Communication is the foundation of our entire human existence. All of our experiences are shaped by the way information is communicated to us, and then how we process that information and communicate to the world.
Primarily we use language to communicate with others. Words are expressed through speech or in writing and in person, those words are amplified with body language, vocal variety and tone. In text we use different FONTS to relate our feelings and punctuate our meaning with emoticons :D
The language we use toward others defines the meaning of our message, and when we are clear and skillful, our message holds better odds of being understood accurately.
Everyone already knows this... sort of. We know that self deprecating talk is not healthy. Saying "I'm so fat" when standing before our reflection in the mirror certainly has a negative impact on how we feel. But lets take a deeper look, because it's so much more important than that.
We are affected by what is communicated toward us, but we are ultimately shaped by what we communicate to ourselves because we will believe everything we say.
We have the added silent dialogue communicating with us every second of our lives. But the good news is that our thoughts are only the beginning and we do not have to be helpless victims of our over-worked mind. Like those around us, we are also affected by our spoken words. This means that we can alter our thoughts, before they become words, and choose language that is more positively constructed so that when we talk to ourselves we can be more supportive and self motivating.
What we tell ourselves is the greatest influence on our behavior and therefore has the greatest impact on our daily experience. We change our lives by changing the way we talk to ourselves.
Just like communicating with others, in order for our self-talk to be truly effective; it has to abide how our brain works neurologically.
Think something. Say something. Write something.
Step one: Think it. Thought occurs. If it is a thought that does not serve us productively, or to a positive means, guess what? We can change that instantly! That's the great thing about our brain, we actually have control over our own thoughts! Sounds like a given, but it's easier said than done. Normally, thoughts just run rampant through our mind and very often thoughts trigger emotional responses and all the automatic physiological reactions just run wild. A negative thought like 'I'm so fat' triggers the emotional responses sadness, depression, frustration, and those prompt more negative thoughts, and before we now it we're in tears and bent over a pint of Ben and Jerry's drowning in hopelessness. Meanwhile, the one person in control of all that is ourselves! The instant the thought occurs, we can alter it immediately, thus altering the emotional response, and thus the trajectory thereafter.
It's not always that simple though, that's what you're thinking right? Well, see that is what you are THINKING so you can shift it, but you might need a little convincing. So here's step two...
Say It! Speaking your thoughts aloud is more than just a rudimentary memorization tactic. Speaking requires your brain to access different neurons in your speech center responsible for forming and verbalizing words. This means that neurons are being utilized to form the thought and more are being used to form and then speak the words physically. Alter the inflection to access and associate more neurons with the words. Use positive inflection, verbalize with excitement to create a positive association with the words. The neurons that are utilized in association with an idea will determine the emotions that are associated with that idea.
Third: Write it! Certainly you've heard about the therapeutic properties of writing, so naturally this is the activity that completes the trifecta of effective self-motivation. They say the pen is mightier than the sword, because the stroke of a pen can alter course of events that forever changes reality.
This is a tremendously useful solidification technique because it engages your physical body. Your brain activates the neurons required to operate your arm, and the dexterity needed to hold a pen and form the symbols that create your message. Once it is written, your sight center is activated to read and acknowledge the words further cementing their validity. There is something physiologically significant in seeing your thoughts manifested into words in the tangible world.
The language you use when you talk to yourself determines your experience. When an idea begins to unfold that does not serve you productively or positively, make a deliberate effort to alter it so that it does. Then make it real by following these three simple steps of self talk: Think it. Say it. Write it. Those three elements work together as legs that support the foundation of your reality.
You are the architect of your life! All you have to do is start talking to yourself more productively.
What are you saying to yourself today? Make it real by typing it into the comments here :)
P.S. If you found this useful, you'll enjoy reading my CRUCIAL guide to effective communication. Sign up for my newsletter and you'll get a copy for Free!