What does the inside of your head sound like?
Do you get easily frustrated with yourself? Do you put yourself down? Do you beat yourself up over your mistakes, playing them on a loop that you can’t turn off?
Chances are, you would never speak to anyone else the way that you speak to yourself. You would never put anyone else down the way that you do to yourself.
The way that you speak to yourself directly shapes how you perceive yourself, and how you let other people treat you. If you continuously put yourself down, you will let other people do it, too.
Becoming a happier, more confident person starts on the inside, and restructuring the way that you think about yourself can make or break your personal development journey.
Your inner voice manifests itself in your life.
Author and psychologist Charles Fernyhough talks about inner speech in his book, The Voices Within: The history and science of how we talk to ourselves,
“Inner speech has a lot of different functions. It has a role in motivation, it has a role in emotional expression, it probably has a role in understanding ourselves as selves.”
Every negative thought that you let pass through without correction chips away at your confidence, motivation, and your self worth. It is so easy to fall into the habit of negative self-talk, but it’s time that you change the narrative in your mind.
How to change your inner voice
The first step to changing your inner voice is to listen to yourself and look at what you say from an objective point of view. People spend the majority of their time talking to themselves, but very rarely do they stop to actively listen to what they’re saying.
Take a day or two to step back from your inner voice and really hear what you say to yourself.
We recommend keeping a notebook and writing down the things that you find yourself saying the most.
Next, question your negative thoughts. Try to figure out where they’re coming from, and why those things are your first response to the situation.
Are these things you were told by someone else that you continue to reinforce today? Are they rooted in insecurity or jealousy? Are you being too hard on yourself? Would you speak to someone you love the way that you speak to yourself?
Am I telling myself the objective truth?
Once you’re aware of the way you currently speak to yourself, you can reframe your thoughts to be kind, healthy, and supportive. Catch yourself in negative thinking, and remind yourself that these thoughts aren’t the truth. Take what you just said and reframe it in a way that’s positive, affirming, and actionable.
You must find the positive where you can, while working to address the negative.
For example, if you find yourself comparing your life to someone else and thinking, “I’m a failure. Their life is so much better than mine,” reframe your thoughts to say, “I am on my own journey. What can I learn from them that can get me closer to my own goals?” It’s all about breaking down your negative thoughts and finding actionable solutions to address these issues, rather than wallowing in self pity.
The more effort you put into reframing your own mentality, the more change you will see in your life and relationships. When you show yourself love, it makes it easier to show others love, too.
The grace that you give yourself will pour out into other people, and you will finally live a life rooted in truth, action, and kindness.
More importantly, you’ll be one step closer to living your life as your most authentic self, both inside and out.
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Dani & Keely
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