While people think changing self-talk is hard – it’s not – it just takes time and dedication and a few strategies.I have attached a few slides that I use both in my sessions and in my personal coaching programs.
First – understand how people react and what drives self-talk. The following diagram illustrates how people respond to challenges in their life.
If we have positive self talk, we display the problem solving behaviour. If we have negative self-talk – we display what is known as the flight or fight reaction. In this last reaction what we know is that our brain actually changes the way it functions.
Our spirit takes over and seeks to look after ourselves and generates cortisols that help us cope – but can force us into the Flight/Fight behaviour. – So our self-talk actually changes when we are under threat and uncertainty- and our brain hates any degree of uncertainty or threat. That is why when you are doing something you are comfortable with or with someone you really trust, your brain is not under threat and hence the self-talk is positive and empowering
We will need to change how we see the world and what threatens us or creates uncertainty.
This is our challenge!
One strategy is to change how we perceive things – we call that reframing.
Exercise: Think about an issue in your life or a situation where your self-talk is not positive (note I said not positive as opposed to negative – two different things). What is your self talk – can you reframe the issue and by then change your self talk?
Can you use different words to describe things – this is part of hypo-therapy I use – don’t think of a chocolate as a thing or beauty – think of it as a piece of dog poo – really – what you eat that!!.
Another way we change our self-talk is to introduce evidence into our thoughts – when we are in flight or fight mode, we never refer back to evidence – we run on emotion – and emotion makes up evidence. Here is the way you do this – I call it my A-B-C-D-E process and it is as follows;
Then we use this following process
Of course the real lesson to think about is understanding where some of the self-talk comes from but that requires coffee!!