How much attention do you pay to that voice in your head? You know, that running monologue you have with yourself all day (and possibly night). Whether it’s positive and supportive or self-deprecating and negative, that inner voice is referred to as self-talk. That self-talk sets the stage for how your life will unfold around you.
Self-talk is the sum of your conscious thoughts plus your unconscious beliefs and biases. It can help us interpret and process daily experiences and can be useful. It can help calm down our fears or give us motivation, but more often than not, our inner voice is prone to negativity.
“I’m not good enough” “I am a failure” “No one cares about me” are negative assertions and limiting beliefs many people hold. These negative beliefs accumulate and strengthen over time. As an infant, we did not hold the belief that we were worthless or that we couldn’t do anything right. We didn’t know how to judge ourselves and were happy with ourselves whether we pooped our pants, woke up sweaty or cried more than usual.
We were not born with the belief that money is hard to come by or that being thin is better than being heavy. As we grow up and are exposed to different life events, experiences and people, we begin to form our own set of beliefs. Our family, friends and media play a large role in the beliefs we hold and often times we take them as law. But what is a belief? A belief is simply a thought we keep thinking. Repeat after me. A belief is a thought we keep thinking….let that sink in.
We live in an attraction-based universe. Like attracts like. Perhaps you’ve heard the saying “thoughts become things”? Nothing could be more true! If you are thinking thoughts (holding beliefs) that are in opposition of what you want, you will continue to get that which you think about. For example, if you want more money but you hold the belief that “money is hard to come by” you will continue to attract evidence that supports that belief (i.e. no money).
You may feel like you have no control over your situation and that you are simply a victim to what is going on around you. But begin to pay attention to your self-talk and beliefs about the situation. Could you be holding yourself back? Do hold any of these beliefs?
Money is tight
I’ve always been overweight
Good things never happen to me
Things never work out for me
Traffic is always horrible
I’m no good at ___
I’m always tired
If you do, don’t worry! Awareness and attention to this inner voice is the first step in changing your life. Once you have identified your limiting beliefs, we can begin challenging them, by choosing different thoughts! Remember, a belief is a thought you keep thinking! If you don’t like what’s showing up in your life, rather than trying to change the circumstance, try changing your thoughts instead.