April 6, 2015

Top Method--Positive Self-Talk

Each of us are faced with choices almost continually, although we may not realize it. These decisions inevitably lead us to either minor, or major, victories and defeats. Often, the difference between success and failure is the refusal to accept setbacks. This can relate to either outer negativity or pessimistic self-talk.

Would prominent people such as J. K Rowling, Helen Keller, and Florence Nightingale have left such a legacy for us all if they had allowed themselves to remain in the darkness? We could certainly forgive them for thinking “I am too financially insecure and abused” , or “I have too many physical limitations”, or “ Ladies of good breeding don’t get involved in the marginalized, lower-class position of nursing.”

I catch myself in negative self-talk almost constantly, especially lately. There’s a long list of reasons for this. My thought process was so dark that I finally decided to turn my thought process around. I’ll mention the main method I’m using for this later in the post. First, I’d like to examine what some experts say…

 What is Self-Talk?

A staff article at mayoclinic.org defines it as an endless stream of unspoken thoughts. It can flow from two different places:
  • Logic and reason (positive thoughts) 
  • Misconceptions created from a lack of information (negative thoughts)
Pessimistic feelings resulting from fallacies can be divided into four categories:

Filtering—Keeping out the positive reminiscences.

Personalizing—Believing everything is your fault, or your responsibility.

Catastrophizing—Imagining only the worst-case scenario.

Polarizing—Taking an “all or nothing” attitude. (Ignoring the middle ground.)

How do we use Positive Self-Talk?

*An article by Dharmendra Dubey on positivetrail.com states that we can succeed in life if we have an optimistic attitude. One way to accomplish this is to label problems as temporary setbacks.

The author suggests using positive self-affirmations:
  • “I love life.” 
  • “I know I can do this.” 
  • “I like myself.” 
  • “I will not falter; I am strong and confident.” 
  • “I am full of health, energy, and vitality.”
*Here is a practical method I use: I write down constructive thoughts about myself on paper as I speak them aloud softly. (Of course, I make sure nobody is paying attention to me.) The effect of writing and speaking at the same time is tremendous. In this manner, three of our senses are engaged: hearing, sight, and touch. Also, it covers a few methods of learning. This is important because people have preferred methods of taking in information.

My Conclusion

Literally, our thoughts can make us or break us. I’ve often heard it said we believe our opinion about ourselves more than others’ ideas. That’s why it’s crucial to regularly monitor what’s going on inside our heads.

Yet, for the believer, even more important than our feelings is God’s amazingly empowering thoughts regarding each of us. These are found in the Bible.

How do you talk to yourself?

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