful Future Self say it?’
Keep your new phrase in the present tense. Try it on by saying it out loud. Make sure it creates a sense of clarity and energy in you. If it doesn’t, keep working on it.
Here are some examples: I choose my behavior, I can always count on myself, I have everything I need, I can ask for help when I need it, I am not alone, I finish what I start.
Go back and add this new declaration adjacent the old one in your Self-Talk Log.
STEP 5 : Everything is Practice
Become a practitioner of powerful self talk.
You have been repeating the old self-talk for years, so it will take time and practice to overwrite this programming. It will take your commitment and determination. You are after all, learning a new language.
Your personality will resist it so be prepared. You will need to outlast your conditioned ‘thought’ habit trying to reassert itself. Repetition is your secret weapon so your practice list begins there:
Repeat it –The mind learns by repetition. An effective way to enhance repetition is mirror work. Look into the mirror, into your own eyes. Tell yourself out-loud, your new phrase. Do this a minimum of 10 times. Say the phrases with energy and enthusiasm. Do it as if you are hearing your Future Self speaking to you. The one who loves you, honors you and wants to tell you exactly what you need to know to become them.
Set your Self-Talk Intention- Start telling yourself that thought before you even get out of bed. Remind yourself what you want to hear, how you want to feel and what you want to be thinking instead of the old thought.
Add to your Morning Routine -Add that thought, and eventually a review of your ‘champion’ self-talklist to you morning routine. You’l be read and re-reading that right column in your Self-Talk Log.
End of Day Review- Repeat this new thought before you go to sleep at night. This is not a positive affirmations. This is the powerful and honoring way you talk to yourself now.
Set new Self-Talk Triggers in your environment-
Put a sticky note up in visible places with your new self-talk.
When you have more, make index cards to keep with you and read the phrases aloud. Yes this is old school, but your brain may like it better.
Set timed reminders on your smart phone.
Make and play audio recordings of new phrases as you create them. Play them in the background while doing something else . That is particularly effective.
Create your own Call to Action:
Boldly step into this new intention and experience it. Act as if its already true. If you really are the person you are talking to, go ahead and practice doing something that person would do. Ask yourself, what would I do right now if I believed that thought? Go. Do. That.