What do you say-when you talk to yourself
Most people don’t realize it, but as we go about our daily lives we are constantly thinking about and interpreting the situations we find ourselves in. It’s as though we have an internal voice inside our head that determines how we perceive every situation. This is defined as an inner voice ‘self-talk‘, and it includes our conscious thoughts as well as our unconscious assumptions or beliefs.
This may come across as weird as most people associate talking to oneself with some sort of personality disorder, however when under pressure we do talk to ourselves and unfortunately sometimes it’s negative and self-defeating, and when working in an fast paced environment its easy to become stressed out and begin to think negatively of people, possible outcomes, and even ourselves.
Examples of negative self-talk
- “I’m going to fail for sure”
- “I didn’t play well”
- “I’m not going to meet my sales goal”
- “I’m not going to get this report out on time”
But according to psychologist Ben Martin, we can challenge our self defeating/negative self-talk by challenging the irrational parts and replacing them with more reasonable thoughts. Here are a few ways to challenge some of our negative thoughts by asking questions.
- What is my evidence for and against my thinking?
- Are my thoughts factual, or are they just my interpretations?
- Am I jumping to negative conclusions?
- How can I find out if my thoughts are actually true?
Look for alternative explanations
- Are there any other ways that I could look at this situation?
- What else could this mean?
- If I were being positive, how would I perceive this situation?
Putting it in perspective
- Is this situation as bad as I am making out to be?
- What is the worst thing that could happen? How likely is it?
- What is the best thing that could happen?
- What is most likely to happen?
- Is there anything good about this situation?
- Will this matter in five years time?
Use goal-directed thinking
- Is thinking this way helping me to feel good or to achieve my goals?
- What can I do that will help me solve the problem?
- Is there something I can learn from this situation, to help me do it better next time?
So remember when you hear those little gremlins talking- simply challenging yourself with these questions every time you catch yourself thinking something negative to yourself.