Whether we realise it or not, our subconscious brain is listening to every single thing we say to ourselves and believes all of it to be true… Gulp. Yes, that’s right. That’s a little bit scary and why it’s so important to consciously listen to your self-talk.
Learning to listen to your self-talk is revealing
My husband and I had some couples’ counselling early in our relationship with a gem of a woman in her 70s – she was fabulous. She often commented that she worked on herself on a daily basis and would keep working on herself until she died.
I think she was highlighting that we’re all human and we all can learn more.
However, the language struck me.
If you tell yourself that you need to work on yourself, how does that feel?
I don’t know about you, but if I tell myself that I have to keep working on myself, it feels heavy and, well, like ‘work’ and not much fun to me.
Now imagine you tell yourself that you are constantly growing and evolving and revealing more of your inner truth, confidence and beauty. How does that feel?
I feel a lightness, a wonder, expansion and some excitement as well.
Often, we’re not even aware of the language we use because it was programmed into us at a young age. Sadly, it can have an insidious and snowballing effect.
The way that we choose to talk to ourselves can either solidify limiting beliefs and emotional reactions that keep us stuck, or it can help us to develop a healthier self-image and empower us to change.
So, right now, I want you to ask yourself:
- What do I say to myself when I’m stressed, anxious or panicked?
- Do I judge myself or compare myself to others?
- Am I critical and unkind?
Another reason why it’s important to listen to your self-talk
Your self-talk will give you clues to the beliefs you have about yourself. Importantly, the things that you say to yourself in fear correspond to limiting beliefs you hold about yourself.
Again, connect to the things you say to yourself when you’re anxious or panicked… What beliefs do those comments reveal if you delve a little deeper?
- I’m not good enough
- I need to be perfect or a ‘good girl’ to be loved
- It’s not okay to be me
- I have to fit in to belong
- It’s not okay to show weakness or vulnerability
- I’m a cr*p mother
The power of mirror work to develop healthy self-talk
One of best ways to help you develop healthier self-talk is what Louise Hay called ‘mirror work’ – learning to love the person you see in the mirror. So I invite you to try this for 30 days.
Stand in front of the mirror, maybe after brushing your teeth in the morning and night, and repeat statements like:
- I love and accept myself, even when I feel anxious.
- I love and accept myself, even when I limit myself due to fear of a panic attack
- I love and accept myself, even when I go red when I speak in front of people
- I love and accept myself, even when I feel heaviness in my chest most of the day
- I love and accept myself, even when I second guess myself, all the time
- I love and accept myself, even when I worry about what other people will think of me
- I love and accept myself, even when it’s a struggle to keep it all together
- I love and accept myself, even when I don’t feel like a calm and confident Mum
- I love and accept myself, even when I … (dot, dot, dot)
You get the idea. Just fill in whatever comes to your mind.
Spend a few minutes morning and night for 30 days, loving yourself up!
I guarantee that you will start to feel differently about yourself and what it means to be human. Please cut yourself some slack – the same way you would your best friend.
Quick tip – Piggy back off established habits
By the way, the reason I suggest morning and night when you brush your teeth is because you already have that habit established and so it makes it easier to add a little bit more to that.
This is true of developing any new habits. If you can piggy back off another healthy habit – a healthy habit – that you’ve already developed, it will make it easier for you to commit and to succeed with the new habit.