This is something most of us, myself included, do without even thinking about it. We speak to ourselves negatively. You call a female “sir” or say “thank you” to the proctologist. Then you curse yourself out for being so absent-minded with your speaking. “How could I call that lady sir? I’m so stupid!” Or “Only an idiot thanks someone for exploring places of your body that should be left alone!”
Examples don’t have to be so extreme. There are a million “How could I?” and “I can’t believe I” Often, we say these things so frequently, we might not even be aware we are doing it. Ask yourself, do you honestly pay close attention to your self-talk or does it seem to take on a life of its own? Is it like a computer program that is constantly running in the background? Maybe you check in every now and again, or maybe you are do busy focused on all you have to get accomplished that day?
The truth is we are always talking to ourselves. Imagine someone following you around 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and giving opinions and passing judgment on our activities. What if 80% of the things this person said were negative? How long before you would tell that person to sit down and shut up? According to the National Science Foundation, that is exactly the percentage of our daily thoughts that are negative. If that isn’t bad enough, 95% of our thoughts are the same thoughts we had the day before. If you are keeping score at home, that means there is a 95% chance that 80% of your self-talk is negative.
Does this mean we are resigned to a life of doom and gloom? Not hardly. What can the average person do to change their inner dialog to one that is more positive? As we have said countless times on this site, the key to success is not fighting against the negative, but adding the positive. This is where all of those smiling at yourself in the mirror saying “I love you” people come in. Although this is very beneficial, initially it may be a bit hard to accept.
I suggest writing yourself a positive motivational affirmation that includes your name and try saying that to yourself first thing every morning. An example might be something like “You are going to kick some butt today Neil, and no challenge will be able to bring you down.” Another option could be “Neil, you are too strong to let the negative in the world bring you down.” Even these may seem a little hokey at first, but they are true. Are you doing your best to improve your life? Are you working your butt off to accomplish your dreams? I bet you are and you deserve to hear that! Especially from yourself!
This week try looking in your eyes in the mirror and saying one positive affirmation twice a day. First thing in the morning and last thing at night. Notice how your conversation improves and how much better you start to feel. Don’t worry if you still catch yourself still talking negative to yourself once in a while. Just focus on that affirmation. Maybe even repeat it to yourself when you do Notice negative inner dialog.