“Be mindful of your self-talk. It is a conversation with the universe. You are a being, full of infinite possibilities! Focus your mind with positivity and you will have dictated the direction of your journey, your soul and your being, cascading in infinite abundance.” – Angie Karan
What is self-talk?
You know your inner voice? Those silent conversations you have with yourself? This is what is known as self-talk. Self-talk will be a combination of positive, negative and neutral thoughts.
Examples of positive self-talk include:Advertising
- “I can do this.”
- “I am smart.”
- “This is a challenge, but I will complete it.”
Examples of negative self-talk include:
- “I’m stupid.”
- “I can’t do this.”
- “I’m a failure.”
- “I’m worthless.”
Research has shown that the optimum ratio for no stress in your life is two positive thoughts for every negative thought. It then is vitally important to be cognizant of your internal dialogue as it influences not only your feelings, and your behaviors, but also your well-being as a whole.
A wandering mind is a dangerous mind
Considering you have over 50,000 thoughts per day – the majority of which are automatic and below our conscious level, it becomes even more important to ‘observe’ this self-talk. Your mind is a wandering machine. It wanders without you even knowing it:Advertising
“Forty-seven percent of the time, the average mind is wandering. It wanders about a third of the time while a person is reading, talking with other people, or taking care of children. It wanders 10 percent of the time, even, during sex.” – James Hamblin, The Atlantic
And a wandering mind can be dangerous. If you fail to stop and analyze the validity of your self-talk, particularly negative self-talk, you compromise your well-being. Through repeated negative self-talk you begin to believe you are useless, worthless and a failure. This dents your confidence and induces stress.
How to improve your self-talk
Improving your self-talk will not happen overnight, as negative self-talk has become a habit from being often repeated over years. But it is possible. It starts with listening to your thoughts.Advertising
- Listen to what you are saying
Many of your thoughts are subconscious. It is not an easy task to listen to this subconscious thoughts. Over time – with practice, it is more than possible to access these innermost dialogues. You can do this by taking note of what you are saying. Start journaling. Write them down. Getting your thoughts on to paper frees your mind; allowing you to put things in the past and move forward.
- Monitor what you are saying
Ask yourself whether your self-talk is positive or negative. Negative self-talk is inaccurate, unreasonable and unhelpful. If not monitored, it can become a bad habit.
Ask yourself the following questions:Advertising
- How does it make me feel?
- Is there evidence for my thoughts?
- Are they reasonable?
- What purpose do they serve?
- You need to take action
Through identifying them, you can challenge them, thus allowing you to approach things differently.
Ask yourself more questions:
- How can I look at this in a positive way?
- How can I change what I am thinking?
- Consider sharing your self-talk with others
Not only does this allow you to vent and free your mind, it can also help you attain a fresh perspective. Looking at something from an outsider’s point of view sheds a new light on your problems.
The internal dialogue will not stop
The internal dialogue within you will never stop. 50,000 thoughts a day is testament to this. But, if you fail to pay attention to these dialogues, you may find that negative self-talk becomes your way of life. Through listening to your inner voice, monitoring your self-talk and taking steps to change your way of thinking, you will be well on your way to a more satisfied life.
Last Updated on August 16, 2018
10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks
The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.
In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.
Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:
1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone
What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?
Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.
2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome
Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.
How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.
Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?
Or, are you afraid of being ignored?
3. Get comfortable with discomfort
One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.
Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.
4. See failure as a teacher
Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.
Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?
Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:
5. Take baby steps
Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.
Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.
Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:
6. Hang out with risk takers
There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).
Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.
7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses
Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”
Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.
8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you
What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.
9. Don’t take yourself too seriously
Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.
If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.
10. Focus on the fun
Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com