The Power of Self-Talk
We have subconscious thoughts all day long; a lot of this subconscious thinking is what we call "self-talk." The question is, are we actually aware of the impact these internal conversations have on us?
Thoughts are constant. We think about what we will eat, what we will wear, and how we will represent ourselves to others. We also operate a majority of our time on auto-pilot, going to and from work, leaning on our routines, and checking off our to do lists without really taking time to be present in our own mind or aware of the energy we give out. For example, the energy you give to others can often be a reflection of the things you are telling yourself. What does that energy look like? Is there any energy at all?
I am not saying we have to always be positive, bubbly, and on our “A-game” when around other people, but what I am alluding to is this: It’s not our thoughts that determine who we are, it’s what we do with those thoughts that matter.
As Paul Tripp writes, “no one is more influential in your life than you are, because no one talks to you more than you do.” Learning how to recognize self-talk can change the way you respond to your own negative thoughts, interact with others, and allow you to live a more fulfilling life.
When you are aware of the things you tell yourself and the perception you have of yourself, it can help you become more mindful of those thoughts that are more negative than positive. This self-awareness is empowering and it’s worth spending time to figure out what makes you unique.
Here are five helpful tips in becoming more self-aware about positive and negative thoughts:
Identify positive traits about you. Write out a list that identifies your values, your character traits, and your passions. It can also be helpful to take a strengths or personality test as you learn more about who you are.
Positivity matters. Spend intentional time thinking about yourself in a positive way and the good things in your life that have happened. What action or thought have you had this past week that has been positive or helpful to someone else?
Experience something new. Make a list of new hobbies or skills you want to learn. Challenge yourself to try something new - something that may bring you a fresh perspective or give you more energy.
Get feedback. Ask someone you trust to name positive things about you, and have them write it out and send those words to you. It can be very helpful to read what other people think about you.
Your future self matters too. Focus on who you want to be known as, not who you are not. It can be helpful to identify the challenges you have overcome, and who has helped you along the way as you think about how you want others to see you both now and in the future.
Thinking through these 5 steps can bring more awareness to the way you speak to yourself and the thoughts you have about who you are. It can also provide a way for you to identify any negative messages you have been telling yourself throughout the years, and create new positive ways to respond to those messages.
The hard work comes with taking the time to understand more about yourself and to protect the space to process who you are and where you are headed. Helpful tip: Block out time in your calendar to work through these 5 steps. If this feels like a challenge to do on your own, don’t hesitate to contact us at Novo Life Counseling, and one of our mental health counselors can guide you through this process.
Leanne Konzelman, MA, LMHCA
Novo Life Counseling // @novolifecounseling
Leanne is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate and Founder of Novo Life Counseling. She is committed to developing a positive and helpful partnership with each client during the therapy process. Working with couples, teens, and adults she is passionate about helping clients find balance and live their life to the fullest. Leanne is an avid adventurer, and enjoys exploring with her husband Drew and baby girl!