The power of self-talk: Is your internal narrative holding you back?

Self-talk is something we all do.

All day every day, self-talk – or internal monologue – can dictate every area of life down to the tiniest detail including actions, mood, behaviours and relationships.

Our self-talk is unknowingly one of the biggest influences on our present and future and can even define goals and how they’re achieved.

And while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, when internal dialogue turns sour, it’s time to reassess the story we’re telling ourselves.

A negative self-perception can cause limiting beliefs that can impact every area of life stunting physical, spiritual and emotional growth. If inner dialogue is that detrimental, it can be so powerful that you may never reach your true, soul-aligned potential. How scary is that?!

How is self-talk formed?

Self-talk is often something people aren’t even aware of. Formed from a combination of conscious thoughts and unconscious beliefs, the internal monologue gives the brain a method of understanding and processing daily experiences.

While self-talk can have both a positive and negative impact on life, ultimately, if you don’t speak to yourself in the same way you speak to friends and loved ones, your internal dialogue may no longer be serving you.  And just like any other habit, the power to change starts with awareness.

Here are some classic examples of negative self-talk and how you can reword them to live the life you’re truly destined for.

I’m too busy

Hands up if you’ve ever been ‘too busy’ for exercise, family time, meditation or study? At some point in most people’s life, being too busy has been an excuse to take on something extra that will ultimately improve life in some area.

Alternative: I live a full life, and I can choose my priorities

Once you put the onus back on yourself for time management, you’ll reassess how you spend every minute of every hour allowing you to find out if the things that make you ‘too busy’ really are necessary for your life.

I’m too old

If you’ve ever crossed a threshold into a new decade, you’ve likely told yourself you’re too old to go back to study, start working out or change careers. And this is another form of negative self-talk.

Alternative: My life experience will help me with this transition

You’re never too old for anything! If you’re the oldest student in the class, use your life experience to help yourself with the new opportunity. Repeat after us…’it’s never too late’!

I’m not worthy

If you have a job offer or a new opportunity to study, telling yourself you’re not worthy will mean it will fall away from you easily. By voicing that you don’t deserve a bigger salary, a nicer house or a loving partner, you’re also projecting that onto any potential opportunities that come your way.

Alternative: I deserve this

Feeling worthy of opportunities can sometimes take a bit of work to accept, but once you realise your worth and regularly voice it to yourself, the opportunities will flow. You define your own standards of what you deserve financially, in relationships and in your career, but voicing these to yourself will help them become your reality.

This is out of my control

There’s no denying that a lot has happened that’s out of anyone’s control in the past two years, but this doesn’t mean that things you can control are running concurrently.

Alternative: I have full control of my life 

Admitting that you have control over what your life looks like, isn’t the same as being ‘controlling’. Acknowledging your control is actually bringing awareness to the very significant role you play in making things happen. Of course, this doesn’t mean falling apart when things don’t go your way, but it does mean surrendering to a higher power, following your instincts and making moves that you feel led to make.

I want more

We’re big advocates for aiming high, but self-talk that makes you feel like there’s always something else to aim for can have a negative impact.

Alternative: I am thankful for everything I have

Once you turn what you want into gratitude for what you have, you’ll notice an energy shift that attracts what you want to you. By focussing on what you don’t have, the opposite will happen. If you’re stuck in a rut of always wanting something bigger and better, consider a gratitude journal and get into the habit of writing five things you’re grateful for each day and watch that list grow!

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