Self-talk is the constant monologue that goes on inside your head during most of your waking hours. It consists of myriad voices that whisper advice and opinions that can trigger emotions such as anxiety, fear, anger and doubt. What is worrying however, is that often many of these emotions aren’t pertinent to the immediate circumstances you find yourself in. For example, you may feel anxious about your ability to get a fabulous job you’ve seen advertised, even though there are no substantial reasons why you couldn’t. These feelings often put the brakes on your proactive activities and stop you progressing in positive ways.
The self-talk that you indulge in is perfectly normally. We all give in to doubts and fears and waiver in our decision-making at some point. What is important, is to guard against those persistent thoughts that are detrimental to you and your goals. These persistent thoughts are important because, when you repeat them often enough, they become beliefs. As these beliefs accumulate, they slowly and sneakily become the very foundation of your beliefs and judgement of yourself and your abilities. Without you being consciously aware of it, these beliefs then choreograph your everyday decisions and ultimately impact directly on your happiness and success in life.
At CANDo Life Skills, I’ve broken down this self-talk into characters called “Inner Imps”. These Inner Imps are then loosely grouped into one of two things: those characters that are predominantly helpful (Inner Imp Heroes) or unhelpful (Inner Imp Hellions). Helpful Imps such as Courage, Honesty and Responsibility will contribute thoughts such as “It’s my job so I’ll get in done,” or “I CANDo this if I follow the plan.” Negative, unhelpful Imps such as Fear, Doubt or Temptation will sabotage your efforts with comments such as “Oh, I don’t know, look what happened the last time you tried,” or “Oh, you’re not that overweight, one cream cake just-this-once won’t hurt.” Helpful Imps are good and can genuinely encourage you to alter your life for the better. Unhelpful Imps however, will only ever hold you back, criticising every attempt or decision, despairing of ever overcoming even the most minor of obstacles and generally sabotaging your chances of success.
The key to a better, more successful, happier life, is to master these Inner Imps. Become aware of who is saying what. Make that Imp feel that you appreciate his opinion and will take it into consideration. That done, focus your attention on the quieter, more positive and productive comments your helpful Inner Imp Heroes are probably desperately trying to get you to listen to.
By practicing this, you will begin to create new, healthier and more appropriate inner self-talk. This healthier, more positive self-talk will then help you to make better decisions and through those improve the quality of your life.
To discover exactly which of your Inner Imps sabotage your efforts and how to bring them under control, read the eBook Meet your Inner Imps: Master your Self-Talk and discover how to achieve a happier, more successful life.