Do you talk to yourself?
And the answer is, Yes. I have a personal conversation with myself on a regular basis. You may catch me talking out loud.
Someone once said to me as long as you don’t answer yourself you’ll be alright. My retort was, why not? I have some of my best conversations with self. I always win the argument. Well, most of the time.
In previous articles I discussed how to use a journal. Many balk at such a task. Reasons range from not wanting anyone to read their thoughts to not having the time. The most common reason I hear for not keeping a journal is not wanting to have one more thing to do.
Journal writing is a beneficial tool, providing you a personal conversation with your self and the Divine. Consider the many books that have been published from someone’s journals.
Personal conversations are an art form, a creative way of solving a problem. Utilizing a question – answer format you gain a powerful insight into the problem.
The best way to write a journal is freestyle, let the words flow and without censorship. Once you have written all you can, put it to the side. Do something else, then come back and read what you wrote.
What questions come to mind? What thoughts arise? Begin writing those down. Let it flow. See where it goes, be non-judgmental.
Don’t like writing? Then get a tape recorder and talk it through. Go back to it after 15 minutes or so and listen. Record your thoughts and ideas about what you hear.
Developing a personal conversation is a skill worth developing. The clarity of thought becomes a habit after practice. Before long you develop your intuition. Answers seem to appear almost without effort.
In the beginning you will notice a pattern of talking to yourself similar to the way others have spoken to you. We tend to learn incrimination before any other form. Self-talk can be as damaging and punishing as listening to someone else. Notice the language you use. Learn how to rephrase your questions, statements, and answers in a way that provides support and courage to face the challenges in your life.
For instance, what do you say to yourself when you make a mistake? Do you call yourself stupid, say what a dumb thing it was? Repeated enough times it will undermine your courage and self-esteem.
Here are a few steps to help you develop a healthy personal conversation:
- 1. Write down all the statements you can think that you say to yourself. Write without censorship.
- 2. Now go to the first one. Rewrite it to create a positive statement about you. Here is an example: That was stupid of me. Rewrite: I did not know any better. Or I did not have enough information to make a better decision.
- 3. Repeat #2 for each of the statements you listed in #1.
- 4. Take a moment, breath in and then out. Relax. Now read the statements side by side. Notice how you feel when you read the first one, is there a difference in how you feel when you read the second one?
- 5. Make a note in your journal the differences in your attitude, physical and emotional self.
- 6. In a day or two go back and read what you wrote. Is there a change in your attitude about you, your mistakes, how you feel or what you think about you in relation to the world around you?
Keeping a journal that has a structured conversation can improve your thinking, attitudes, and shift your belief system in relation to the world around you. More importantly it will improve your self-esteem and vision of you. When you look in the mirror you will notice a relaxed appearance, those around you will also notice the change.
The portable version of this personal conversation becomes a part of your daily life. Here is how to proceed when you are in the world and need an attitude adjustment.
- 1. You have made a mistake, someone has pointed out to you, or you caught it yourself. Take a breath, what is the first thought? Is it a negative comment as suggested in your journal?
- 2. Reword it. Right then and there. Are you stupid, a mistake, dumb, or just misinformed? Reword the comment to reflect the truth about what happened.
- 3. Take a breath, notice how you feel, and respond in the new positive attitude.
When someone wants to start an argument with you, remember it takes two. Take a breath, you may choose to agree with this person in this manner. “Yes, I agree this is upsetting. Perhaps I should have considered other alternatives. I will take it under advisement. Thank you for pointing this out to me.” You can repeat the same thing to self. “Yes, self, I did make a mistake. No, it is not stupid, just misinformed. I will collect the information I require to make better decisions.”
This type of dialogue gives you the power to control not only your reactions to difficult and stressful situations, but it also puts you in charge of how others will respond to you. Self-respect is paramount to taking charge of your life.
Developing a healthy personal dialogue is not easy, it takes practice. It took years to perfect the way we punish ourselves, it does not have to take that long to perfect how we empower and love ourselves.
Remember when you slip, do not punish yourself, there is no need for punishment. You are not bad, you have done nothing to deserve punishment. Rephrase the statement, find the positive aspect to empower you. Then follow through with it.
Intuition is a natural part of who you are. We use to use our intuition to survive. It will still aid us in our survival. For those of us abused, our instincts became nullified, we could not trust them. Our power was taken from us and others were put into control. Personal conversations will help you turn that around so you can have your power back and develop a keen intuition.