What story are you telling yourself about yourself? Have you ever consciously thought about the self-talk you are creating? The story you tell yourself becomes what you believe, how you behave, and how you communicate who you are to others.
Mike and I love Jim Gaffigan. He’s a master comedian and from what I’ve seen and heard, he’s a really funny husband/dad of 5 kids – who all live in an apartment in NYC. That’s enough material right there for several comedians I would guess.
Jim has a wonderful bit about “myself.” It involves Jim going to the gym and seeing all the mirrors around the walls. Last thing he wants to do is look at himself while working out! He channels some of the more personally obsessed gym members by saying, “I’m going to work on myself, while I look at myself, while I read about myself in Self magazine, while I listen to myself on my phone tell myself about myself.” Not exactly the bit, but you get the picture.
I certainly have this self-focus. So how can I make that work in my favor? Instead of beating MYSELF up about it, let’s just make a plan to make it a SELF-improvement project!
Taking a good look at your self-talk is a long proven practice in cognitive therapy. Use the words you tell yourself to change your story and thus change your life one little bit at a time. It’s tough to reprogram the recordings we’ve told ourselves for years or that someone else has repeated to us over time, but it can be done and the results can be dramatic!
So how do you reprogram your self-talk?
Decide who you want to be!
I’m not saying talk yourself into being the Princess of Monaco, but decide how you want to be different. What lies are keeping you from moving forward or getting you stuck in a career, relationship, or other important aspect of your world?
Make a list of new self-talk.
Look for the real truth. Do others tell you something that is completely different from what you tell yourself?
I am terrific at creating a comfortable and safe environment for friends to get together and become more acquainted. (Old self-talk) I can’t quite get it together when I have friends over, everything is always a mess.
I am making such great strides in becoming fit and more confident with the way I look and feel. (Old self-talk) I’ll never make any progress with working out, might as well stop torturing myself.
I bring a ton of value to my company. Anyone would be happy to have me on their team. (Old self-talk) I’m old and I can’t compete with these younger kids who are willing to work for practically nothing.
Start telling yourself what is better.
I’m not saying build up some grandiose ideas about yourself and how important you are, but SPEAK TRUTH. We all can find ourselves repeating old self-talk that is unproductive and not true. The result is this never-ending cycle of negative talk and lies. Break the cycle by looking for what is “better” than what you have been telling yourself.
Rinse and repeat.
This process is not an overnight, one and done, success story. You’ve got to tell yourself the truth every day, multiples times a day.
- Make some notes and stick them in prominent places so you’ll see them daily (on the fridge, on your computer, on the steering wheel, the mirror).
- Make this part of your daily routine. New habits take time and it won’t happen overnight or even in the next few weeks. You’ve got to keep telling yourself these new truths.
Start acting like you are who you’re telling yourself to be.
This is probably the most important step of all. If you’re telling yourself that you’re a runner, then join a run club and participate. What about a speaker, find opportunities to practice public speaking or join a speaker’s bureau. If you’re telling yourself that you’re good at IT, then watch some YouTube videos, take an online course, and just dive into the subject matter.
Using these 5 steps you can slowly change the way you think and act, which ultimately changes the person you are. Talk yourself into being a better person.
Do you think this is possible? YOU CAN you really talk yourself into becoming someone different. Make a comment below and let us know what you think.