Talking to Yourself

My mother often joked about talking to her self, she said; “The best thing about talking to myself is that I always get the answer I want!” Her approach was humoristic, indicating ‘I’m always right’ and laughing about it.

talking-to-selfBut she also did, as do many others, conduct negative self-talk, or listen to the ‘saboteur voice’, as we say in coaching language. These are the voices that tell you that you are not good enough (everybody else is better, smarter, more successful, etc.), that it’s too risky, that you shouldn’t change, that you should stay put. These voices do have a function, they might keep you out of harms way, but in most cases they are just hindering progress. When you know the difference, you can act upon it and make a decision to whether this voice is useful or should be ignored. I often tell my clients to start listening to the kind of voices they have in their head, write them down and then find the wise (sage) response to the negative self-talk. It opens up new possibilities on handling old patterns, situations and relationships. (There is a revolutionary good book on the subject of saboteur voices, called ‘Positive Intelligence’ by Shirzad Chamine.)

At times I find that my brain circles around the same challenge, and I end up feeling emotional fatigue about this challenge. Although I am a coach and have fabulous coaching colleagues I can ask for help, it happens that ‘everybody’ is busy when I need them! So, the good, old trick is to write down on a piece of paper the positive and the negative aspects of the situation. Funny how it actually works; it’s very simple and yet powerful. The last time I did this I also categorized the negative list; ‘how many of the points made are own interpretations/perceptions?’, ‘how many of the points are under my control/not under my control’? Even though the list of negatives was long, it changed the whole picture when I realized how much I interpreted (no evidence) and how much I could actually control.

This brings me back to what my mother said; “The best thing about talking to myself is that I always get the answer I want!”. We all have the ‘right/good answers’ to our challenges when we take the time to ask questions, or listen to the variety of voices and solutions we carry with us. We are more creative than we give ourselves credit for. A coach can likely get you quicker to that stage.




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