Truth bomb: Your inner voice is not your friend
It tells you stories that are often not even true AND gets in the way of YOU showing up as your best self. Can I hear an amen?
Your Inner Dialogue (also known as your inner voice, your inner critic or sometimes also called self-talk) is the ongoing conversation you have with yourself throughout the day. We all have that inner critical voice and for some of us, it’s wreaking major havoc on our overall well being.
I’ve given mine a name: Bertha
Before I understood the major influence emotions had on the stories Bertha was telling me, she often steered me wrong! You see, emotions shape our perspectives, influence our interactions, and affect our responses to the world around us.
Here are some tips on how to keep Bertha in her lane:
1) AWARENESS IS KEY
Pause and pay attention to your inner dialogue. Differentiate between FACT and STORY. Why? Because the stories we tell ourselves around the facts, are often not based on truth and affect how we feel. And how we feel affects how we behave! If we want to show up as our best self, paying attention to the stories we tell ourselves is the beginning of change.
2) CHALLENGE YOUR SELF-TALK
When the narrative of your inner voice is negative, these 4 questions will help you get to the heart of the matter (from The Work by Byron Katie):
Q1. Is the story you’re telling yourself true?
Q2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
Q3. How do you react, or what happens, when you believe that story?
Q4. Who would you be without that story?
This will help stay rooted in facts and keep your emotions more neutral, which in turn will help you stay calm and curious instead of triggered and judgemental.
3) PRACTICE SELF-COMPASSION
Bertha is really good at being critical, negative, and berating me! I would never talk to a friend the way my inner voice talks to me. It’s important to treat yourself with the same kindness and compassion that you would a friend. Be gentle and supportive with yourself, even when you make mistakes or face challenges. This will shift your emotional landscape and help you stay grounded in who you want to be.
4) PRACTICE POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS
Affirmations can help our RAS (Reticular Activating System) by giving it a specific target to focus on. The RAS is a part of the brain that filters through the massive amounts of information that come into our minds each day, sorting out what's important and what's not. Essentially, the RAS makes it so that what you focus on grows.
Affirmations help us be more intentional about what we choose to grow. This is why repeating affirmations such as "I am capable and strong" or "I am worthy of love and happiness" creates a sort of mental filter for your RAS that helps you reprogram your thinking patterns and beliefs, ultimately leading to a more positive and fulfilling life.
5) REFRAME YOUR INNER DIALOGUE
You can reframe by separating facts from stories and focusing on things you can control and are grateful for. By staying rooted in reality and focusing on positive action, you can transform your inner dialogue and achieve greater emotional balance. For instance, instead of saying "I can't do this," reframe it as, "This is challenging, but I am committed to giving it my best effort." Working at staying grounded in truth (facts) is a game changer! It also helps your RAS do its job in a way that serves you better.
6) CONNECT WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
If you are struggling with negative self-talk and need to link arms with someone, reach out to your community - a family member, trusted friend, coach, or therapist. We are better and stronger together! They can help you identify patterns in your thinking and offer strategies to help you shift your inner dialogue towards a more positive and supportive one.
I’m here for you!
Learning to tame your inner dialogue will have a big impact on your overall well-being. Do you want to learn more about how you can improve in this area? I invite you to schedule a discovery call with me. It’s FREE and you’ll come away with some actionable strategies to overcome your own pesky Bertha!
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Until next time!
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