There’s a voice in the back of my head – if I’m honest, it sounds like my mother – and it’s my barometer. If I’m about to step outside of my comfort zone, that little voice isn’t so little anymore; it’s akin to the pre-match entertainment at the Grand Final. It screams at me. That voice, my self-talk, has the ability to quickly talk me out of any given situation – like going to the supermarket tonight. Apparently I can wait til tomorrow because my hair looks terrible. Make sense? No, not to me either. Self-talk can be both positive and negative. I’ve sat at work a few times and thought how well I did on an advertisement or a report that I’ve undertaken for management. When news came through of my recent pay rise, there were cheerleaders – not the kind you’re thinking, mine are all muscle and brawn – in my head telling me that I absolutely deserved it, and they were patting me on the back. Self-talk has the ability to affect your confidence, self-esteem and generally make you feel better about yourself. Whether it be positive or negative, the effects of self-talk can be huge. Without realising it, you’re probably doing it right now. Aren’t you?
Positive self-talk is that beautiful little angel on your shoulder; the one that makes you feel great about your life and the decisions you’re making (and probably doesn’t sounds like my disapproving mother). Whether that little angel is telling you how great your bum looks in those pants or how awesome you were at work or a situation that could potentially have turned bad. We basically love that little angel. On the other end of the scale is that nasty little devil; the negative self-talk. This can be quite detrimental, especially if you’re not someone who has a high level of self-confidence. I find myself lunching with this little devil a lot more than I should. Negative self-talk can make you feel absolutely wretched, it puts a dampener on almost any situation in your life and can make the bad times feel 100 times worse than they actually are. You probably look stunning in that little black dress, but that nasty little devil is finding flaws where there aren’t any to find. It’s probably telling you not to go to that party or work event because you’re not going to know anyone…Let’s put it back in its place!
It isn’t possible to be that happy-go-lucky positive person all the time; I wish it were. But you can take steps to improve your self-talk and you can even practice because practice makes perfect (don’t you just love clichés? My little voice is asking…).
For more ways to manage your self-talk check out this great article – 9 Ways to Silence your Inner Critic.
A single mum who devotes her life to her son. Kate is an inspiration to everyone who has been through tough times. Her insightful writing explores her own deep inner struggles that many women can relate to. She is courageous and hopes that her writing can help other women break through the barriers that hold us back, through her personal life stories.