We’re constantly communicating with ourselves; a large portion of our self-talk bubbles up from our subconscious mind without us being fully and consciously aware of its details. It appears more as background noise, mind chatter—like the humming of the refrigerator, which we try to tune out and ignore because we find it annoying. To a lesser degree we consciously choose our thoughts to work through a problem, analyze what just happened, evaluate the pros and cons before we make a decision, or rehearse how we’ll act or respond in an upcoming situation.
And then there is the dreaded negative self-talk. Let’s be honest, how often have you been rude to yourself, calling yourself stupid, fat, ugly, a loser, not good enough? How often have you blasted yourself with derogatory insults that you would never dare fling at anyone else, because your words would hurt them, or they’d cut you out of their lives, or they would punch you? And how often have you shown respect and consideration to others and treated yourself with contempt and disregard?
Negative self-talk is one of the major reasons on how we become anxious, insecure, unmotivated and stuck. You doubt and criticize yourself and constantly wonder what faults and flaws other people may discover about you. You go through horrendous failures and rejections, based on nothing but your imaginations and assumptions. Or you tell yourself that you can’t change or reach your goals, because you are not good enough and are better off not even trying. It’s a fact of life that what you believe and expect to take place is likely to occur just because you believe and expect it to. A study researching the likelihood of older people falling showed that those who’d stumbled in the past and, as a result, believed they’d fall again actually fell more often than those who’d never stumbled and had no fear of falling. The study revealed that because of their limiting, fear-based belief, people changed the way they walked and held their bodies, which consequently increased their likelihood of tripping and falling again.
Even if your negative assumptions don’t turn out to be true, your limiting thoughts and beliefs still continuously reinforce themselves. Let’s say you believe that you’re not good enough and that most people around you are more capable, more successful, more likable―you name it. No matter what you’re planning to do, you assume, at least subconsciously, that the outcomes of your actions will only confirm that you’re not good enough. Not only will you pursue your plans with less energy, confidence, and focus, but your subconscious mind will also filter and interpret the results of your actions according to the limiting belief that you are, once again, inadequate. Consequently, you will feel even more insecure, anxious, and deflated, which further drives the “I’m not good enough” belief and so increases its validity and realness to you. Through this self-reinforcing cycle, a limiting belief becomes your identity.
The good news is, that the opposite is true as well. Conscious positive and empowering self-talk allows us to cheer ourselves on, listen to an internal mentor’s voice of reason, or review the kind words of a supportive friend. Conscious inner communication increases our range of emotional and mental responses, allows us to move more quickly through feelings that are not supportive, and empowers us to see and take advantage of the opportunities in every situation. We can find answers in problems, understanding in confusion, and possibilities in limitations. Thus, inner communication is crucial not only to survival, but also to ultimately thriving and experiencing happiness.
But how do you create the habit to choose to think positive and empowering thoughts – and to act accordingly? To answer this and other questions I have invited Mary Shores author of “Conscious Communications” Empowerment Radio. Mary Shores is an international bestselling author, speaker, entrepreneur and CEO. She teaches individuals and businesses to fearlessly create their own realities by using scientific methods and practical personal development.