Why Your Self Talk Matters – Caroline Ferguson, Mindset Trainer

Why Your Self Talk Matters

By Caroline Ferguson | Self Talk

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Megaphone_smallAre you happy with the way you talk to yourself? Does the voice in your head help you or hold you back?

All day long – and all night too – you’re involved in a perpetual conversation with someone.

Mostly it’s a monologue that you’re not consciously paying attention to.

Occasionally you might manage to get a word in edgeways, or deliberately steer the conversation, but not often.

This mega-conversation is taking place with yourself.

The facts about self talk

Your self talk is the running commentary of your own thoughts, or what I call ‘your inner radio’.

It’s been estimated that you think between 20,000 and 70,000 thoughts a day. It’s almost impossible to stop thinking – serious meditators spend a lifetime trying to still their minds. Try it for 30 seconds. I bet you can’t silence your inner radio completely.

Your self talk mostly arises from your unconscious mind and it’s automatic. You aren’t even aware of your thoughts most of the time.

The content and tone of your self talk vary a lot. Much of it is neutral burble but it can be positive and supportive.

Unfortunately, most of us are also familiar with the carping voice of doom and self doubt; those times when our thoughts are less than supportive and we chuck obstacles in our own way.

Here’s a news flash. Your thoughts are not necessarily the truth.

In your lifetime you pick up untold millions upon millions of bits of information. You piece together stories based on these bits, and also based on your own random observations and inferences. You assume that these stories are true.

But if you were to put these bits of information together in a different order, or at a different time of day, or when you were in the opposite mood, you’d come up with an entirely different set of thoughts, stories, assumptions and outcomes.

So what feels like truth is actually incredibly random and is based on a wholly subjective view of circumstances, based on incomplete information from a moment that’s frozen in time.

Quite apart from the fact that some of the voices in your head don’t even belong to you…

We’ve all at times heard the ghosts of our parents’ or teachers’ voices in our head, continuing to scold or criticise us for some lapse in behaviour. Well those voices and thoughts are interlopers, lodging in your head without paying rent. YOUR mind is perpetuating them and maintaining the fiction.

Which is a bit of a bummer, because…

Your thoughts create your reality.

Your unconscious mind isn’t rational and doesn’t make judgements. It doesn’t distinguish between right or wrong, good or bad. Is simply accepts what it’s told or shown as the truth, whether the information is factually correct or not.

You then automatically think and feel and behave in a way that is consistent with that truth.

So if you were told as a child that you were lazy, it’s quite likely that you’ll drag that criticism around with you and limit yourself as an adult. You may think: “I’ve always been lazy. That’s just the way I am. I can’t change now.”

Your inner voice is constantly broadcasting a mix of messages:

Supportive self talk encourages you and helps you to think, feel and behave in a flexible, healthy and goal-supporting way.

Unsupportive self talk leaves you feeling unsure about your abilities; not quite good enough. It has a negative impact on your mindset, emotions, performance, will power, health, self worth and resilience.

Make no mistake, negative, self-critical and unhelpful thoughts WILL hold you back.

What if you could re-engineer your self talk and turn off the doubting inner voice?

The voice that:

  • criticises, belittles or nags you
  • compares you to others and finds you, or them, lacking (someone has to come off worst in a comparison)
  • distracts you or urges you to procrastinate when you have a deadline
  • whispers that you’re nowhere near being the expert others believe you are, and that you’re bound to be found out.

Wouldn’t that be one hell of a skill to have – being able to change the channel?

Just imagine if the voice in your head was mostly supportive, self accepting and compassionate…

  • You could become your own best friend, coach, support system and fan club, all rolled into one.
  • You could create positive, helpful emotions and actions instead of self-destructive ones.
  • You could switch off that nagging voice that makes you feel “not quite good enough”.

What couldn’t you achieve?

Well guess what…

You CAN learn to change and control your self talk.

It is completely possible to retune your inner radio to be a more helpful and supportive station – at least most of the time (you’re only human after all).

The wonderful thing about mindset is that it changes all the time. New information in = new outcome. You can decide to change your mind about anything – even yourself – any time you want to.

So what messages is your radio broadcasting? How are your thoughts helping or hindering you?

Over the next three posts I’m going to share my 3-point plan to change your self talk. It’s a very simple process but I’m not going to pretend it’s easy. Your inner radio has been broadcasting the same messages for decades and it’s not going to let you retune to a healthier new station without a fight.

Make sure you keep reading this series and do the tasks I set at the end of each post. I promise you, that small investment in time and energy will be well worth it.

I’ll see you soon.

Please feel free to comment or share if you’ve found this helpful or if you have any questions.

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About the Author

Caroline is a Mindset Trainer and speaker who works with sensitive, high-potential leaders who know they were born for something more. She shows them how to beat mindset blocks and habits, such as limiting beliefs, low self worth and procrastination, that are preventing them from making a bigger impact.

  • sarah says:

    Love this Caroline!

    I’ve had neggie thoughts override my poz ones in the past. It’s when I’m not happy with what I’m doing. I ditched a biz earlier this year. Had invested £1000’s and worked so hard, but didn’t have the passion for it. It didn’t feed my soul.

    Now I’m so happy I feel like I’m floating. I’m back to a good place.

    I think if you ask yourself brutal questions about why you’re doing what you do (personally and professionally) and change what’s wrong, it can change the inner voice!

    • admin says:

      Good for you, Sarah, you went with your instincts. Not may people are brave enough to do that when they’ve invested so much. Why is a great question to get to the heart of what you really believe – changing the belief definitely changes your self talk. So glad to hear you’re in a good place now.

  • sarah says:

    Thanks Caroline. It was sudden. And easy on the day. And no regrets since.

    About investment. Much of it was in learning, which isn’t lost. Anything lost elsewhere on stock etc I just felt wasn’t worth worrying about, because the future would be so much better!

    Tra la la! (sings a little song)

    • admin says:

      I’ve had the same experience about big decisions being quick and easy on ‘the day’. It’s the worrying and anticipation leading up to the day that stop so many from taking action. And you’re right, when you act on your instincts, you don’t look backm, and you never lose the learning.

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