Okay, let’s be totally honest. We all do it. Some do it quietly with no one knowing. Others are a little more obvious. Their lips may move or they may even be outright loud. But we all do it. That is, talking to ourselves.
The way in which we talk to ourselves can be quite telling. It can be motivating or self -destructive. That internal voice can be your angel or your devil. Take some time and really listen to your self-talk. Is it encouraging or discouraging?
If you are not your own best friend by lifting yourself up with positive, reassuring, cheery thoughts you may be a negative thinker that sets yourself up for defeat before you even start your day.
Your first step is to listen to your head talk. If you are hearing things like, “ I hate my body”, “I will never be able to lose weight”, ”why bother to try and lose weight, I always fail”, you have already set yourself up for failure.
Every time you hear yourself talk in these negative statements say “NO”. You may even want to give yourself a negative reinforcement like the snap of a rubber band on your wrist.
Your next step is to change that negative thought to a positive one. An example may be when you say, “I can’t”, instead say “NO…why can’t I?”
Finally, fill your thoughts with positive statements through out your day before those negative thoughts can even enter your mind. These short statements called affirmations are designed to replace those negative sabotaging thoughts. Repeating them over and over can reinforce a more positive attitude.
Let’s take the above examples of those negative statements:
“ I hate my body”, change to “I love the way my body can heal itself”.
“ I will never be able to lose weight”, change to” I can lose this weight”.
“ Why bother to lose weight, I always fail”, change to ”This is my time to succeed”.
Make your own list of positive affirmations. Choose one and repeat it for a few days or a week and see how you can change the way you talk to yourself. Positivity works wonders!
Ife Ojugbeli, MD, MBA.