The person we speak to and listen to the most is ourselves, as we all have a near constant narrative going on in our minds. Because of this, the relationship we have with ourselves is the most important one there is, especially as we are the only person we are guaranteed to be with 24-7, for our entire life.
If we also take into account that the mind registers little difference, if any, between physical, mental or emotional pain or reward, no matter where it comes from, ie. from the outside from other people, or from our own internal narrative. The way in which we talk and refer to ourselves is of paramount importance, especially as our words are also a window to our beliefs of not only how we view others and the world, but also how we see and treat ourselves.
This is a very simplified understanding of how we work, but explains a little about why the words we use are so important to us. If you find yourself berating your own efforts or putting yourself down, do you think it might be time for an upgrade of your words?
The first step in this process is to listen to the words you say to yourself, in the most impartial way you can. You can do this by imagining it is a conversation between a stranger and the person you most care for and love in this world. In this scenario, you are the stranger talking to your loved one but doing so in the same way you generally talk to yourself in moments of frustration. Then it is about being honest with yourself and deciding if you are happy with the way your most cared for and loved person in the world is being spoken to. For instance, can you hear a narrative of an abusive person being spoken by the ‘stranger’ or is the ‘stranger’ being supportive, caring and respectful.
Another way we help our clients with understanding which words are more appropriate, is to be aware of how they feel when they say them. This may sound a little odd at first as we are not ordinarily taught to feel the words we speak but once you understand this concept, you will appreciate the value of its meaning. So, to explain further; one of the phrases we generally highlight with our clients is their use of “have to” as it can more often feel very different to saying “want to”. This is because to say “have to” do something has a feeling more like a chore whereas “want to” has a feeling of choice and deliberate action about it.
There are many reasons you talk to yourself in the way that you do and these have been primarily formed over your formative years. As you begin the process of listening to your own self-talk, you may begin to hear that you echo the ways in which those around you speak and or spoke to you. These are all subjects worthy of their own discussions and for those of you who follow our blogs, you can look forward to investigating topics such as this but for the purpose of this blog, the lesson we are hoping you take is this; if you wouldn’t say something to your loved ones in fear of upsetting or offending them, why say it to yourself? Show yourself the respect you deserve, speak kindly to yourself and in doing this, learn to feel the difference between the words that put you down and the worlds that pick you up. Your words are powerful and if used in the right way will have a wonderfully positive effect on how you view yourself and subsequently how you feel.