The way you talk to yourself – your self-talk affects every area of your life. If you want to be;
- Unstuck in life
- Happier in life
- Have more peaceful relationships
- Not be angry all the time
- Live with healthier emotions
There is a proven way to get changes for the better and that is to change the way you talk to yourself – to change your self-talk.
We will walk through how;
- Your beliefs determine your thoughts
- Your thoughts set up your emotions
- And finally how all this plays out in your behavior, words and attitudes
The three steps to becoming the happy person you were meant to be are:
- Locate your misbeliefs
- Remove your misbeliefs
- Replace the misbeliefs with the truth
Read along with me to a new way to think and thus a new way to live.
A life of;
- Happiness awaits you
BELIEFS AND YOUR SELF TALK
As we grow up we develop beliefs about everything. Most of us will believe these for the rest of our lives. In fact these beliefs are often so deep and strong in us that we aren’t consciously aware of them.
We develop them through our experiences with;
- Our parents
- Peers and
- The world around us.
We all have developed basic life beliefs about:
- Who we are
- Whom we can trust (or not)
- What is good or bad
- What we are worth
- What our purpose in life is
- What God is like
Our beliefs combine to make a belief system. Our belief system becomes our lens that we view everything in life through. Like your sunglasses color the world around you, your beliefs “color” your view of the world. This lens determines how we handle new information – do we accept it or reject it? It controls how we respond to life. We live out what we believe to be true about ourselves.
Our beliefs affect our choices. Our perception of reality is based on the beliefs we hold. What we believe directly affects the quality of our lives. Unfortunately as young children and even adults our perception of life was/is distorted thus many of our beliefs aren’t based on reality. This distortion is what can cause negative ripple effects in our lives forever… until we change it.
Our beliefs aren’t based on the specific events that happen to us; rather it is the way they made us feel, that we drew our conclusions about the world.
What we believe is revealed by how we live and not by what we know.
You must master a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.
The thoughts we have daily, second by second are based on what our belief system is. Because at least part of our belief system is based on distorted perceptions of the world, our thoughts will also be distorted and based on lies.
We are either telling ourselves the TRUTH or a LIE. If you are telling yourself lies you will believe lies.
If you tell yourself “I can’t do anything right;” you’ll believe it and when you believe something you’ll act like you believe it. Thus you will find yourself making lots of mistakes and just not getting anything right.
Emotions/Feelings are a result of your self-talk
Our feelings/emotions are caused by what we tell ourselves about our circumstances. Misbeliefs/lies are a direct cause of emotional turmoil.
What we cultivate in our minds becomes a part of how we live.
Actions are a result of your self-talk
Emotions are the “jumping off spot” for our behavior, words and attitudes.
Our belief system, thoughts and emotions are the cause of maladaptive and destructive behavior.
A distorted belief system explains why a person will persist in engaging in destructive actions even when they are fully aware that it is harmful – overeating, smoking, lying, staying in a bad relationship, etc.
These distorted beliefs appear true to the person repeating them to himself. You’ll believe what you tell yourself.
A lie believed as truth will affect
your life as if it were true even though it is a lie.
Your self-talk are all the words you say to yourself all of the time. Self-talk is what we listen to in order to connect to our misbeliefs.
Other people circumstances, events and material things are not what make you happy or unhappy.
What you think and believe determines how you feel and what you do.
The less clearly we see the reality of the world
the more our minds are befuddled by falsehood, misperceptions and illusions
the less able we will be to determine correct courses of action and make wise decisions.
DO YOU REALLY WANT TO BE HAPPY? CHANGE YOUR SELF-TALK
It takes work to be happy. You may think – I can’t change the way I believe, other people can but I can’t. There are many things you may never be able to do – skydive or be an astronaut, but you can change your misbeliefs.
You don’t need to uncover childhood experiences in order to change. Remember it isn’t the circumstances, but what you think about the instance that matters.
CHANGE – COMBAT – CHALLENGE YOUR NEGATIVE BELIEFS
OR HOW TO CHANGE YOUR SELF-TALK
Correcting your misbeliefs is a Three-step process
- Locating the lies
- Removing the lies in your life
- Taking the leap toward mental and emotional health by filling those “lie–sized” holes with truth.
1. LOCATING THE MISBELIEFS
So how do you know what lies or misbeliefs you have? Here is a short list of common lies people say to themselves or beliefs that have about life.
- I must be perfect.
- I must have everyone’s love and approval.
- It’s always someone else’s fault.
- If things don’t go my way I can’t be happy.
- It is just easier to ignore problems than to deal with them.
- I can have it all.
- I am only as good as what I do.
- Life should be easy.
- Life should be fair.
- There is no reason to wait for what I want.
- You make a mountain out of a molehill.
- You take everything personally.
- You see everything as black or white.
- You can’t see the forest for the trees.
- You believe history always repeat itself.
I have a more extensive self-talk assessment you can download here.
Some of the statements sounded familiar, now what?
REMOVE THE FALSE BELIEFS
Ways to combat false thinking and it is a BATTLE. You are fighting to create a life of freedom from the bondage of misbeliefs.
1. Reflect on the thoughts that are getting you upset.
You are in a situation where you hear one of those statements. Pause for a moment and evaluate it.
Now is the time to reflect (while you are waiting for your turn)
- I can be happy even when things don’t go my way.
- Or people are people and they are often going to do things not the best way.
- Me getting upset about it isn’t going to change the situation but it is messing with my peace.
- She isn’t causing my anger, I am with the thoughts I am having.
- Waiting another 5 minutes isn’t the end of the world.
Can you see that talking back to your negative self-talk over time can end the emotional turmoil that frustrating situations can bring?
- Opposite thinking
If you have identified some of your common negative self- talk
- Write them down and
- Next to them write out the opposite thought.
Often the lies you believe are the exact opposite of the truth! By forcing yourself to consider the opposite of your lie you can quite simply bring yourself closer to seeing the reality of the situation.
In most circumstances the opposite idea is closer to the truth. For example- you think that someone harmed you in some way and you don’t think that you can forgive them. Well, even though they might have harmed you can still forgive the person. At least considering the opposite will help you put the event in proper perspective. This will give you the opportunity to choose how you are going to react – giving you control over your life.
- “Stop” thinking
For those of you who have trouble with obsessive thinking and no matter how much we talk back to the lies your mind is flooded with them here are some ideas.
- Focus on the idea that is causing the anxiety or anger.
- Then after 15-30 seconds, shout “STOP” or make some loud noise. This interrupts your thoughts and the emotions associated with them.
- After doing this for a number of times you will want to tone down your shouting or sound.
This won’t change your beliefs but it will bring some emotional relief from the turmoil your misbeliefs are bringing.
Think of your negative self-talk as your native language and the truth as a foreign language. As with practice and effort you can learn a foreign language, you can also learn the speak truth fluently.
These last 2 steps go hand in hand as you remove, you replace.
REPLACING THE FALSE BELIEFS WITH TRUTH
- I must be perfect. VS. To err is human.
- I must have everyone’s love and approval. VS. I can’t please all the people all the time.
- It is just easier to ignore problems than to deal with them. VS. Problems usually worsen when not tended to.
- If things don’t go my way I can’t be happy. VS. It isn’t what is happening to me, but the way I am thinking about it that is making me miserable.
- It’s always someone else’s fault. VS. How I feel is always caused by what I am thinking. Since no one can force me to think anything, I am responsible for my feelings. My unhappiness or happiness is my “fault”.
- I can have it all. VS. No one really has it all. Everyone has something they feel like they lack.
- I am only as good as what I do. VS. My worth is tied to you. I am not what I do.
- Life should be easy. VS. Life is hard. There is a great deal of frustration and hardship built into it.
- Life should be fair. VS. Sometimes life is fair and other times unfair. This is often depends on what side of the issue I am on.
- There is no reason to wait for what I want. VS. It is often healthier to delay gratification rather than to seek immediate gratification.
- You make mountains out of molehills. (magnification) VS. Mountains are not molehills. A ten dollar problem is a ten dollar problem, not a hundred dollar problem.
- You take everything personally. (personalization) VS. We aren’t the cause or the target of everything that happens to us. Many life events are more about the person who did it to us than us.
- You see everything as black or white. (polarization) VS. Some issues in life are either black or white; most have some gray areas in them.
- You can’t see the forest for the trees. (selective abstraction) VS. Often we do need to focus on a particular “tree” in life at the same time we always need to keep the whole “forest” in sight. The whole picture helps keep the lone tree in context.
- You believe history always repeat itself. (over generalization) VS. Whatever happens to us in this moment is not necessarily what will happen again in the future. History doesn’t have to predict the future.
Everything will work out, Things will get better
You are important, You are worthy of great things
You are lovable. The time is now.
This too shall pass. You can be who you really are.
The best is yet to come. You are strong.
You can do this.
WE BELIEVE WHAT WE TELL OURSELVES.
You can do it. You can be the happy person you were meant to be!
To have a happier life you need a happier truth filled mind.
Take time to uncover your misbeliefs by really listening to your thoughts.
Talk back to them with the truth!
Change your self-talk!
You can do it!
You can be a better and happier you.
This is one part of a 6 part series on Getting Unstuck in Life.
To read more see the following –