Are You Your Worst Enemy: 4 Tips on How to Change that Around
Don't Let Your Self-talk Define Who You Are
My Narrative of Who Made Me Not Like Me
I have lived my whole life with my inner voice in my head which judged me, berated me and overall verbally mean to me. I came to find out that everyone had an inner voice. Good to know. I am not alone or abnormal.
I'm not crazy or having auditory hallucinations. Everyone has a critical, judgmental, or self-defeating voice in their head. I call it a self-talk voice in my head, or my inner critic. Growing up, I always was subjected to adverse messages told me by other people. These messages would always surface front and center into my conscious stream of thoughts. I would attempt to fight my inner voice by ignoring the words. It never seemed to work. The more I struggled, the louder my inner voice became. I took these messages to heart and believed I was not good enough. I was never able to quiet my inner voice down. My inner voice was always loud and clear, and I couldn't just turn it off.
Why? My inner voice struck my heart by evoking feelings inside of me. After a while, those words became my truth. I could never seem to tame it. My inner voice-controlled how I thought about myself it determined how I acted, what emotions surfaced and how I thought in general.
What I learned later in life is I didn’t naturally hate myself. The content feeding my inner voice came I believed about myself from the messages that were fed me by my parents, siblings and other people who interact with me.
You're not alone. Everyone speaks negatively to themselves from time to time.
Your inner voice or self-talk in your head never seems to go silent. It never goes away either.
Unfortunately, your inner voice is normal and is always there. If you do not hear your inner voice in your head, then something would be wrong.
Your inner voice doesn't go away. Believe it or not, your inner voice is a direct result of the beliefs embedded in your subconscious mind. Your self-talk is oddly part of your decision-making process. If for some reason your self-talk happens to be very harmful it may be due to your core beliefs about yourself are negative. The way it talks to you in your head is the way you believe about yourself. If your beliefs are negative, your self-talk is negative.
Conversely, if your beliefs are positive, then your self-talk is positive.
When your inner voice is negative, the statements in your head makes critical, doubtful, hurtful, judgmental, self-defeating, and negative comments.
Is that bad? Yes. On one hand, if your self-talk is negative, it causes you constantly to give your personal power away - 24/7. On the other hand, believe it or not, your inner voice is only attempting to protect you in a weird way from doing something wrong or getting in trouble.
The Content Of Your Self-Talk Determines the Formation of Your Thoughts
Your Self-Talk Statements Define Who You Are
Through my years of coaching individuals, my clients identified with and understood the term “inner voice or self-talk.” In asking them to write down all the statements his or her inner voice said to them, I would get a litany of nasty comments which he or she heard in their head. I began to understand that negative self-talk would deplete self-energy, diminishes focus, decrease self-worth, contribute to hopelessness, cause sadness and inability to move forward in a positive direction.
The Generator of Negative Self-talk
If your self-talk is judgmental or punishing, it is because your core beliefs are negative or distorted. These negative core beliefs or distorted self-messages then berate self into submission and alters thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
Here are 12 common negative core beliefs my clients reported experiencing. Can you identify with any of these?
- You don't deserve anything
- You are a loser
- You will never amount to anything
- You’re defective
- You are hopeless and less than others
- You will never have what you want
- You're not worth it
- No one will ever want you
- You do everything wrong
- You will amount to nothing
- No one will ever want you
- You're a terrible person, and there's no hope for you
You can Learn Alot From Yankee Coach Joe Torre's Story
I recently watched a story on Joe Torre. I didn’t know it, but he grew up in an abusive home with an abusive father who criticized him endlessly. Even with his dark past, he worked hard in sports and achieved many awards. He attained MVP as a player eight times. Nine times he was an all-star player, and he received one MVP batting title. Joe went on to become one of the best coaches in the history of baseball winning 2,326 games. He also coached 4 of his teams to World Series wins as a coach. He stated that the most critical aspect of coaching was to make sure his players respected him and themselves.
What was learned?
The lesson from Joe Torre's story is that even growing up with elements of criticism; there is the incredible inner power in everyone who can triumph over adversity and move toward a position of health and fulfillment. You do not have to live with the negative messages from your inner voice. Change can happen. You can construct new beliefs that will change your thinking. If you believe in yourself and practice them, and most of all, connect each belief with intense emotion, over time your views will become your truths. Then it is up to you to live them. Make these new beliefs your own.
Step #1 - Cultivate a Positive and Productive Self-talk
Cultivate a new inner environment for change. If you work on changing your core beliefs (origin of your inner content) and do, then your self-talk will change. When you turn your self-talk to positive, then a change in your thoughts will be noticed immediately. Thirdly, your thoughts will then manifest positive and productive behavior and emotions.
Now if your beliefs are reset to positive, your inner voice becomes positive, your thoughts will be more productive, and all of that resetting results in your emotions and behaviors manifesting differently to the outside world.
You can do this by tracking back to the source of your inner voice. Meaning is recognizing the content of your thoughts, identify the content of your inner voice and end up at your core beliefs.
Get out a piece of paper and on that paper write down your thoughts, inner voice statements, and your beliefs. If your core beliefs, thoughts or self-talk messages are harmful or unproductive then denounce out loud the meaning they express and then rid your mind of them by pushing them to the right out of your mind space. Then create new positive and productive core beliefs, thoughts and self-talk statements to replace what you got rid of.
Therefore, changing your beliefs to positive and productive will result in a positive change in the way you think, feel and act.
It is possible for you to find a solution and accomplish what you want.
Here are some examples of positive and productive beliefs, you might want to work on accepting into your belief system:
You deserve to have hope
You deserve to be loved
You deserve endless possibilities
You deserve to be a winner You deserve to worthy and good enough You deserve success
Step #2 - Monitor your thinking and then denounce each critical statement that is not beneficial to your health
Once you have completed #1, take another piece of paper and make a corresponding list of healthy messages you want to counteract each negative, false and unhealthy message which you hear in your head. This new list is intended to increase your confidence, self-esteem, and value in yourself by changing the content of the messages your inner voice utters.
It can be as simple as creating new content to change self-messages. For Example change “You deserve nothing,” message to “You deserve to be worthy,” or from "You don't deserve love" to “You deserve to love who you are.” Changes in your self-messages can be beneficial and personally powerful.
Once you have created these new statements, repeat and practice the new healthy messages to yourself ten times a day for 90 days. Also, make a promise to commit to reading your new words every day, and set up a schedule to do so.
The trick to success is to embed these new positive statements by repeating them with emotion. If you repeat them without feeling, the comments will not integrate themselves into your subconscious mind.
Once you develop new positive statements and repeat them daily, you need to manifest them in your emotions and behaviors. You make them live by believing in them.
4 Tips for Making Your Inner Voice Positive and Productive
1. Stop ignoring your self-talk
Get to know your inner voice. Become familiar with your inner voice's tone and intentions. Ignoring it doesn’t reduce its influence or make it go away. Ignoring or submitting to your inner voice only increases its control and power over how you act, feel, and think. If ignored and left alone your inner voice will default to negative and will mirror your negative core beliefs buried in your subconscious mind.
Use your observer self. Listen to what your inner voice says. Listen as though you are another person, like from a third party perspective as if you hear it on the radio. Write each statement down. Recognize and evaluate whether each statement is an old message which is no longer true or whether it is an outright lie. Also, whether it is a self-massage or an unhealthy message from someone else that was said to you at some point in your life.
The most impactful unhealthy messages tend to come from your closest family and friends to whom you were emotionally attached. The more the emotional attachment you have to a message, the more strength it gains and the more unhealthy it becomes.
Determine whether some of those negative, unhealthy messages were meant to hurt you, or were they trying to ensure your emotional and physical safety or possibly to make you a “stronger person." Know your mind does not register or express its feelings. All your brain does is record data, experiences, images, words, actions, forms beliefs, and stores them. Then your mind repeats them back as they were written.
Let your mind help you validate whether the content of your inner voice is true or false, good or bad, supportive or critical, or productive or unproductive.
Next to each statement note who in your life said it and the situation or event which it occurred. The more you understand about each message, the less power and influence the unhealthy content has on you. Discover proof of why each message is wrong and unfounded. Once you find the real truth behind each inner message, you will help you crack its content and dissipate its power and influence over you.
2. Do not give up. Strive for consistency.
Be mindful of your profound obligation for your plan of action to change. Follow through daily by repeating your new list of healthy, positive, and productive messages consistently for 90 days.
Next, you should accept and change your mindset. Your new mindset should be positive. Remember that you are in charge of yourself. No one else. You are in command of what you believe about yourself, how you think about yourself, how you feel about yourself, and your capabilities.
Best results can be achieved by keeping track of how many times you repeat your new list each day. Track yourself by keeping a journal of your progress. That way you will be able to see you are following through on your commitment. You will notice the changes which are occurring. Write how you feel, what you think, and how you behave differently day after day for 90 days. Keeping track of what you do daily will help you to recognize that what you are doing is working. You will be able to see when you fall off in your commitment. When you have mindfulness about what is happening every day, it will increase your motivation, focus and what you need to change. Most important is consistency keeps you stay on track.
3. Surround yourself with people who think positive, are healthy, supportive of you, and make you feel comfortable
Be around people who see and experience you in a positive light. Seek out people who will support your positive efforts, mindfulness and have the same vision of you that you now manifest. Let people who care about you reflect the real you back to you. Start hanging out with people who could use support and need your positive reflection back on them. Practice the balance of receiving and giving positive content to each other. Permit yourself through personal permission to live in a positive light.
4. Earn your own respect by expressing your authority and power
Understand that your inner voice has been attempting to protect you, but the content from your old core beliefs was feeding your inner voice a steady diet of critical, doubtful and negative material from past experiences. It is your authority. Don’t let your old self-talk influence who you are now or influence the content of your thoughts.
Earn respect from your mind by forming your own beliefs and thoughts about yourself. You have that power. Once you decide this, the rest is pretty much practice, practice, more practice, and patience.
If you follow the suggestions above, the content of your inner voice will change and be more positive and productive. You can turn your inner voice into an internal sponsor. You can also gain mental peace, calmness, and support resulting in a more healthy and fulfilled you.
Believe the brave new vision you created for yourself, and if you practice it, you will manifest in your life.
Is your self-talk messages healthy or unhealthy?
© 2015 Bill Tollefson