Janus Coaching Space

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  • Janus Chan

How To Manage Your Self Talk?

Are you aware that you are talking to yourself all the time? It is an internal dialogue that we carry out from the time you wake up till you fall asleep. It is known as self talk. It derives from our conscious thoughts with unconscious beliefs and biases. These self talks can either empower or defeat us. If we are not mindful of our self talks, they can lead us to limiting beliefs, self sabotaging thoughts and undermining our own real potentials.

I would like to share 4 methods which I use pretty often and find them very useful in times that I need to manage my self talk.

1) Change your view and pause

You don't have to pause every time when you have self talk. However if you notice that you are affected by your internal conversation, like feeling angry, upset, disappointed, dejected. Change to another environment like going to the pantry, outside the building, looking out of the window or stare at another corner of the room etc. This helps to break your running thoughts for a while. Your self talk may still continue, but this time, the emotional attached to it may change. Allow yourself one minute to finish that conversation. Then take a few deep breaths. Acknowledge your emotions and what cause the emotions.

I use a real example of myself which happens almost every other day. Sometimes in the midst of generating these articles, I would have thoughts like... "Would anyone bother to read?", "The last time I post, there were so few or no response... why am I doing all these? I feel so dumb." I would walk out of my study and go to my balcony. I allow myself one minute to finish my conversation. After that, I would say,"I really feel very disappointed that I am not getting the response that I want. Sometimes, I do feel like giving up." and repeat it about 10 times. My self talk automatically change to "I am not posting this for the sake of some response. I am doing it because I like to inspire people and my tips may help someone out there. So heck it!"

I usually combine with Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) tapping for myself or for my coachees when I am doing coaching, but it can be done without EFT. Pretty doable anytime and anywhere.

2) Journal your thoughts

Another method that I also used and highly recommend my coachees to use is to write down their talks on a piece of paper without censoring any bit. Never mind what form - paragraphs, point forms, pictures. Never mind about grammar. Just regurgitate the thoughts onto the paper.

This is very useful as you are changing the way you do your self talk. Instead of letting it run in your head, you write it down. The other part of your brain is working. Hence, this also limits the speed of the self talk as you write. During the process, you would become more calm as you translate them into writing. When you are feeling better, tear or burn the paper (be careful when dealing with fire!!!) and say to yourself," This is only temporary and it shall pass."

3) Love yourself

"Today, you are you!

That is truer than true.

There is no one alive

who is you-er

than you"

~Dr Suess~

I love the above quote by Dr Suess. It is important to remind ourselves daily that you deserve to be loved as who you are. You don't have to wish that you have bigger boobs or be more charismatic so that you will be well liked. You are you.

You can begin your day in the morning when you wake up and make a point to affirm yourself,"Today is a brand new day, brand new start and a brand new me." I have a mini whiteboard and write some inspirational quotes that resonate with me that day. This will be put on my desk to remind myself through the day. At the end of the day, I would have a "ceremonious" statement as I walk out of my office by saying,"I am thankful for today and whatever happens today, I choose not to bring it home because I choose to love and accept myself completely." You can choose to say other stuff, but make sure you include gratitude, detachment and self-love.

4) Talk to someone that you trust

If there is something really bothering you, do talk to friends that you trust. By having a listening ear, you can feel better emotionally. Most of the time, we all have a friend or two who would think you are the best in the world. Believe them because otherwise, they won't hang out with you for so long, right?

Please be careful who you speak to. Choose someone who will listen and not chip in their 5 cents worth of opinion. A friend who may not need to say anything or have any solution, but willing to empathise your journey.

There are definitely more than 4 methods to managing self talk. So how do you manage yours? Do share with us if you have any.