One habit that will immediately improve your self-talk
by Heather Thatcher
This article takes 8 minutes to read
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Let me paint a picture for ya.
You’re getting ready to relax. It could be that you’re going for a massage, or sitting down to meditate, or read that good book, or spend some time with friends – whatever it is, you’re getting ready to do something relaxing.
And as soon as you take that deep, restorative breath to start unwinding your brain kicks it into high gear and starts thinking of anything and everything.
It’s like someone opened the floodgates, and gazillions of thoughts start popping into your mind.
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Now, I have to ask you – are YOU thinking those thoughts?
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If your immediate reaction to that was “what? Of course, it was me! Those are my thoughts.” I want to challenge you with that belief.
Because, lovely, you are NOT your thoughts.
You are the THINKER of your thoughts.
And as this thinker of your thoughts, you can agree or disagree with what’s being said.
I used this example a few weeks ago before in previous episodes, but I’m going to use it again here because it just makes this so much more clear.
Take a moment right now to imagine that you’ve stepped into an ice bath.
No matter how many times you tell yourself “the water’s warm, the water’s warm, the water’s warm” your body and brain are going to disagree and say “Nope! It’s freaking freezing!”
So you, as the thinker of your thoughts, can have the opinion ‘The water’s warm” float into your brain and dismiss that as being untrue.
You, as the thinker of your thoughts, can do this same thing with negative self-talk.
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It can dismiss any of those horrible things you say, or the names you call yourself just as quickly as you dismissed the thought that the water was warm.
It is important to start connecting to this thinker, this interpreter as soon as possible because knowing that you are separate from your thoughts is one of the most critical steps in my framework for overcoming negative self-talk.
To connect to this inner-you that is interpreting your thoughts, I have two exercises for you.
The first step is to meet your Inner Critic as a sub personality within you.
Give that critic a name, describe them, really personify them with a personality, a style, how their voice sounds – all the details you can come up with.
This will start the process of you seeing yourself as separate from the originator of negative self-talk.
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The second strategy that I have for you is to use meditation to go deep into your being and connect with your core self. I have a guided meditation for this that I share with the people who join the Inner Critic Challenge which I only do twice a year. So follow me on social media @theultimatelifesurvivalguide to learn when the next one is going to be starting.
These two strategies will help you feel more separate from your thoughts and connect to that part of you that interprets these thoughts. As we’ve talked about before, we use our core-beliefs as the foundation to decide if we agree or disagree with our thoughts.
Remember that core-beliefs help us interpret our world, and attract information that agrees with our core-beliefs, and ignore that which doesn’t align with them.
So for example, if you have the core-belief that you can’t remember names, when you hear a name you believe you’ll forget it, so you let it go.
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You might also have a core belief that you don’t get along with someone, and they drive you absolutely-up-the-wall-crazy. When you spend time with this person, there will be things that they do that grate on your nerves, and there will be things that they do that are completely neutral and don’t bother you at all.
But, because of this core-belief that they drive you crazy, your interpretation of what happens when you’re hanging out together will hang on to all those things that prove your core-belief to be true (all their annoying behaviors) and will forget about all those things that they do that you consider normal and reasonable.
But what if you reversed that core-belief? What if you believed that this person was a little quirky, but an all-around good human with their heart in the right place?
Then, when you spent time together, you would interpret things differently and see those things that used to drive you crazy as endearing quirks, and remember all the lovely things that you can connect on.
Let’s work through one more example. Let’s say that your negative self-talk is reminding you of all those times that you messed up and got something wrong.
The core belief you may have associated with these common themes in your self-talk is that you’re stupid. (which you’re not, just for the record, but we’ll get into that more next week about how to refute core-beliefs that we don’t want)
Again, you’ll notice all the times that you messed up, and forget all the times that you came up with a creative solution, or nailed that presentation, or had the right answer when no one else did.
Your negative self-talk will continue to reinforce this negative core-belief unless you do something to stop it.
Take the first step to banishing negative self-talk with this free guided meditation
The one habit that you can start today that will immediately improve your self-talk and begin to heal those unwanted negative core-beliefs is to slow down, take a deep breath, and give that inner interpreter, your Objective Observer, the chance to make a different choice.
So often how we respond to what happens in our life is done out of habit. Our inner-knowing interprets our reality according to our core-beliefs on auto-pilot.
But when you slow down for just a moment and give yourself the space to think it through, you’ll have the opportunity to change your response.
You don’t have to act on those habits that usually decide how you feel after something happens and shape your self-talk. You have the power to regain control over that moment.
Think of a moment where you usually react to a trigger without thinking and automatically follow your often emotional response pattern. Is that how you want to respond?
If it isn’t, then visualize yourself right now taking a slow deep breath in response to that trigger. Practice this visualization a few times throughout your week and later when that trigger happens for you, remind yourself of what you’ve been practicing and take that slow, deep breath to give yourself the space to change your habit.
This is something that we talk about extensively in the Mindset Reboot Program. The doors are closed right now, but you can go to heatherthatcher.com/mindset to get on the waitlist.
Meditation is a VERY important part of the Mindset Reboot program and to start it off include a 5 part program that shows you how to set up your meditation foundation to have proper posture and breathing. We also talk about the many different kinds of meditation and how to know which one is best for you.
Most importantly we talk about how to calm your busy brain that starts thinking a mile a minute the second you close your eyes.
And I’m bringing this part of the Mindset Reboot program to you in a free 5-day Meditation Foundation challenge. Your action step is to go to heatherthatcher.com/meditation to learn more and save your seat for this free 5-day challenge.
I’ve had complete beginners go through this challenge, as well as people who have been meditating for longer than I have and still everyone came away with at least one thing from this challenge.
Not to toot my own horn, but it’s a good one!
So go to heatherthatcher.com/meditation right now to save your spot.
See you there!