At any given moment of the day or night, our minds are busy talking – to ourselves! This phenomenon is often referred to as “self-talk.”
Most of the time we are completely unaware of the internal “chatter,” that is going on. While our conscious mind frequently tunes out of our internal conversations, our subconscious mind is busy listening closely and paying attention to the messages that we are sending about ourselves.
Our Subconscious Thoughts Become Our Eventual Reality
Since our subconscious mind is always working “behind the scenes,” to make what we feel and believe a reality, self-talk can be a very powerful force to create change in our lives. In this sense our very thoughts do help us to create the reality that we later experience.
Therefore, the thoughts we have about ourselves and our abilities are crucial to our future. Our ability to trust in, and feel good about ourselves shapes our level of confidence, and ultimately, our destiny. If you want to achieve happiness and greater success in your life, it’s critical that your self-talk is positive!
Why We Think Negative Thoughts and Feel Self-Doubt
No one is exactly certain why some of our thoughts are negative. Some psychologists believe that negative self-talk and self-doubt may occur when our subconscious remembers criticism we heard as children and internalised. It’s important to realise that nearly all of our thoughts come to us without being prompted. Some may occur as the result of being exposed to a stimulus that triggers at least a partial memory of a negative event.
We Can Confront and Counteract Our Thoughts
Regardless of why a thought occurs to us, we need to remember our thoughts are simply processes that we don’t have to believe. We can acknowledge them and let them go. We can recognise them and confront them with the truth. We can combat negative thoughts and images with more positive ones. We can train our brains to change how we view events and circumstances so that we focus on the here and now and imagine more positive outcomes.
Focus on the Positive to Eliminate the Negative
If you find that most of the day you are filled with negative thoughts and images, it’s time that you ask yourself a hard question – what are you focusing your attention on? If you are living on a diet of constant negativity, it’s no wonder that you are filled with negative thoughts and feel so down in the dumps!
As much as possible, try to focus on positive things. Stop spending so much of your time watching negative news, or hanging out with pessimistic, overly critical “friends or family.” Try some of these tips.
- Start your day off with some positive affirmations.
- Surround yourself with optimistic people that you can count on to cheer you up when you are feeling sad or discouraged.
- Take time to do things that make you feel good about yourself and count your blessings!
Are you stuck in the past, constantly mulling over your prior errors? Do you constantly worry about what is going to happen next and dread what terrible thing is going to happen in the future?
Try to re-focus your attention on this specific moment in time, where you have the power to act and influence outcomes.
Practice breathing exercises and gentle activities that help you to release pent up energy and stress and make it easier to relax. Concentrate on how your body feels and releasing the tension that has built up in your body over time and consider that the only moment that truly exists is right here in the here and now.
Live in the moment, and be in the now. Being completely present helps you to become completely aware of yourself and your feelings and will help you to ensure that you have control of your emotions and thoughts.
Confront and Substitute
When you discover that you are having a negative thought, don’t just ignore it, but stop a moment to investigate what it’s all about. What does your negative internal voice sound like? Is it a voice from your past? How valid is this internal criticism?
By shining the bright light of reality onto your thought you can often get to the bottom of exactly why you are having these moments of self-doubts.
Replace this negative thought with a positive one. Rather than allowing your negative thought to criticise you, substitute a positive thought in its place, and tell yourself, by speaking out loud, that you can accomplish what you set out to achieve!
You do have value and you do deserve good things to happen to you.
Always remember that you are smart, you are brave, you are talented, and you will succeed!