Your body becomes healthier when you make an intentional decision to eat a balanced diet and adopt a regular exercise routine. You can’t simply watch others eat healthy and exercise and expect that their habits will change your body. That’s ridiculous. You’ve got to do the work if you want optimum health.
The same goes for your mind. You may want a healthier conversation with yourself, but your current conversation may be critical and blaming. Wishing and hoping for an internal conversation that supports your best self won’t happen unless you create it.
Creating better conversations with yourself starts when you wake up and listen to what you say to yourself and decide you want healthier conversations.
Many people tell us that, when they listen to what they say to themselves, they primarily hear their Inner-Persecutor talking, which is one of the three roles in the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT). They realize they would never talk to their friends that way!
When things are going well, you may say kind things to yourself. However, at the first sign of a problem, your Inner-Persecutor barks self-criticism and convinces you that impending catastrophe is right around the corner.
All humans live in an inner world of thought which means that at any moment you have the power to reboot your mind and think differently. A train station metaphor helps explain your “train-of-thought” to illustrate the power you have to choose your thoughts.
Imagine a train station with trains coming and going and you can hop on one at any time. Many trains go to the mountains, the oceans, and various destinations. Once you become familiar with a train’s destination, you can decide to hop off and take another train. You don’t have to ride the train all the way to the end to find out where it is going. You can simply hop off at the next station and wait for another train to come along. Your thoughts are like that. You don’t have to go all the way to the end of the line of a drama-filled thought before you hop off. You can choose to take a new train of thought at any time.
Here are a few suggestions for healthier conversations with yourself:
- Decide you want a healthier conversation with yourself. If you have a long-standing habit of self-criticism, you may not even realize you can change your inner conversation.
- Develop your ability to witness your conversation from a distance. We call this the “Self-Observing-Self” or SOS, which is an ability to witness your conversation, so that it becomes less personal. When you are mindful of what you say, your yearning for a healthier conversation grows.
- Reboot your mind in the moment and choose a gratitude train-of-thought.
- There’s always something to appreciate about your situation. At least a million people—probably billions—would gladly trade places with you. Even with problems, you have much to be grateful for. Appreciation is fuel for healthier conversations.
- Cultivate compassion for yourself. Life is messy, especially right now. Give yourself a break!
Rather than trying to change the world in each moment, you can create healthier conversations with yourself about your world. When you do this, it is almost as good as changing the world itself!
Once you begin listening to your thinking, and declare that you want a healthier conversation, we are confident you will shift what you say to yourself.
When you choose a healthier “train-of-thought,” you are cultivating the Creator in you—the central role in TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic)®—which is your true essence and best self. Every moment you have the power to choose a healthier conversation with yourself.