Have you ever wondered what that little voice in your head actually sounds like? Does it have a squeaky voice? Maybe a low tone, a high pitch or a nasally sound? It could be the same as your actual voice. You’ll never know what your thought’s voice sounds like.
Regardless of how it sounds, the more important part about that little voice in your head is what is says. What you tell yourself, matters.
Simple rule: If you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, don’t say it to yourself.
You wouldn’t tell your friend, “That was so dumb” so why would you say that to yourself? Yes, I surely do things that could be considered “dumb”, however, the way I tell myself that something maybe wasn’t the best decision, can be handled differently. I can tell myself, “Well, let’s try this a different way and see how it turns out.” Did you notice how much better that sounded? Forbes also offered some good advice about how to talk to yourself. The one bit of information that I found particularly helpful from them was “Talk to yourself in the third person.” I know it sounds insignificant, but when its put into practice, it can make a big difference. By referring to ourselves in the third person, it allows us to think of ourselves the same way we think of other people.
It’s like that saying, “You are what you eat”, the only difference is you are what your thoughts are. If your thoughts are negative, then that’s what will probably come out of your mouth, negativity. Conversely, if you’re generally positive with your self-talk, then you will mostly have positive thing to say.
There’s this idea called self-fulfilling prophecy. This can be a prediction you have about yourself or maybe others and this phenomenon can be used to predict good and bad. Robert K. Merton described it as “a false definition of the situation evoking behavior which makes the originally false conception come true” (Merton, 1968, p.477).
For example, if I were to tell myself “I’m going to have a good day” even when I’ve fallen on hard times and spilled my coffee, I can still live up to the expectation of having a good day despite everything else. On the flip side, if I accidently spill my coffee (again) in the morning and tell myself “oh here we go again, another long day I don’t want to do.” You betcha that’s going to be a long day without coffee when you tell yourself that.
Clean up what you say to yourself and have a good day.