18 Apr How to Talk to Yourself for Self Growth
The difference between the confident people and those who are not confident boils down to one thing; how they talk to themselves. We have a continuous narrative running in our minds that we have to get on our side if we want to win in life. Just imagine walking around with someone dragging you down every moment of the day.
To be fair the negative voice sometimes lets up but the question here is whether it is negative or positive predominantly. For the longest time I had a negative narrative which made me fearful, an outsider and gave me a very low self-esteem. These are the kind of things the negative voice narrates:
Under normal circumstances with such a narrative you just get sad, but in my case I later fell into depression that worsened it 100x more.
So how did I stop this negative thoughts running around in my mind 24/7? I read books and watched videos to look for advice, and after arming myself with that, I got to work. The most important nugget of advice I got was to write down the dialogue going on in my mind. I had to respond to the critique at every turn. It went something like this:
- Critique: That was terrible. How could you be so fearful? Something as simple as making a presentation in front of 20 students and you were shaking like a leaf and your voice trembled. You know everyone knew right? You are such a hopeless case.
- Me: Yes, it didn’t go too well but I’m learning to get better.
- Critique: You call that learning? That was failing my friend.
- Me: I’m trying to get better, and I am using these opportunities to practice, with time I’ll improve.
- Critique: You are just kidding yourself.
- Me: I’m doing the best I can. Can’t you see?
- Critique: Can’t you see how those other students 10 years younger than you did their presentations with ease?
- Me: Yes I did. I want to be like them.
- Critique: Ok
- Me: You know I’ll need for you to back off and be a little more supportive if I have to succeed. You do want me to succeed don’t you?
- Critique: Of course I do.
- Me: Then we have come to an agreement, don’t judge me so harshly, be nicer, will you?
- Critique: Ok I’ll try.
Every night when I have had a very difficult day failing at something or just every other day, I got out a piece of paper and wrote this out. Lol, one day I’m certain my kid sister saw one of these drafts cos she was acting weird when I met her in our room, my drafts on the bed. But that didn’t deter me, I had an objective and I was already seeing the improvements in my inner dialogue.
With time I got stronger and more compassionate with myself. As my inner world changed, my outer world also started changing. People started treating me with more respect because I respected myself and would not allow any negativity directed my way since I was also cleansing the negativity from the inside. I started making more friends, deeper friendships because I knew myself better.
Fast forward to today, I no longer do any of these dialogues, cos I’m solid baby!
I want the same for you!