“The most important conversation you have all day is the one you have with yourself.”
Think about that for a minute. What did the last conversation you had with yourself sound like?
Were you looking in the mirror, saying something nice or mean? Were you negotiating with yourself over something you’d do in the future instead of right then?
We all have our own version of what that voice sounds like. Self love often sounds like tough love. Negative self-talk includes not giving yourself credit, belittling your accomplishments, holding unreasonable standards, not giving benefit of the doubt, and jumping to “you could do better” more often than not.
This is not a suggestion to be dishonest with yourself, however; if you didn’t give your best effort, it’s also important to acknowledge that.
Why Positive Self-Talk is Important
This is the delicate balance of self compassion with self honesty; yelling at yourself for “failing” (see last week’s Wake Up Wednesday) when you did your best is self destructive, while giving a 50% effort and telling yourself good job is self delusion.
Your (new) job is to make your self-talk productive and positive. Here is how you do it:
1) Acknowledge when you do a good job, out loud, to yourself.
2) Encourage yourself in a positive way; if you find negative words exiting your mouth or filling your mind, stop for a second. Take a deep breath, and try it over again. Avoid admonishment, pursue encouragement.
3) Write down (“journal”) methods of self-talk that work for you. An additional option is to create a self-talk mantra that you carry with you into tough work days, emotional moments, or hard workouts. It is a practiced, go-to strategy when the going gets tough.
One last reminder as you move throughout your week…
You are not alone in feeling overwhelmed, uncertain, anxious, or stressed. You are a human being; few things are guaranteed. This is why positive self-talk is so important – it is there for you when you need it in times of challenge, practiced and honed over a lifetime of overcoming adversity and unpredictability.