Shifting to Positive Self-Talk

As part of my ongoing personal development, I regularly listen to the free Chopra Meditation Series (link). Last month, that coincided with my personal work on RELEASE (my WOTY – previous blog link) and reading a book on Journaling the Chakras (link). What a whirlwind of ideas!   This blog post is the one of two that captures some of those ideas.

I have not blogged for a few weeks as the big-move details have taken a lot of mind-space. And now, with local recommendations on social-distancing shifting routines and creating anxiety, I think I need to focus on my own words here!

 

The recent Chopra Series reiterated the concept of mind-body connection. The messages in our minds become our reality! What we do, think and say influences our physical body; negative begets negative and positive begets positive. Anxiety, fear, and worry, even if only thinking about them, can negatively impact the body’s stress reactions. Self-limiting beliefs can prevent us from doing the things we think we want. As Henry Ford was known to have said:

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

Chopra encourages us to invite our minds to be an ally in releasing self-limiting beliefs and envisioning new self-empowering beliefs, thereby creating new pathways in the brain. He encourages us to use our minds to make life-affirming choices and thereby live more vibrantly. Basically, it is to embrace a positive mindset to enable a positive life.

How have I started to do this in reality?   How am I thinking more positively?  I actively monitor my self-talk.

In every moment, I have the choice on how to respond – positive messages to self, healthy responses to inputs. Becoming aware of my patterns of thought and behavior allows me to shift from self-limiting beliefs and negative responses to positive messaging and response   I have learned that mindfulness of your own thinking is not that easy!

  • It’s becoming aware of when I think ,“I can’t” or “I’m not” and flipping that with reality of “I have” or the belief that “I can/I am”. I took time to capture in my journal many of my self-limiting beliefs, how they began, what emotions they elicit, what value I gain by holding onto them, and whether they were really truth. [This was the approach I created in my Release Workbook.]

A great question I put to myself: “What real life experiences prove that these mental constructs (beliefs) are false? “ By making the self-limiting beliefs more concrete, it’s allowed me to become more aware of when I think them.   Some of mine: I believe I’m not athletic, not a good friend, not creative, and was simply “lucky” in my career (not competent). I am not a “real” cancer survivor.  I am not good enough in doing most anything, and I am not doing the “right” things for a retiree. Yeah, a few self-limiting beliefs!

I also created an “Authentic Me” statement and placed it in my daily journal to read on a regular basis. This statement incorporates descriptions of my strengths/talents, my new self-empowering belief statements, and elements of my retirement lifestyle vision.

 

  • It’s noticing when small things start to frustrate me and consciously thinking, “I choose to release this frustration.” And, yes, sometimes I need to say that repeatedly and incorporate deep breathing.

 

  • It’s also becoming aware of when I am doing the “Compare and Despair”, which is a form of societal expectation.  It’s becoming aware of when I perceive criticism or judgment.  Then after awareness comes saying to myself, “I have chosen the activities that are right for my life” or “I am hearing judgement when it is not really there.”  As someone who lived her life “meeting or exceeding expectations”, this is a continual work in progress!

 

This shift into thinking positively is part of actively working on my WOTY – RELEASE. I have noticed a difference in myself of being more aware of my negative self-talk. I’ve found myself less likely to think or verbalize my self-limiting belief statements. I am doing the Compare & Despair less often.  I’m more aware of the source of my anxiety and trying to mitigate my thinking (less planning of multiple scenarios).

I am more content every day…whether it’s a busy activity full day or a quiet contemplative reading day.  And right now, that is helpful as there are many days of quiet contemplation ahead!

I’ve also become more aware of when others use negative self-talk as well.  I am not sure yet what to do when I notice it. I think my being open and honest with my own approach is one way I’m dealing with it – perhaps others can utilize my approach on shifting their own self-limiting beliefs to self-empowering beliefs.

12 thoughts on “Shifting to Positive Self-Talk

  1. Hi Pat, I totally agree about positive self-talk and although it isn’t always easy to silence what I call the ‘Mean Girl in our head, it is important to work on becoming best friends with who we are. Moving can be a huge upheaval and adjustment so take care, make time for your well-being and be excited for the future. Thanks for linking up and sharing at #MLSTL and good luck with the move! xx

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    1. Sue, I was just given some great language – Change your Inner Critic to an Inner Champion. But I guess for you that’s changing the Mean Girl to your new best friend. It’s interesting that we’ll say things to ourselves that we never would say to a friends, isn’t it? I am working on it… and in this crazy time, it’s been helpful that I’m a bit along that journey.

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  2. Hi Pat – I’m a big fan of positive self-talk and approaching life from a positive mindset. I’ve been reading so much doom and gloom and seen so many people reacting selfishly and choosing to focus on the negatives with this Corona virus situation. I refuse to allow it to control my thoughts and I’m learning to see the good in it all – I have more than enough atm – my family is all healthy, we have power, water, gas, plenty of food, enough toilet paper, freedom, fresh air, and so much more. Grasping and hoarding and being a doom and gloomer steals from us and from those around us. Every time I see an example of generosity and kindness I take a moment to be blessed by it – humanity is not all bad, there is a lot of goodness out there and I think we all contribute to it by being positive, not competing, not worrying about the uncontrollable, and just being caring and focusing on what we have, rather than on what may or may not happen. xx
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

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    1. Leanne, I had to ignore friends who told me, when hubby & I did a self-imposed shelter-in-place, that we were over-reacting, being a voice of doom, and it wasn’t that bad. Our state just went to a mandatory shelter-in-place to try and stem the outbreak.

      Yes, we have more than enough and we are very, very fortunate in not having to worry about working and keeping children entertained. Right now, my biggest challenge is trying not to worry about the uncontrollable – how long will this last and when can life get back to normal?
      Thanks for continuing MLSTL… I truly enjoy linking in every week and seeing what others are talking about.

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    1. Jane, I never would have thought I needed “self-healing work” as I have really had no major life trauma. But learning to appreciate my unique self has required the same tools. I am, however, still on the journey to self-acceptance!

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  3. Wow, Pat you are doing some fantastic work on your mind and beliefs. I understand how what we believe becomes our truth and how it affects the way we act. It is not an easy thing to change your beliefs, but becoming aware of them and then consciously questioning them is the way. I have also been walking this path, sometimes successful and sometimes less so. It is a process and I have a lot of beliefs to shift!
    Good luck with all the moving details- it is a huge task! I hope you are able to stay well in this crazy time!

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    1. I realized my routines are in total disarray right now… I’ve not looked at my comments in days. This work on awareness of thought is on-going and as you noted, I am also not always successful. The shift in routine (quite the euphemism there) has caused a bit of a backslide, for sure. But I am “back in the saddle” as they say and will continue to work on it. I’m not sure what this craziness will do to the move planning!

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