Self-talk I do and why?
In adult life, contemplation is hard. The monsters which have harbored in our hearts and souls start eating into our lives; lives which otherwise can be full of random happiness, bold choices and big thinking. In short, these monsters or mental blocks affect your ‘attitude.’ Every human being is unique and can lead the life they are born to lead. We must befriend the beasts which are holding us back, and introspect the cause of each.
There is a need for self-talk to break the cycle of constant negative monologue our minds. This monologues matters! So, below is my daily self-talk. These help me act according to my values, break the negative chatter in my mind and look at life with a bigger picture and a different angle. Hopefully, they inspire you to befriend your inner demons and achieve what you are born to make or do.
- I play- I tell this to myself to introspect if I am enjoying and having fun. This question is not specific to life or work. Enjoying life and enjoying what you do to earn is the only thing which matters! When you are enjoying life and having fun, you know the true meaning of love and being 100% present in the small happy moments which make up living.
- I belong here — Fear of being a fraud lurks in everyone’s conscious. It stops us from enjoying our wins and stops us being vulnerable. By saying this to myself every day I make myself aware which makes me take part in other people’s triumphant moments and be part of a larger team. Being always aware that I belong here, fear or self-doubt do not make my feelings or behavior, and my decisions values-driven. Suddenly, decisions or actions which other folks may see as risks do not seem risks. They feel, and they are authentic you!
- I am fearless— I say this to myself to be aware that every moment I live, I lead teams or I interact with people (family and work) different fears creep in my conscious which shapes my actions and behavior. These micro-decisions develop the values of my family, my relationships and the teams I lead. Below are some fears I try to stay aware of and once I am aware I talk myself out of during my self-talk.
- Fear of being liked,
- Fear of being replaced,
- Fear of failure,
- Fear of not being enough,
- Fear of scarcity,
- Fear of being let down,
- Fear of the unknown,
- Fear of past experiences which have resulted in shame,
- Fear of un-owned shame stories or
- Fear of loss
- Fear of not getting recognition or not getting credit for hard work.
I try staying patient and contemplative rather than making hasty decisions because of my fears.
- I am enough- This is self-talk to be aware that you are vulnerable and full of defects. Being aware of my vulnerabilities allows me to understand that there is happiness in the struggles, achieving excellence is a system and not a goal. This understanding helps me to stay grounded and believe that whatever the challenge be or whatever I have going or not going for myself I am ‘enough’ to struggle with them, talk about them and facing them by being 100% authentic me. It will create happiness and confidence which help you become who you are and not someone else. However imperfect it’s much more satisfying to become who you are then to become someone else.
- I am worthy of love- This and being enough are connected. By saying that I am enough and I am worthy of love I embrace my story, my weaknesses and believe that owning these vulnerabilities and talking about these stories with trusted people in my life will help me succeed in my aspiration, enjoy all moments and stay happy. Also, believing that I am worthy of love also allows me to love others unconditionally.
- I lead a whole hearted life- Again connected to the above two; this self-talk allows me to be proud of who I am and believe that happiness is owning my story and struggling through them to achieve our aspirations. Joy is meeting my ambitions and also is being aware of my vulnerabilities, facing them every day and owning my story. By saying this to me every day, I remind myself that even though I could not complete everything I had in mind every day I am worthy of living, loving and experiencing joy.
- I make progress everyday — I believe small steps lead to giant changes and discoveries. Systems are better than goals. I think that no significant accomplishment comes from luck or by shortcuts. Substantial achievements or impact happens when you take a massive challenge and work towards a larger goal relentlessly in iterative or agile fashion every day. Trying to solve nebulous problems as a whole is a myth. The only way to make an enormous impact is to break down the challenge in small parts and believing that fact that “One always overestimates what he/she can achieve in the short term and underestimates what he/she can achieve in the long term — Bill Gates.”
- In stress, I stay calm and breath- I tell this to myself for two main reasons. Firstly I want to be in control of our minds which does a phenomenal job in giving us a negative chatter on the situation. Lastly, I want to ensure that regardless of the position I understand that I don’t want to get into a flight or fight mindset which means I am burnt out. By saying this to myself, I try to remind myself that there is a bigger picture. This situation is not as bad as my mind is telling me.
- I love the pain of the grind — Romans did not build Rome in a day. Behind success, there are enormous amounts of effort and sweat. Everyone who has achieved the pinnacle in their area of expertise loved the daily grind to reach there as much as or more than the summit itself. If we think about sports for a second, from winning a super bowl to getting an Olympic medal or winning the world cup, every athlete always comes back and says that they didn’t win in the final. They won it every day in practice when they completed every practice even though no one was looking. Winning happened when we pushed ourselves to that last drill though everything seemed right! This same philosophy is valid for life. Kissing your wife goodbye, hugging her every day, following all process at work even there is nothing wrong helps us prepare not only to win but also to leverage the situation 100% when we get lucky.
- I do this because it’s my ‘dharma’ not for anything in return — Bhagwat Geeta has a quote “You have the right only on Action, Not on the fruits of your work Never own responsibility to the result, Must never lose interest in work.” My values and my ability to have fun in what I am doing drive my actions. This self-talk helps me remember that external people or results or achievements don’t push my daily efforts. Whats more it tells people around you that you are not here for the rewards, you are here for the journey for the companionship with them which will take the company and the team forward
- I work hard- All systems are a way living, and any substantial achievement requires long-term thinking and hard work. Without the grind, without the sweat and the hours you will not get lucky, you will not get opportunities to win, and you will not achieve anything. Quick wins or earnings without hard work are a myth, and neither do they stay that way nor will they give the happy and satisfying emotions of the journey and destination. I have also experienced better health and sleep when I work hard and have fun doing it.
To summarize, look yourself in the mirror and tell yourselves these principles. Life is full of opportunities, and if you can conquer the inner demons which are holding you back or influencing your decisions, you can have fun with the randomness of life, changes in life and solving complex challenges which thrown at you every day. It is when you face those inner demons and befriends them; it is then you will think big, attempt adventures and become yourself.
P.S. I am also a big fan of the four agreements as well. Thinking about these agreements (Be Impeccable with your Word, Don’t Take Anything Personally, Don’t Make Assumptions, Always Do Your Best) everyday helps me stay true to my values.