One of my biggest life lessons is to have become very good at editing my self talk. Whenever I catch myself saying anything negative towards myself I automatically change the thought into a positive one. I wouldn’t tolerate any of my friends or family talking badly about themselves so why should I tolerate that for myself?
Basically, I don’t take any shit from myself anymore.
It has been a long journey but by constant practice it gets easier and easier to edit my self talk. By doing this my mind and my inner landscape has become a haven rather than the place that I used to want to run away from by all means possible
When you stop taking shit from yourself a lot of other positive things follow. The most important side effect is self respect. With self respect you begin to expect others in a really deep way to respect you and treat you well. As you start taking shit from yourself you start tolerating it from others. Second, others start to respect you without you having to say anything. Self respect has a very profound effect on others.
When you start to edit your thoughts you start valuing yourself more and you start to expect the same from others. Self respect then breeds respect from others. Even if you don’t talk about it people get the vibe from you that you’re not one to be messed with.
Ihope you are starting to get the picture of how vitally important positive self talk is. We have to live in this body and in this mind of ours and it’s up to us to make it a nice place to live in.
We have way more power over our thoughts than we usually think we do. We don’t have to listen to every stupid thought that crosses our mind. That’s actually crazy. That’s how you get yourself into some dire inner states. When we let the mind run wild it can take us to some very uninhabitable places. The mind is an amazing tool but a terrifying boss. We need to take control and direct our thoughts in a helpful direction. It is very possible, it just takes training.
For me it’s been a long process of getting better and better at this. Now it’s usually so fast that it’s automatic.
I see it as picking weeds. Picking cactus thorns from my hand. Raising a toddler…
What I do is to talk back to myself. For example if I think “I am such a failure” I talk back at myself and say “Well, I may fail sometimes but mostly I don’t. And that is good enough. I don’t have to be perfect. And what does being a failure mean anyway? Failure is an event, not a state of being.” You get the drift. It’s a process of correcting my thoughts. Any negative thought that comes your way you can treat in that same way.
The trick is to catch yourself in action. Catch yourself being mean to yourself and see it for what it is. Inner bullying. Not truth.
I also make a point of noticing any negative generalisations. Anything negative that comes after “I am always…” is always a lie. Negative generalisations towards ourselves or others are simply not true. Even the worst of us have their good moments.
When my self talk is extra bad sometimes I just say to myself — STOP! Aloud if needed. I try my best to be gentle with myself but sometimes you just have to draw a clear line. Especially when you are starting out on this journey it really feels like your mind is a naughty toddler.
Like attracts like and we can only hold one thought at a time. Negative thoughts attract more negative thoughts. Positive thoughts attract more positive thoughts. So by being vigilant and careful about what thoughts I allow in my head has really changed my life.
There are a lot of other things i do today to keep me positive and full of energy, like meditating, doing yoga and eating a healthy diet. But, that came later. My first step in becoming the happy, grateful human I am today was to start correcting and editing my inner dialogue. And you can do it too! It just takes practice and the best time to start practicing is right now.
👉Repeat after me: I don’t take shit from myself anymore!
I would love to hear your comments on this.
Lots of love, Gian Tara
👉Need help learning to do this? Let me guide you. Go here to get my free ebook on self love.