What You Say to Yourself Matters
What we say to ourselves matters.
Largely, our inner dialogue (aka that voice inside our heads) was wired in childhood and then refined during the storm of massive brain growth and hormone surges experienced during adolescence.
Have you ever met a teen brain?
Even more astounding is that many of us have never truly learned how to:
1) observe what that voice is saying, EVEN WHEN WE ARE NOT LISTENING (which is most of the time, by the way),
2) make a choice about whether or not this voice helps or hurts us,
3) retrain that inner voice to be a voice that empowers us, guides us, and meets us with kindness during the clunkiest, messiest, and darkest moments of our day.
Sound like something you might be interested in? We’ve got you!
What we say to ourselves matters. What are you saying to yourself?
STEP 1: Identify what is being said.
What if we took a day to really focus on that hidden loop that speaks in our brain?
What does that voice say?
Is the voice encouraging, supportive, or kind?
Is the voice demanding, judgy, intolerant?
Does the voice call you names?
Does the voice mock your feelings?
Can you identify the tone that you use to speak to yourself?
Ask: is the tone supportive or is that tone damaging?
STEP 2: Make a choice.
If what you are saying to yourself is not something that you would look your daughter/son/niece/nephew or best friend in the eyes and say – then why are you saying it to yourself?
The truth is, many of us have no idea that we are “making the choice” to say these things to ourselves because the loop is deeply embedded in the brain and has had years and years and years of practice.
Good news: WE CAN MAKE A CHOICE about what we say to ourselves!
STEP 3: Make a change.
This is the part that is so exciting! Once we can recognize the inner dialogue, we can make a choice to change it in voice/tone or in what we are actually saying!
Be patient with this step!
Think of it like working the brain like we work our muscles – we don’t build muscle overnight – it takes time and repetition and grit!
STEP 4: Acknowledge the wins!
Many forget to soak up this step. The brain loves to be rewarded with acknowledgement!
This is a great way to keep that brain muscle flexing and collect a moment of pride for something you have made a choice to accomplish.
No matter how big or small – noticing shifts in how we talk to ourselves is vital in rewarding AND rewiring the brain for healthy new habits!