Self-Talk Symphony: Becoming Your Biggest Fan
By Peyton DeMaio
We all aren’t our biggest fans sometimes. Sometimes, and maybe for good reason, we are our harshest critics. But beating yourself up is like using a sledgehammer to fix a delicate watch – it’s excessive, damaging, and doesn’t solve the problem. Instead, consider a more constructive approach to self-improvement and personal growth. It all starts with positive self-talk, which can be the key to a brighter outlook on life.
So what is self-talk and why should I care? Self-talk is just that, the way we speak to ourselves. When your inner voice consistently takes on a negative tone, it chips away at your confidence, leaving you in a constant state of doubt and worry. Instead, we should be focusing on building ourselves up. That voice in your head is the only voice that we will hear our whole lives, we might as well make it a fan.
Here are some tips on how you can shift your inner language to benefit:
Observe Negative Thoughts
When anxiety strikes, notice it. Observe those negative thoughts, feelings, and fears without getting entangled in them. Imagine them floating away like items on a raft down a river. Analyzing them only deepens the struggle. Visualization can help; visualize putting those negative thoughts in a lockbox and tossing it into a pond.
Find Calm Through Grounding
Achieve a state of calm before engaging your self-aware and resourceful self. When anxiety takes over, your amygdala activates, and your frontal lobe, essential for positive self-talk, switches off. Soothe yourself as you would a child, focusing on your breathing. Try to be present in that moment.
Seek Neutrality and Reframe
Instead of shifting from 100% negative to 100% positive self-talk, aim for golden mediocrity. Reframe the situation in a more neutral light. Accept that you have strengths and weaknesses, and there’s no need to berate yourself. Embrace the idea that everyone has their ups and downs, making it easier to cope with missteps and failures.
Real confidence begins with self-acceptance. Avoid the constant struggle of portraying yourself as extraordinary or inadequate. Just accept that you’re not feeling your best, and there’s no need to explain or justify it. Live life as you are without the need for self-rationalization.
Give Yourself the Love You Crave
Treat yourself as you would a dear friend. Show yourself love by employing the five Love Languages on yourself. Leave compliments for yourself, enjoy your favorite foods, and engage in activities that bring you joy. Think about what you’d do to make a friend feel better and apply the same care to yourself. Create a life that loves you, and you’ll find it harder to indulge in needless suffering. Feeling good is truly enjoyable!
Remember, your relationship with yourself is the most important one you’ll ever have. Be kind, be patient, and be your own biggest supporter.