As humans we all have a little, sometimes LOUD, voice inside of our heads dictating the circumstances of our lives to us. More often than not this voice is negative, and it just LOVES to tell us that we’re not good enough for this… or that we’re too fat for that… or that if we were just a little bit better, smarter or more like that other woman we would be more acceptable and our lives so much brighter.
I'm no stranger to this kind of talk. But I have realised that it doesn't need to hold power over me OR control my happiness. Because here is the thing… once you’re able to recognise your self-chatter for what it is (chatter – that’s literally it) you can set about changing it from negative to positive. And this is the moment you begin to see that positive self-talk CAN change your life.
Why? Because once you've mastered the art of positive self-talk, you realise that you really are in control of your own happiness. Regardless of your life circumstances. Changing your self-talk may take some practise – most of us aren't even consciously aware of the extent to which we’re doing it. But once we become mindful of it, changing it – correcting it - becomes a whole lot easier.
Here is how positive self-talk can change your life:
Self-talk influences EVERYTHING you see and do
It really is more powerful than we realise. The way we talk to and see ourselves shapes the whole of our lives, including our interactions with other people. And the beautiful thing here is that we get to choose how we deal with and react to it ALL - negative or positive.
Think about somebody you know who seems to really have their sh*t together. We all know at least one of these fortunate people. They are happy within themselves and seem to go about their lives with ease and confidence. Things just go right for them - they always appear to be in the right places at the right times.
And when things do go wrong, they handle the situation with grace and humour, and set about fixing the wrong. They seem to have an air of charisma about them and other people are drawn like magnets to them because of this.
What do you think sets this girl or guy apart from the rest of the pack? Answer – it is how they see themselves. They know they are not perfect – they make mistakes and deal with dramas and crises like the rest of us. But they also know that they are worthy of love, respect, compassion and forgiveness AND that no situation – good or bad - lasts forever.
This is what they tell themselves and what they fundamentally believe. So they treat themselves with love and respect AND maintain a positive outlook, and almost like magic… life becomes a whole lot easier, and a whole lot happier.
Positive self-talk allows us to see the truth – NOT projections
The inner-critic inside your head may have you believe that if you make a mistake of any magnitude then you are dumb, pathetic or hopeless. Truth is, without mistakes we would not be human. We all stuff up from time-to-time and the sooner we recognize this necessary truth, the happier and free-er we will be. A positive mind-set will allow us to look at the situation for how it actually is – not a projection of how it could be.
It is in our mistakes, as well as the crises and dramas of our life, that we learn our biggest lessons – about ourselves, others and life in general. You may be facing the breakdown of a marriage or a similar loss and dealing with the associated feelings of sadness, hurt and anger. The self-talk you engage in at these times, however, can make all the difference to the way in which the situation plays out.
This is because it is not the events and circumstances in and of our lives which cause us unhappiness. It is our REACTION to these things. So, tell yourself that you are a failure and that your situation is dire and will never get better… and this is most likely how it will all play out. But tell yourself (and really believe) that you are worthy of compassion and love, that things will get better and that you will learn and grow from what you are going through… then this is how you will find your reality to eventually be.
Positive self-talk does not mean that you are denying truth or reality, it means that you are choosing to take positive action in your life… whatever the situation at hand. By consciously choosing to remain positive in the face of fear, uncertainty and change you become not only happier, but healthier and more optimistic than a pessimistic person facing the same set of challenges.
By choosing positivity and remaining in the present moment rather than spiralling down the path of negativity, you will see any situation for the way it IS - not how you FEAR it will be. You will then make judgements and decisions based on this current reality - rather than a perceived or feared reality. As a result you will naturally start to let go of the fears, doubts and worries … and regain control of not just your peace and sense of well-being, but the future course of your life. Just imagine that.
How do you go with positive self-talk? Please, let me know in the comments!
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