Do you ever talk to yourself? It’s not out loud but the voice in your head that never seems to want to shut up. Occasionally, it is accurately a voice of warning. It could be a voice of encouragement. But more often than not, it’s a critical voice that causes anxiety and worry. It may even stop you from taking important actions. I call this negative self-talk, “stinking thinking”!
Once you are aware that your thinking is “running you”, then you can do something about it. Consider these questions:
- What thoughts have you had so far today that are “unproductive”?
- What are you telling yourself?
- What are the warning signs of “stinking thinking”?
- When does it occur most frequently?
Now consider how you can shift your thoughts and see if you can reduce the worry and anxiety that your “unproductive” thoughts cause. What can you say or do to “displace” unproductive self-talk? I learned one technique from a seminar taught by the author and speaker Jack Canfield, many years before his popular “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books were launched. He suggested every time you tell yourself something scary and it grabs you, counter it by saying “Cancel, Cancel.” I also like the mantra of saying, “I am safe” and “I can handle whatever comes my way.”
Managing your self-talk can have a profound effect on your attitude, communication and behavior. Here are some other links to more information about managing your self-talk.