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Negative inner voice and self-talk

Habitual negative inner self-talk steals away our happiness, yet we seem to struggle to stop the chatter in our heads and start thinking positively. You may consider the negative thoughts a positive in your life because they have propelled you to work hard and succeed. Marshall Goldsmith wrote an entire book about "what got you here, won't get you there." And this is very true with negative inner self-talk.

Taking care of yourself includes every mental, vocal, or physical activity. With negative self-talk, you create a groove in your brain every time you say the thoughts in your mind or out loud. The deeper the track, the more ingrained in the self-talk habit you become. As a result, negative self-talk becomes an irresistible draw, and you continue to repeat the action.

A few years ago, while working with a group of peer coaches, we discussed the one thing we needed to stop doing as a coach. My goal was to quit talking so much. The other four coaches looked at me with their mouths open. I had shared an idea that was shocking to them. Every one of them said that was not my problem. My problem was how I spoke to myself.

The "Itty Stinky Bitty Committee" had taken root in my mind and my life and showed up in my actions. I viewed my entire world through the lens that I wasn't enough. I wasn't smart enough. I wasn't pretty enough. I wasn't (fill in the blank). Well, you get the idea. This view may have served me to work harder in school and at work, which may have been helpful at one time. But now, it was holding me back and stole my happiness and peace.

My peers developed a practice for me to use to replace the habit of negative self-talk. It was a little "no" symbol with the letters ISBC in the middle. I placed this symbol everywhere my eyes would land. On my phone, computer, mirror, the dashboard of my car, and in my wallet. It was a constant reminder to shift the horrible way I spoke to myself. It took time, but slowly the way I viewed myself improved. It took practice.

There is room to grow here for me, but I rarely tell myself I am not enough these days. I talk to myself about what I want and how to reach that goal while plotting my way towards a happier life filled with peace.

You can begin a new way of speaking to yourself by identifying what habit is in your way of being happy and filled with peace.

Once you identify what self-talk habit is taking away your peace of mind, you can replace it with a new phrase or a positive statement. It may feel super awkward at first, but the groove from your old habit may be profound, and it may take time, concentration, and repetition to make new grooves in your brain.

If you want to learn more about bringing this balance to your self-care, please contact me. I would love to help you with your quest for a new you. Live Life Full. Full of happiness and peace and joy.


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