Sunday, November 28, 2010

How do you change from negative self-talk to positive self-talk?

"How do you change from negative self talk to positive self talk? I try but its like im kidding myself and just saying it in my mind consciously without believing it!? (Its like I dont mean it when I say it!)"

This question appeared on a yahoo answer site — without an answer. As regular readers of intelligentwomenonly.com know, the question is  up my alley and fits right in with the current Technique of the Week plan.  No one, except perhaps very experienced and confident monitors of their own self-talk, can change from negative self talk to positive self-talk in one step;  just like you can't change from a flat tire to a functioning tire in one step. There's no on-off switch. 

First, you have to get rid of the immediate negative self-talk. 

 For example: Inner voice: "I should have just kept my mouth shut. I talked way too much. They must think I'm an idiot."

                        Action:        Change the inner voice to coincide with slow, deep breathing, saying, "Breathe in.                                                     Breathe out." 

                       Action:         Hear the calm, quiet of your inner voice. Then change to, "I can let go. I can let go of the critic."

                       Action:         Then change to realistic thinking. "Next time I can count on myself to listen more, talk less."  

As the person who asked the question above commented, "It's like I'm kidding myself." She's right. We are often kidding ourselves by substituting a fake positive inner comment for our negative self-talk. For example: " I'm sure they loved listening to me. It was fine. I communicated well." If you have a brain in your head of course you're going to say to yourself, "Hey, who am I trying to kid? I was a jerk," just escalating the inner negative monologue.

Research by JoAnne Wood, a Psychology Today blogger,  determined that attempts at using positive thinking to overcome negative thinking makes things worse, particularly if you are not a self-confident person. You feel bad about who you are, and then the positve thinking, from yourself, seems so far removed from what you truly believe that you feel even worse than before. e.g. trying to use affirmations such as "I am a happy, successful person," or "I am a lovable person."

The Technique of the Week reminds us that it takes 3 or more steps to move from negative to realistic self-talk. Many more to move from negative to positive self-talk because first the volume on the negative self-talk needs to be turned down! 





How do you change from negative self-talk to positive self-talk?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

No comments:

Post a Comment

Tell me what you think!