Have you been telling yourself the truth?
Our thoughts are extremely powerful. As a result our own self-talk is very powerful. What we tell ourselves has always a very strong impact on us. This voice tells us what we are capable of doing or not, whether we have the confidence or not, it assesses our skills, abilities and knowledge. The self-talk seemingly is there to keep us disciplined and focused. But is it really? This voice so often verifies reality, tells us a story of how much harder we should work, how much more effort we should put and how much we are worth. It also expresses opinions about other people and us in every day interactions.
Is the voice worth listening to?
Are the messages we hear positive? More often than not they aren’t. More often than not this voice sounds discouraging and instead of motivating us it tells us that no matter how hard we try… we are just not good enough. Instead of getting a stronger boost of energy we receive blame. We accept this harsh criticism and take it as a real description of who we are.
Very often I hear people wishing that this voice wasn’t there, wishing that the emotions that they experience as a result would just go away. Unfortunately more often then not we listen to this uncontrolled voice carefully and pay attention to the message we hear. Our inner self critic loves pointing at us using words like “again“, “always“, “never“. Somehow we believe it and silently hold these thoughts as if they were true.
How much longer are you willing to tolerate these lies before you take action?
What is really happening…
People may tell us to be kind to ourselves, to find time to look after ourselves and care. If you are not used to doing this it will probably feel uncomfortable. At the same time if you believe that you don’t deserve it, it loses it’s power. Luckily this isn’t an either or situation.
There is a third option and this option is the most powerful. It is called reality.
How does it work?
So let’s have a look and see what this involves. Have you been telling yourself the truth? What you want to achieve in this approach is to look at facts. Nothing else but facts and they will (trust me here!) be the opposite of what your internal critic has been saying.
So here is an example:
Your internal dialogue – “You shouldn’t even try to apply for this job, you don’t have enough experience and skills. “.
Since it’s a dialogue you reply, “Oh really? Let’s look at the facts. I am 35 (just as an example, of course we are all 21 permanently) so I have 35 years of real life experience. I also have 15 years of experience in people management and have been effectively leading myself and others for the past 10 years. I have supported 2 large projects and have shown that I can be a strong team player. I remember a major client who was not happy with our work. I encouraged the group to assess the situation, review facts and propose changes to the process. It was a tough week but boy, did I learn. When I find myself in a new situation I pick up the knowledge very quickly. Sure I have the experience and of course I should apply for this job“
Just an example, but it clearly illustrates the method. Notice that there are no vague arguments, no weak points, no waffle. Only facts that are true and real. The information about what really happened and what you really experienced together with evidence.
With practice, you will begin to notice that the voice in your head has no real substance. You will be able to disprove new objections with ease. Choose to be honest with yourself, choose the truth that is based on hard, solid facts.
You have experience, knowledge, skills, talents, abilities etc. Do you know exactly what they are? Will they be available at hand when the voice of your inner critic is loud again. So practice and develop this new habit of remembering the true events and telling yourself the truth every day.
Self-care and kindness will follow and develop naturally because you will know that you are good enough and always have been….
Author : Joanna Sobczak
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