Stop Talking Dirty To Yourself!
In Do You Indulge in Stinkin’
Thinking, we looked at all the ways we tie ourselves up in knots
by the way we think. Today we look at how to go about untying those
knots, so that we can let go of self-limiting thoughts and behaviors
and get on with our lives.
- Identify negative thoughts
Write them down so that you get them out of your head and down on
paper where you can actually scrutinize them more carefully. Just
seeing your thoughts written down can be the first step in recognizing
them for what they mostly are: lies and exaggerations.
- Become a detective
Where is the evidence for your thoughts? Instead of assuming that
they are true, look for facts and evidence to back them up. For example,
if you feel that you are a failure, make a list of everything you
have done well in the last 48 hours. I guarantee you will find something!
- Be gentle with yourself
Instead of putting yourself down about a particular situation that
is bothering you, try some role playing. What sort of things would
you say to your best friend or a close family member if they were
beating themselves up in a similar fashion? Whatever words of comfort
you would offer them, offer them to yourself. You deserve gentle treatment
just as much as the next person!
- Become a scientific researcher
Test your hypothesis! If you believe you are a failure, for example,
conduct an experiment to prove whether you are or aren’t. Make
a cake, go for a jog around the block, clean the toilet, wash the
car. When you have completed this experiment, you will be able to
write up notes to the effect that you were successfully able to complete
the task. Constantly challenging your negative self-beliefs in this
way is a helpful tool to dismantling any limiting self belief.
- Remember: It’s a grey world.
Rather than seeing your problem as an all-encompassing disaster, try
to rate it on a 0 to 10 scale. Remember to keep 10 for end-of-the-world
type scenarios. And as someone once quipped: “Only the end of
the world is the end of the world.” By practicing looking at
each problem on a sliding scale rather than extremes, things will
begin to fall into proper perspective and your stress levels will
- Take a reality check
Ask someone you trust whether your thoughts or behaviors are realistic
or not. If, for example, you are driving yourself into a depression
over having left your partner because of his drinking, ask someone
who understands the situation whether your depressing thoughts about
the situation are realistic.
- Whip out the dictionary
If you must call yourself a fool, a moron or an idiot, check out the
real meaning of the word in the dictionary. You’ll soon see
that you do not conform to the actual definition.
- Tone down your language
Instead of claiming that everything is a “complete disaster”
become a master of the understatement instead. Sure, you might have
front-ended the new car but it’s not a “complete disaster.”
It’s something that can, and will, be fixed and it’s not
a complete disaster at all.
Use these techniques, one at a time, to identify problem areas in your
life and address areas that need improving. All this dirty talk is not
helping you to be your real, authentic, and happy self!
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