They say that the way you speak to your children becomes their inner voice. But what if your own inner voice is total cow? Many of us are guilty of berating ourselves when we’re down, or have failed in some way. But the fact that it’s common doesn’t make it healthy. Nor is it any good at helping you be a better person.
But how do you change something so entrenched in who you are?
Your two minds
Buddhists say you have two minds: one that thinks and one that observes. If you’ve ever meditated, you’re probably familiar with the struggle of quietening the jabber in your head. That jabber is your thinking mind. The one who tries to quieten your thoughts is your observing mind. And it’s through understanding this partnership that you’re best able to improve your inner self-talk.
Talking to yourself
The negative talker in your head is often your thinking mind, while your observing mind can be more open to objectivity. Train your observing mind to see your thinking mind as another person who needs love and guidance just as your child/ren would. Then use this perception to look at the positive in every situation.
For instance: don’t say ‘I don’t want chaos in my life’ – say ‘I want order’. Stop yourself from saying ‘I’m so stupid, I won’t amount to anything’ – say, ‘I’m growing, and stumbling along the way is a part of how I learn. I am becoming a better person every day.’ Cut yourself some slack and be grateful for the good in your life. After all – you attract what you put out.
Positive, not false
If the realist in you is squirming at the thought of ‘positive thinking’, remember that looking at the positive side of the coin isn’t deception or wearing rose-tinted glasses. In fact, expecting yourself not to make mistakes is deceptive.
According to Gregory L. Jantz, Ph.D., founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources in the US, ‘Positive self-talk is about recognising the truth in situations and in yourself. To expect perfection in yourself or anyone else is unrealistic. To expect no difficulties in life, whether through your actions or circumstances, is also unrealistic. ‘
Being honest with yourself is important, but only if you’re balanced and kind. You listen to yourself more than anyone else in the world – make sure you’re a good mentor.