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  • Stefano De Dominicis

Talk to yourself like you are someone you respect

How do you talk to yourself? Trivial, you might say…No, fundamental! You are the only person in the world that will spend her entire existence with yourself.

Here is what self-talk is, why it matters and how to use it in everyday life for your performance and wellbeing 👇👇👇👇

It is impossible not to think. Our thoughts are based on language and take place as a form dialogue. This dialogue can be related to things which are external to us, such as other people, objects or events.

Or it can be related to our own self: This form of dialogue is called self-talk. It unfolds itself as a narrative in which we are both the narrator and the narrated. It can be positive or negative, motivational or instructional. Use it wisely.

Most of it occurs at an unconscious level. But sometimes we consciously talk to ourselves. Especially when something meaningful and emotionally laden happens to us.

When something good happens to us, we are usually in a positive state of mind, engaged in some activity, immersed in what we are doing. This is flow, and in flow we are not really aware, nor we are conscious of our positive self-talk.

Instead, when something bad happens to us, we tend to focus inward. This means that we could most likely end up talking to ourselves when we are bitter, resentful, angry, sad and doubtful. This is negative self-talk.

If you have ever experienced negative self-talk, and if you are human you definitely have, here is a simple three-steps approach to transform your self-talk. You can apply this in every aspect of your life.

One: Reset. Once you recognise that you are talking negatively to yourself, just tell yourself to stop. Find your own words or short sentence and clearly tell yourself to stop. The more you’ll practice, the faster you’ll be at stopping it.

Two: Reframe. Now you need to pep talk to you. You need to psych you up. Tell yourself a positive, motivational mantra. Find a few words that work for you and repeat that indefinitely until you start believing in it.

Three: React. Now it’s time to instruct yourself. Start talking to yourself using instructional self-talk. You want to give yourself specific, detailed, actionable instructions on what exactly you need to do to get back on track in what you are doing.

Bonus reflection. Which situations trigger your negative self-talk? What do they have in common? Which trigger your positive self-talk instead? What if, it is actually the other way around? Could it be that negative self-talk makes you believe a situation is threatening and makes you underperform and thwart your mental capacity and wellbeing?

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DR. STEFANO DE DOMINICIS

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