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Putting My Oxygen Mask On First – Powerful Self Talk

My reading today has brought me to tears multiple times already. I am reading Lisa Nichols’ No Matter What during my morning ritual, and today’s chapter was about self talk. I’ve heard Lisa and her team talk about this topic many times – each time I take away something different.

Manage self talk before it derails progress.

Today I needed it as a reminder to make sure that my negative self talk doesn’t derail the progress I’m making with my physical and mental health and my relationships with my kids. I’ve noticed that when people acknowledge the changes in me, I have been deflecting by making comments that I’m sure I’ll fall back into my old habits – instead of receiving what they’ve said. Words are powerful – if I’m constantly saying that I’m a sugar addict or that I won’t keep up with my meditation or tidying my space – then of course I’ll be right!

Want to change something in your life? Look at your self talk.

The reading also made me reflect on what areas of my life are going great and where I would like things to change, and what self talk is constantly playing in my head about each of these areas. Where things are going well, my self talk is mainly positive. And in areas where things are stalled – like my love life – my self talk is not very nice.

Crossfit is an area of my life that has consistently been positive for me – and is a good example of how to structure other areas of my life. I have my moments of negative self talk – when I say I don’t feel strong enough to lift a heavier weight or to do regular push ups and as predicted I fail – but then I borrow my coach’s or fellow athlete’s view of my ability, and not only lift the heavier weight or do regular push ups…I often will be able to add on even more weight or do more reps. I’ve had these experiences enough that it has changed my self talk, and when I’m having a bad day, I can borrow other people’s view of me without their having to say a word.

How am I influencing others self talk?

Crossfit is so positive for me because of the supportive, positive, affirming environment. I know my part for contributing to that environment, but how am I doing in other areas of my life? How much am I supporting my kids’ powerful self talk in our day to day interactions and how much am I feeding and adding to their negative self talk? That’s where the tears come – I know there are times when I’ve been feeding their negative self talk over the last few weeks. And then I cried some more because I don’t have the same compassion for the hurt I’m causing myself.

And so I am going to take action to change things. My kids participated in Lisa’s Motivating the Teen Spirit, so they understand the importance of powerful self talk. I’m going to ask them where they are struggling the most with negative self talk – and what I can stop doing/saying and start doing to best support them. I will text them powerful truths, and leave notes in their books or on their mirrors. I won’t let them forget how amazing, brilliant, strong, loving and wonderful they are.

I will revisit the following exercise to up level my self talk.

Changing your self talk

We are going to begin transforming your self talk from negative chatter to powerful supportive thoughts using a modification of a technique I learned from Lisa Nichols’ Motivating the Masses. Notice that I did NOT say we would get rid of the negative self talk – you’ve probably had those a while (the pathway in your brain is well-tread), and if you think you can eliminate those thoughts, you are setting yourself up for failure. Our goal is to “turn down the volume” on those thoughts and replace them with powerful self talk that we “turn up the volume” on.

Write down in PENCIL all of your negative self talk, and then to the right of them, in RED INK, write down a powerful self talk that you would like to replace the negative chatter. The powerful self talk should be something you believe.

Everyday, I would like you to read your powerful self talk out loud at least 7 times per day. When you notice negative self talk come up (and it will), you want to think about “turning down the volume” on the negative self talk and “turning up the volume” on the powerful self talk you have replaced it with. Each week, pick 1-2 powerful statements to focus on and leave yourself reminders everywhere. Set alarms on your phone with the statement. Put post it notes of the statement on your laptop, mirror, front door, and/or on the steering wheel of your car. Say it out loud to yourself at stop lights or when brushing your teeth.

Finally, most people are more successful when they add a physical reminder as well. When negative chatter starts, you can hit “pause” on your left temple on your negative self talk, and “play” on your right temple for your POWERFUL self talk. If you want something less noticeable, you could press the center of your left palm to “pause” and your right palm to play – or try tapping your left and right thigh.

If you feel like you need additional help, come in for acupuncture. Many clients share that taking time to care for themselves with acupuncture gives them inner strength and compassion to start seeing themselves in positive light.

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