Watch your Language
I'm fascinated with the concept of conscious language. I define conscious language as the way we use language in our day-to-day life, whether we are speaking with others, or talking to ourselves.
How many times do you catch yourself saying something that if you knew it were to be true, you would regret it. You know, something like "I have a hard time getting up in the morning". Or " I'll never be as smart as (fill in the blank).
I think I have a pretty keen ear for negative self-talk, and I've worked to reduce the negative voice in my head. Sometime words and comments just sneak out of my head, and I think WOW, THAT IS NOT TRUE.
In my coaching business, I coach people to add the phrase "up until now" at the beginning of a comment that they want to change. Let's use the above example. When we say: “I have a hard time getting up in the morning”, we are telling ourselves that this is a truth. But what if we want to be an early bird? Constantly having that repeating message in our brain sure doesn’t do anything to help us wake up at the crack of dawn.
So what about this…what if we rephrased this to say– “Up until now, I’ve had a hard time getting up in the morning”. Now, our brain is thinking, well, that was the past, and NOW, I know I’m going to think that I CAN get up early. We’re also telling the Universe that this is no longer a pattern we want to repeat. Is this an easy habit? Not necessarily, but it is worth the effort, when you think about the consequences of negative self-talk.
This negative self-talk can lead to poor self-image and even depression. Our mind doesn’t know the difference between truth and the lies we can tell ourselves.
Mike Dooley, of “Notes from the Universe” fame is quoted as saying “Thoughts become things, be careful what you think.”
What are some of the stories that you tell yourself? I was in a book group a few years ago, and one of the members talked about MTU. I looked around, to see if everyone else recognized that acronym except me. Nope, none of us knew that MTU stood for “Making Things Up”. HA! I loved it. I started wondering, how many times do I MTU?
3 activities to stop the negative self-talk
1. Keep a gratitude journal.
I know, you’ve heard this a gazillion times. But have you started one? Find a routine that works for you. You can purchase beautiful journals and notebooks, or use a 3x5 note card. Your brain doesn’t care how or where you write, just write. The monaplanner© has a place at the bottom of each page to write what you are grateful for on a daily basis. It’s fun to go back and read through my monaplanners© to see what I was grateful for weeks or even months ago!
2. Listen for the negative thoughts in your head.
You know, the thoughts of “I’m not experienced enough”, “No one thinks I can do it”, “I’ll never find a better job”. Ask yourself, “Is this really true?” Chances are good that you’re telling yourself lies. When you catch yourself, add “up until now” at the beginning of your statement, and make that a habit.
3. Practice mindfulness techniques.
I love the app called Insight Timer, which has some wonderful guided meditations, which are free. (There is a paid version, but the free one is great!). You can search for meditations by category (relaxation, motivation, creativity, stress relief and more) and by length of time. This can be a great way to reset your brain! Even spending 10 minutes in silence can help.
No matter where your negative self-talk originates, it’s time to put steps into action to reduce this deceitful chatter. Be aware if your language is contributing to limiting beliefs, and if so, make a conscious decision about how you can switch your thinking and language to be supportive and loving.
Pick one of the 3 (or all 3, for you overachievers!) and start taking steps today to be more aware of your language.