We all do it, put pressure on ourselves to do a certain thing and keep doing it, or do a certain thing and do it perfectly, or do too many things at once...
Then we stop doing the thing, or we don't do it well enough or we simply can't do it all. We’re hard on ourselves and often feel discouraged and disappointed. Why? Because we are our own biggest obstacle when it comes to making a change, taking a step and moving forward. Here’s the catch though, it’s not about what we’re doing or what we want to do, it’s about what’s going on beneath the surface, the dialogue playing in our minds. This is what determines our next step and if and what we’ll achieve along the way.
Our mental dialogues are the words or stories we tell ourselves over and over again, sometimes without even realizing it. Our mental dialogues have a huge impact on our day-to-day lives as well as our mental, spiritual and emotional well-being and this impact is either positive or negative depending on us!
We have complete control over our mental dialogues and the kind of impact they make on us.
Often though, we allow our mental dialogues to impact us in ways that aren’t positive, efficient or serve us well. This is the voice that says we’re not good enough, that we can’t do it, that we don’t deserve it, that it’s too hard to make a change or break out of a routine that’s holding us back. This is where a lot of us get stuck and most of the time; don’t even realize what’s happened. That voice, those negative, ugly things that we are letting get in our way and bring us down are coming from our own heads.
Our mental dialogues come from our egos, past experiences and/ or current perceptions, which shape who we are and what we believe about ourselves.
Here are some steps for creating healthy mental dialogues:
1) Start by listening and paying close attention to what you’re telling yourself, what you believe about yourself and what you think is stopping you from going after what you want. This may seem tedious, silly or even pointless, but there is a wealth of information to be discovered by tuning in to what you’re telling ourselves.
2) Decide what you want your mental dialogue to be. Ask yourself what you need the most, what would help you achieve your goals or break out of a rut. Then create new dialogues that serve you in a positive way. These could be written reminders or mantras, (words or phrases) which you repeat to yourself to stay clear and focused on what you’re working towards.
3) Be patient as you listen and learn about yourself in a way that may be new and uncomfortable to you. Allow yourself space to learn and try something new and unfamiliar. The rewards of creating a mental dialogue that serves you in a positive way are worth the effort it takes to get there.
Mental dialogues are powerful, but so are you! Remembering our egos, self worth, and perceptions are all things we create and that are within our control can empower us to do the things we’ve always wanted to, to make that small change that we’ve put off for way too long or simply live our daily lives in a way that feels better to us.