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  • Writer's pictureGladys Agwai

Why are you talking to yourself that way?

Self-talk is the voice in your head that is talking to you like a narrator telling the story of your life – past, present, and future. You have your ordinary self-talk “I like that car.” However, too often your self-talk can get habitually negative and mean impacting your mood and overall happiness. If your self-talk is full of worries and catastrophizing, you are going to feel chronically anxious. “My boss just called me into his office. I’m going to get fired!”; self-criticism and judgment, you will feel shame and sadness. I really messed up on my presentation. I am horrible at presenting.” or angry emotional repetition, you are going to feel angry and upset. “I cannot believe he is breaking up with me after all I have done.

He will not get away with treating me this way.” Here are five types of self-talk that cause stress an unhappiness in your life:

1. Make assumptions about what someone else is thinking with little to no evidence. You assume the worst about the person, what they may be thinking, or doing. Build your confidence and courage to verify and ask to get clarity. Being called into your manager’s office may mean he wants to give you a raise.

2. Overdramatise by jumping into the future believing a worst-case scenario when faced with negative news. “I got fired and will never get another job at my age.”

3. Good or bad thinking says, “If I cannot be the perfect leader, parent, or wife, then I am incapable of being a good role model.”

4. Take everything personal assuming it reflects your selfworth. If you are not invited to the meeting, then “They do not think I am ready or capable.” Your self-worth is consistently on trial.

5. Feeling reasoning is when you make decisions based upon your feelings instead of what you value and what is right. You want to share an insight in a meeting when you hear your self-talk say: “That is not a good idea. What if someone thinks it is dumb? I will bring it up later.” Listen to your emotions but you should not blindly follow them.

Your negative self-talk comes from your mindset of scarcity that believes there are limited resources available to you because someone else has it. Mindset of scarcity has you focused on what is missing in your life that you cannot have.

How often do you say, “There are no good men, women, leaders, or jobs.” “There are not enough hours in the day.” “I do not have enough time, money or resources.” “I am too young or too old to have a love relationship.” It can be difficult to pull yourself out of this mindset of scarcity and the self-talk that comes with it. However, focusing on what you do not have as your daily pattern of thinking will consume and ruin your life. You will become desperate making poor decisions increasing your stress and sense of fulfillment.

Negativity can be a source of motivation. But because our brains are not good at multitasking, the tendency is to self-sabotage by rejecting what you said you wanted before taking any action to pursue it. This sucks the joy out of your life and keeps you from solving problems, holding onto information, controlling impulses, and just being present with yourself, family, friends, or job. You can challenge and manage your negative mindset and self-talk when you:

• Notice when you dwell on negativity, pay attention, set an intention to switch, and act.

• Accept your feelings, where you are, and know this is a journey. Be patient and gentle with yourself.

• Act with intentional gratitude for what you have and what is going on in your life now.

• Reflect and get clear about who you are, what you believe, what you desire, and what you deserve.

• Take the necessary and appropriate actions that will get you to your goals.

• Surround yourself with supportive, positive people and be willing to set boundaries.

• Get comfortable without guilt when letting go of toxic relationships.

• Know it is okay to seek help.

Approach your self-talk with an abundance mindset believing plenty of resources exist for you and everyone and what you want exists. Your self-talk will become more empowering. Your confidence will build. You will show more courage in going after what you want, be more open to attract what you want, and get it!

“Anxiety is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you very far."- Picoult

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