The real benefit of positive self-talk

When you were little, were you ever told off by your parents?  To be fair, I’m sure we’ve all been there.  Being disciplined by a slightly irate parent telling you that you’ve behaved badly and that ‘this type of behaviour is never acceptable’ was never a great experience.  In fact, looking back, I was that most annoying child who was constantly having to be told off because if it shouldn’t be done, I did it.  I wish I had learned in an easier way because I hated being told off; it was uncomfortable and upsetting, but it was never damaging or traumatic.  Now, imagine being told off as a child, but this time aside from a raised voice, the parent also used profanities or name calling whilst saying some really hurtful things about and to you.  This would now be a potentially damaging or traumatic experience, especially if it happened on a regular basis.  Look at it another way: if you witnessed a parent behaving in this way to a child of their own, wouldn’t you feel like you wanted to step in and protect the child from bearing the brunt of that behaviour?  Wouldn’t you feel compassion for the child and have much greater expectations from the parent?  After all, they’re supposed to be the adult here.  So why do you think it’s acceptable to treat yourself in the same damaging way?


When you use unchecked negative, abusive language and name-calling on yourself, you cause yourself damage. Your brain is pretty lazy in many respects and is formed to a large extent by your experiences and what you teach it.  So, if you teach your brain that you are stupid, pathetic and unloveable, that is what its default setting will become as you constantly reaffirm this concept; it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because of the way you teach your brain to see yourself.


Becoming aware of the negative way you treat yourself is the start of your journey of personal growth – hooray!  When you start changing the way you view and talk to yourself, your brain and mind will slowly change too.  Sometimes you’ll slip up and catch yourself going back to old negative ways; forgive yourself and get back on with your journey, as this moment was simply a learning opportunity.  Speak kindly and with compassion to yourself, just as you would to a child.


To start with, it will take a conscious and repeated effort to change years of negative self-talk, until one day you realise that you are speaking compassionately and lovingly to yourself automatically, even in the most difficult of situations.  When you change your self-talk, you give yourself forgiveness, the ability to apply calm and rationality to situations, and present yourself with opportunities you never thought possible before.  There is no joy or positive outcome from catastrophic or harsh self-criticism; you’ll enjoy being you so much more when you treat yourself with love and compassion.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *