Your body becomes healthier when you make an intentional decision to eat a balanced diet and adopt a regular exercise routine. You can’t simply watch others eat healthy and exercise and expect that their habits will change your body. That’s ridiculous. You’ve got to do the work if you want optimum health.
The same goes for your mind. You may want a healthier conversation with yourself, but your current conversation may be critical and blaming. Wishing and hoping for an internal conversation that supports your best self won’t happen unless you do the work.
Creating better conversations with yourself begins when you wake-up and listen to what you say to yourself and decide you want healthier conversations.
Many people tell us when they begin to listen to how they talk to themselves that they primarily hear their inner-Persecutor talking, which is one of the three roles in the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT). They realize they would never talk to their friends that way!
When things are going well you may say kind things to yourself. However, at the first sign of a problem, your inner-Persecutor barks self-criticism and convinces you that impending catastrophe is right around the corner.
All humans live in an inner world of thought which means that at any moment you have the power to reboot your mind and think differently. A train station metaphor helps explain your “train of thought” to illustrate the power you have to choose your thoughts.
Imagine a train station with trains coming and you can hop on one at any time. Many trains go to the mountains, the oceans and various destinations. Once you become familiar with a train’s destination, you can decide to hop off and take another train. You don’t have to ride the train all the away to the end to find out where it is going. You can simply hop off at the next station and wait for another train to come along. Your thoughts are like that. You don’t have to go all the way to the end of the line of a drama-filled thought before you hop off. You can choose to take a new train of thought at any time.
Here are a few suggestions for healthier conversations with yourself:
- Decide you want a healthier conversation with yourself. If you are in the habit of self-criticism you may not realize you can change your inner conversation.
- Develop your ability to witness your conversation from a distance. We call this the “Self-Observing-Self” or SOS, which is your ability to witness your inner conversation. When you are mindful of what you say, the desire for a healthier conversation will grow.
- Reboot your mind in the moment and choose a positive train of thought.
- Think about what there is to appreciate about your situation. At least a million people—probably billions—would gladly trade places with you. Even with problems, you have much to be grateful for. Appreciation is fuel for healthier conversations.
- Cultivate compassion for yourself. Life is messy sometimes. Give yourself a break.
Creating a healthier conversation with yourself is almost as good as changing the circumstances around you. Rather than trying to change the world in each moment, you can witness what you are doing to yourself with your own thoughts. Once you begin listening to your thinking, and declare that you want a healthier conversation, we are confident you will shift what you say to yourself.
When you choose a healthier “train of thought,” you are cultivating the Creator in you—the central role in TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic)®, which is your true essence and best self. Every moment you have the power to choose a healthier conversation with yourself.