Self-talk. Most people suck at it. Most people are cruel to themselves. Really, really cruel. And most of what people say to themselves is factually, anecdotally and scientifically incorrect.
As a journalist-by-trade I’m hellbent on exceptional communication (sorely missing from most aspects of society today). This extends to the grammar and tone I use with myself, my family, friends, clients and pretty much every person I come in to contact with. I’m somewhat neurotic when it comes to communication.
I recently received an email from Adele, an Exceptional Life Blueprint client, who has noticed an incredible shift in her results after shifting the quality of her self talk. You can see her story in the picture at the bottom of this blog.
Her story got me thinking on the impact of the self talk rollercoaster we go on. So how do you talk to yourself? For most people (and remember, most of us have never been taught how to talk to ourselves), our self talk is mediocre at best.
7 Secrets to Sensational Self Talk
Here’s seven “secrets” (I use that word to describe rather obvious statements or insights that very few people talk about these days) to sensational self talk. Try them on for size and let me know how the quality of your life improves in proportion to the quality of your self talk.
1.Do it out loud
You might think this isn’t self talk. You know it is though. It’s just the politically incorrect version. Don’t just do it out loud, be loud about it! Wake up yourself AND others by pulling yourself up in public if you lay even an iota of self-loathing your way. This will keep you incredibly accountable to exceptional behaviour (and inspire others to do the same).
2. Give yourself a pat on the back – literally.
Or a self-hug. Whatever works. Physical Touch is my Love Language (Link) so I’m sure to give myself a pat, hug or a stroke through my hair to say well done. You think I’m creepy now, don’t you?! Seriously though, honour yourself for loving yourself.
3. Mantra, Mantra, Mantra.
What one-liners grab you? For me, it’s “Focus”. If I’m caught in Facebook Hypnosis or in a disempowered state, just speaking the word “Focus” brings me back to my outcome for that specific moment. You’re might me “Come On!” (Lleyton Hewitt style), “Get back on the horse Marcus”, “Wake Up”, “You’ve Got This!”, “One step at a time” or anything else that brings you back to the present moment and out of your negative self talking stupor.
4. Remove the headlines.
Talk to yourself in long-winded stories. This might seem counter-productive to the above point however bare with me. If you voice out your negative self talk in headlines such as –
“I am so stupid! I am so fat! I am so unpopular! I am so rude! I am so uncool! I am so defensive! Marcus you get so frustrated so easily!”
My view is that you will EVENTUALLY turn it around to empowering words if you flesh the headline out in to a story. It might go something like this –
“Now Marcus I know you feel frustrated and angry right now because the kids aren’t listening to a word you say right now. I know you think that whatever you say or ask of Maya & Darby you feel that they are doing the complete opposite. Think about this though, mate. It’s a first world problem. We’re not talking cancer. They’re not dying of hunger. They’re just giving you the shits. And really, what would you prefer? Sick, well-behaved kids or healthy little shits (not always, just now). Of course you know the answer, so go out there mate, tickle them to within an inch of their life, play games, rough and tumble til the Cows come home and remember how lucky and blessed you are to be a part of this incredible family.”
5. Ask yourself WHY.
In the above statements I said “I am so defensive.” In a quiet space, precede the statement of negative self talk with a curious question. “WHY am I so defensive?”
Now does the above “story” read like I just made it up or can you imagine me actually saying this? If you know me or have heard me speak before you can hopefully tell that this is exactly how I talk to myself. And notice how the turnaround occurs? There’s always a level of resistance to the turn around, however it always comes, for every single person. Some people just take a little longer than others!! Some people have a disempowering story for YEARS, and resist turning it around. Others, are less emotionally attached to their story and are happy to change it.
6. Write it out.
Write down your negative self talk and read it over and over again until you recognise how unnecessary it really is. Again, this simply amplifies your awareness of what you tell yourself. Do this every day for a fortnight and you’ll begin to see the futility in negative self talk. What is it really achieving?
7. Tell others what you tell yourself.
And you will find out very quickly that we are more cruel to ourselves than others. Just another way to ensure an exceptional relationship with yourself, be completely honest with your family and friends. Particularly your kids! Tell THEM how you talk to yourself, and this will keep you supremely accountable to keeping up positive self talk most of the time.
I truly hope you’ve found benefit in this list of 7 secrets to sensational self talk.
Do you have any tips on improving self talk? Share them on social media and inspire your online community with your own wisdom.
PS – One of my favourite books on this topic is a small “read it in an hour” book from Tony Robbins called Notes From A Friend. He talks about the 10-day mental diet. Give it a go!