“I am the way I am. Positive self talk isn’t going to help me. I can’t change what I’m thinking.”
Do you recognize this way of relating to yourself, that there is only one way of relating and that’s how you’ve always related to situations and people?
I’m here to challenge that belief system today, because you are not your thoughts. Sounds strange, right? How come we’re not our thoughts?
Well, just because we have trained our mind for our whole life in one way doesn’t mean we can train it in a different way now, right?
The BIG question is not if you can turn your negative self talk into positive self talk, it’s are you WILLING to do it?
Most of our lives we’re made to believe that if we beat ourselves up with our self talk, push ourselves in ways we really don’t want to go but we talk ourselves into, or we secretly compare what others that are seemingly more successful have, to what we have (which is never enough), we use that negative self talk to “motivate” ourselves to push ahead, or convince ourselves that we’re not enough, the list goes on…
What if we took all of that negative self talk that goes on in our minds daily and replaced it with positive self talk? What would happen?
That’s a good question.
The only way to find out is to try it! But how, you may ask? Well again, the biggest question is:
“Are you truly willing to objectively look at the thoughts that go on in your mind first?”
It takes work and it takes courage. Why? Because your negative self talk will convince you that’s it’s not possible to experience life differently from what you’re currently doing.
So, let’s bring this into perspective. How would the practice of replacing negative self talk with positive self talk benefit you?
Personally, I didn’t want to change for the longest time. I took it as an offence when someone pointed out to me how negative I was. How dare they offend me like that! I could feel my body tensing up as soon as someone was scratching the surface.
I wanted to be right, all the time. Just so that I could stay within my nice little negative comfort zone where everyone else was to blame for my misery.
Your experience may be completely different, or it could be very similar to this.
The bottom line is, I didn’t believe I could experience my life differently than the way I always had. I wasn’t able to look at myself and my thoughts objectively and say “Now my mind is making up things again…!”
Here’s an example to give you an idea of what I mean.
Negative self talk: “I can’t get anything done. I’m just dragging my feet and I’m so behind. Another day has gone. Why can’t I have what I want? I’m such a loser.”
Positive self talk: “I’m right where I need to be. I surrender to the universe and I learn from my resistance. There is a solution bigger than I can figure out myself. I trust that I will be given what I’m ready for and I will have the support I need.”
In the past I didn’t know how to turn negative self talk around. But I know now.
I know now that my true self is this endless positive self talk that only wants you (and all others) to feel good.
Talk about a benefit that can’t be ignored!
However, replacing all the negative self talk and inviting the positive self talk instead, is going to feel uncomfortable. And that’s counteractive… isn’t it?
Well, if you’re used to allowing your mind to make up negative self talk, it’s going to feel comfortable. And the positive self talk is going to feel uncomfortable and weird.
But if you’re WILLING to be uncomfortable, it’s possible to rewire your thought pattern from a negative one to a positive one.
Are you in?
Let’s replace the negative self talk, make room for positive self talk, and watch the calm and flow rule your world.
Here are some tips that you can try. These practices have the power to turn your reality around in a second (if you allow it to).
1. Is this really how I’m thinking?
The first and most important practice is to observe your thoughts. This may sound strange to you (uncomfortable, yes!) but trust me, try this and you’ll soon realize. “Is this really how I’m thinking?! WOW!”.
The realization that negative self talk actually exists within your mind is a game changer. So many people don’t even realize that this very fundamental practice of observation, brings us right to objectivity.
2. I accept my thoughts just the way they are, and the way they have impacted my life thus far.
This is the hardest part of this practice. A lot of shame and guilt is in the negative self talk. The negative self talk is the protection we put around the shame and the guilt so that we don’t have to feel those feelings.
It’s easier to talk down to ourselves (or even more often about someone else) than have to experience the feelings that caused the pain.
By accepting ALL of the thoughts you’re having (both the positive ones and the negative ones), you stop upholding that wall of protection around the negative thoughts that have become so familiar.
3. Positive self talk is gratitude in new clothes.
We often think that gratitude as always being thankful for someone else or something else other than ourselves. True gratitude, however, starts from within.
Feelings of gratitude start with positive self talk.
It’s almost impossible to maintain negative self talk while you’re expressing gratitude. This is why it’s so important to start with gratitude for yourself first, then you can share your gratitude with others.
Positive self talk is inner self care.
4. Affirmations are powerful reality, U-turns that help you stay in positivity.
If you keep observing your thoughts, you’ll notice that negative self talk is not going to disappear. But you can chose to pivot. And quickly!
Affirmations either in the form of an app, or card deck is a great way to reach for a U-turn of your thoughts when you come across a situation where your negative thoughts are taking over and you really would be better served by some positive self talk.
Grab a card from the card deck and dive into the essence of the message. Often the message is right what we need to hear at the moment. If you feel resistance, get curious and ask yourself why.
All personal growth starts with getting curious and being willing to turn the attention inwards, instead of constant external surveillance.
If you have a feeling that your life could be experienced in a different way, the practice of observing your thoughts and noticing if they are negative or positive is a great first start.
This 4 step simple practice can help you make a U-turn from negative self talk to positive self talk:
- Observe your thoughts – Is this really how I’m thinking?
- Acceptance – I accept my thoughts just the way they are.
- Positive self talk – gratitude in new clothes.
- Affirmations – make a reality U-turn.
So here you go. This is a great practice to try. The question is, are you willing to get uncomfortable and discover and accept your thoughts just the way they are?
How can you observe your thoughts today in gratitude?