Self-talk normally operates unconsciously. The way in which we carry out this internal conversation will have enormous importance on the way we behave and feel.
Imagine that a person goes to a job interview with a fearful and pessimistic feeling and thinks that “I have very few options among so many candidates” “I am not lucky and today is a bad day ” or that “in interviews, I always have too many nerves and they will notice”.
Can we say (s)he will attend this interview and perform to their highest possible level? The answer seems obvious. So my question is why do we host these negative self-talk when they have such damaging effects known to lower our confidence and our spirits?
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Undoubtedly, our way of seeing the world is influenced by our temperament (which is innate), but it is also partly the result of learning (and therefore modifiable).
It is calculated that when we reach adulthood, the orders we have received about what we cannot or should not do and the consequences of not complying with them are 10 times more numerous than those more positive about what we can and should do.
This educational model could be conditioning our cognitive system, contributing to the fact that between 60 and 75% of our thoughts are negative. Can affirmations help to improve on this inner voice and self-talk? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do use the comments section below.
Cognitive techniques such as Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) are very helpful in restructuring these distorted inner self-talks and their effects on us. They identify those thoughts that cause us a negative emotion and put them to test by replacing them with more adaptive ones. This will help to identity those toxic habits that drag us down .
These techniques have proven their usefulness in clinical psychology and in others such as sports psychology, where it has been shown that they contribute to increasing performance and intentional control, thereby improving on overall mood and reducing anxiety.
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Although we are not elite athletes or need the help of a psychologist at this time, we can still try to use these techniques to improve on our well-being as well as the chances of reaching our goals.
When faced with situations that trigger a negative emotion, we must try to attend to that internal dialogue and test whether what we think is really useful and true or approach the situation with an open mind. It should be noted that you are not your thoughts.
Let’s think about what would happen if the person who attended the job interview that we talked about at the beginning of this article, manages to detect and test all those negative thoughts and replaces them with others such as: “I have nothing to lose by going, I can even get a better job “” If I go with a smile on my face, I am sure that they will value me positively “” Maybe other interviews did not go well for me, I am sure that in this one I can improve and gain confidence for the following ones”.
We cannot assure that (s)he you will get this job because it depends on many other factors, but we can conclude that (s)he will feel better and have a better chance of being successful.
And you? Have you ever noticed the way you talk to yourself? Is it usually positive or negative? It is worth important to pause and think from time to time especially in those moments in which you are experiencing stress, or some unpleasant emotion (sadness, anger, anxiety). In those quiet moments ask yourself if what you are thinking and saying to yourself will have a negative or positive bearing on your life. Is there another way of seeing and dealing with this same situation?
Use the comments section below to tell us what you think of this whole self-talk article and if it is a total nonsense to you (smiley face)
Thanks for reading and until next time, stay safe, take care of you, and keep moving forward.