Meaningful Conversations: 6 Effective Tips to Improve Your Self-Talk

Carly BensonPractice

Be careful how you talk to yourself because you are listening

Our internal voice is NON-stop.  All day long we are talking to ourselves, thinking thoughts which subconsciously influence our actions.

Sadly, we all have a high tendency to be hardest on ourselves out of anyone in our lives.  This commentary we have with ourselves can drastically impact our interactions.

Self-talk is one of the most crucial components of our well-being and can become the most devastating conversation we have if we are not careful. We easily allow doubt to seep into our minds and mix with thoughts of not being good enough.

For me, my internal conversation reached a point in my addiction that left me utterly depressed and anxious. I was so disappointed at how I was living my life that it began to physically affect me. I began having severe anxiety coupled with panic attacks. It was then that I realized how critical I was of myself and that I needed to change how I felt.

Here are 6 effective tips to improve your self-talk and in turn improve your life:

1) Identify when you’re speaking poorly to yourself

I had to get to a place where I could practice self-love when I caught myself in the type of thinking pattern where I was not being kind to myself. Being able to identify when you are speaking poorly to yourself is the first step towards correcting the habit and developing a practice of self-love. Try to be more aware of your internal conversation.  Pay attention to what you are saying in that head of yours.

2) If you want to change how you feel, you must change your how you talk to yourself.

When you find yourself thinking negatively, replace the thoughts with something positive instead.  This is the perfect antidote for unhealthy inner conversations we catch ourselves having.

For example, we do this with our body image all the time. “I’m fat and I need to lose weight.” Change that to “I’m healthy and beautiful. I love my body and I will take care of it by eating better and exercising more often.” Can you see how the second voice is more caring, accepting and much more effective?

3) You DO deserve to be happy

From there, we must constantly remind ourself that we are human, we are going to make mistakes, but we DO deserve to live a happy and healthy life. Mistakes are part of the learning process. Just because we screw up, doesn’t mean we are not good people. It means we are actually out there doing something!

Not only that but we are more than good enough. We are perfect in the eyes of our creator. We were born to love and be loved. YOU were born to be important to someone. Think about that.

4) Change your story!

We tell ourselves the same story in our heads over and over again.  After time, it can really bring us down to a low level if we’re not careful of how that story is crafted as well as the validity of it. If you continue to tell yourself you are not good enough for the life you really want to be living, it’s going to be hard to live there. Isn’t’ it?

I kept telling myself I didn’t have a problem. I was not an addict. I was not like “them.” I didn’t need help. I was a loser, who could not go out without my vice. I didn’t’ deserve a better life. After time, every fiber in me knew I was lying to myself. Once I changed my story, my life change.

I did have a problem. I was an addict.. I was just like them. I did need help. I could make a radical change, get healthy and live a life far better than anything I could imagine. And in the blink of an eye after I told myself this new story, I found myself on my hands and knees begging for help and forgiveness. It was then, and only then, that a dramatic shift occurred. The story changed.

5) Practice strengthening your core thoughts

Next, we must learn the importance of being able to exercise our inner dialogue just as we would our muscles. We have to strengthen ourselves by what we think about ourselves.

Practice, with repetition, telling yourself you are fully capable of being the best version of yourself by bringing happiness, love and self-confidence into your core thoughts. You are responsible for making sure your core thought system is positive, enduring and stable.

6) Build tools to move through your emotions

Another key element to living a more happy life and being successful with life change of any kind is our ability to weather storms by weathering the thoughts and emotions that we assign to them. Even the storms we create in our heads.  This ability is born from the practice of strengthening our central thoughts and learning how to move through our emotions. We have to learn how to be sad, but then also how to bounce back from that emotion.

We always need to stay in a habit of recognizing our thoughts and how we speak to ourself. We need to arm ourselves with the tools needed throughout life, when it gets tough, to pick ourselves up off the ground. There are going to be times of sadness and difficulty. That’s a part of life. What is imperative for us to learn is not to get stuck there because of the story we allow ourselves to put on repeat.

These 6 tips for improving self-talk are steps that worked for me. I know they are effective because I’ve incorporated them into my life and practice them daily.

We don’t gain our strength from lifting weights, but rather we gain strength from lifting ourselves back up. Let’s not forget, we don’t do it alone. When we get knocked down, we are in the perfect position to pray. And He always answers with a mighty, uplifting force.