Conversations with Yourself
The conversations you have with yourself set the tone for your life on a day-to-day, moment-by-moment basis. Because this is true, how you talk to yourself matters more than any other conversation, past, present or future—more than the impact of your greatest mentor or the verbal blows from your worst tyrant.
Intuitively, we understand that we are the choreographers of our lives. We know that our internal dialogue is the music we dance to. And yet, if someone had the ability to monitor our self-talk what might they witness? Would they hear beautiful, uplifting melodies or a cacophony of ugly noise?
Do any of these conversation pieces sound familiar?
• How could I be so stupid?
• What is wrong with me?
• I’ll never figure this out.
• It’s useless; I might as well give up.
• How could I forget something so important?
• Don’t even bother; they’d never choose you.
The problem with all self-deprecating statements (and I’m sure you have some unique ones of your own) is that they attract to us the very circumstances we do not want. The Law of Attraction says that you get more of what you focus on. By focusing on our perceived defects, we attract people who agree with our self-assessment.
Yes, that’s correct. When people who judge us harshly show up in our lives, we have attracted them through our own internal negative focus. People who have high self-esteem do not attract bullies because they do not bully themselves.
So how do you go about shifting negative self-conversation? There are a number of ways to do so:
• Argue with the voice in your head. Just because you have harsh thoughts about yourself doesn’t make them true. Say to the internal critic,” Thank you for sharing. However, I disagree with you.”
• Keep track of what you’ve done well. Your internal critic is masterful at keeping track of your errors. Fight back by mindfully tracking your successes. Write these deeds down and set aside a special place to keep them—a beautiful box, a file folder, or a notebook. Refer to them whenever your inner critic has you by the throat.
• Write yourself love letters (or emails). We spend too much time looking outside of ourselves for encouragement. When we write the kinds of affirming letters of admiration that we wish others would send, we begin attracting people who agree with our positive opinion of our worth.
Keep in mind that these exercises are not an instant fix. You’ve spent a lifetime developing your internal language; it will take some time to shift it to a more melodious one. The more often you use these tools, the more quickly your point of attraction will shift.
Sometimes I wonder why it’s so difficult for us to do things that on paper seem to be so easy. I don’t know why we scold ourselves or have self-limiting conversations. I leave that up to the psychologists. What I do know is that we are the only ones who can do something about it. And that, my friends is a conversation worth having!