You’re Listening to the Returning to You Podcast, Episode #3. Did you know that you have about 60 to 70 thousand thoughts running through your mind every single day. And guess what they’re all talking to you. And it’s been shown that roughly 75% of those thoughts are negative or seeking out problems. Can you imagine how that impacts your life? I’m so excited to dive into this today because I’m talking about the fact that every cell in your body is eavesdropping on your thoughts. And that affects how you feel emotionally and physically. So if you’re someone who’s really busy and you just want to know one thing they can make a big change in how you’re feeling this episode is for you. Play Until the End for some reflection questions so you can put into practice everything that we talked about today because as I always say the answer is in the question. So let’s Dive In ….
I heard on a podcast the other day … the secret to my success in life is that I talk to myself more than I listen to myself. And I thought brilliant. I always say we shouldn’t listen and believe most of the painful things we tell ourselves. Mostly, because most of our thoughts have been programmed into us since childhood. And may do not serve us. And ofcouse, we shouldn’t believe it all because whatever we believe will show up in our life.
Basically your mind filters out anything that doesn’t agree with your current beliefs. So imagine if you have the belief, the programming that you are not lovable or you’re not worthy. Your mind will filter out all the proof in the world that you are indeed lovable. And all it will see is proof that you are not. So a friend doesn’t call you for weeks and your programming takes that as proof that you’re not lovable or wanted. or you start in the dating pool and you get ghosted after the first date your programming makes that about your worth. So as long as you believe absolutely everything you think it’s going to show off for you as proof in the world. That’s how powerful your thoughts are.
So yes, focus more on how we talk to ourselves rather than listen to the habitual thoughts running through our mind all day. Here’s the key … if you’re going to talk more than listen, make those words matter.
You see, thoughts are simply words that you were saying to yourself. Thoughts are things and they do not have meaning unless we give them meaning. These words going through your mind keep you trapped in the same stories. These words affect how you feel which then affects how you act. And all that added together create the life that you are living. And most importantly, these repeated words, reinforce the programming that’s driving your emotions.
And that’s why this episode is called supercharge yourself talk. If you change that self talk… Those words in your head… if you change those words you will change your life.
Words have so much power. Words matter. And the words that you speak to yourself each day matter the most. The words you speak to you over and over create your life.
I’d love to give you a little example. I was in a session with a client the other day and she opened the session with… “my divorce has ripped a hole in my soul.” Now I want you to imagine hearing these words over and over, my divorce has a ripped a hole in my soul. A few minutes later… She said I was killed when it happened. Some other things she said to me and herself included “I was abandoned, thrown out like trash, and I will never be the same.”
Of course I’m telling you this with zero judgment on her. I know how the brain works and how it is built for this negativity bias. And frankly I spent at least half of my life talking to myself like this. My parents were divorced when I was really young and I told that story for many years using similar words.
The homework that I gave her for the first session, was to listen to the recording of our conversation. I asked her to pick out the painful words she used to describe what had happened. She knew that I understood and validated her pain. And that this was an exercise to help her understand the impact of words alone.
I’d love for you to imagine for a minute that someone you love is going through something difficult… So let’s say something we all can relate to which is a divorce or a breakup. Imagine every few minutes you call them up. They answer the phone and you say you were thrown out like trash and then you hang up the phone.. A few minutes later you ring them up again and as they say hello you say you have been ripped apart. And then you hang up the phone. Another 5 minutes passes and you call them up again and amazingly they’re still answering… And you say to them you will never get over this and you will never be the same.
So imagine this now. Would you ever use those words to speak to someone you love that’s going through something difficult?
This is a rhetorical question, ofcourse, because we all know that you would never speak to someone you love this way. Every single day we speak to ourselves this way inside of our own mind.
How easy it is to see the impact of it when we think about it in terms of saying it to the people we love. But imagine we loved ourselves so carefully in the same way. Imagine, that we refuse to tolerate speaking to ourselves in such a painful way. Imagine we had the same standard … that we treat ourselves just as well as we treat others.
Your words have the power to create an emotional response. So if you’re hurting in any way, you have to listen to what you’re saying to yourself. Your mind doesn’t know the difference between imagination and reality. So if you tell yourself everyday that your divorce ripped a hole in you, your body will take that as truth. And your body will respond with the emotions of being ripped apart.
It’s the same thing if you say to yourself everyday that you’re miserable. Well guess what those words will create the feeling of misery inside of your body.
Here is my best example of how powerful words are to create a and response inside of your body. Now if you are driving do not do this. If you’re on a walk or you’re sitting somewhere where you pause for a minute, I’d love for you to just close your eyes. Now with your eyes, closed imagine that you have a big old juicy lemon in your hand. Imagine laying that lemon on the table and slowly slicing it. As you cut into that lemon the cold juice Squirts over your hand a little. Now bring that lemon up to your nose and take a little sniff. Can you smell that lemon right now in your mind? Now, take piece of lemon and put it in your mouth really really slowly. As you bite it, the juice of the lemon squirts in your mouth a little bit. And you bite down harder.
If you are like most people right now you were salivating atleast a little bit. Or you just puckered your lips in anticipation of that juicy lemon. I can feel it on the side of my cheeks even as I described it to you.
So your body just had a response to your mind. The only thing that you did was listen to my words describing you biting into a lemon. I can’t tell you how often we are making up scenarios just like that in our brain and causing our body to react.
Have you ever had a fight with someone in your own mind? And your heart starts to race and your blood pressure rises? That’s what I am talking about.
So I hope it clear why your words to you matter. So let’s dive into,
3 things that you can do to change what’s happening inside of you …
Observe the Words You Speak to Yourself
So here’s where to start, simply begin to notice the words that you speak to yourself. As you replay stories, memories, or just as react to your day. And notice how those words make you feel.
This isn’t about engaging with those thoughts that come to mind. It’s observing and noticing. So not engaging means not judging those thoughts as right or wrong, or true or false.
An example of this would be, listening to the words coming up in your mind as though you’re listening to the radio. You are listening to an interview on the radio that you don’t have any emotional reaction to. It;s simply playing in the background.
So for example, you hear yourself say “I’ll never do this on my own”. Instead of talking back in your mind with self doubt and criticism, you simply notice the thought. you don’t allow it to turn into all of these images of being alone. And all the things you believe could go wrong. You don’t feed it with more thoughts of proof that you won’t make it on your own.
Observing thoughts without judgement does come with practice and discipline. But remember, thought are things. They aren’t reality. With time and practice you can choose to only engage with the thoughts that serve you.
I remember doing this myself and thinking of course I’m going to judge what I’m thinking. I didn’t know how to be any other way. So it will take practice but here’s what you do … don’t try to push it out of your mind just say I’m just going to let that go on by. Remember, these are just words. You suffer when you attach meaning and truth to them. So let them pass on by.
Answer Painful Thoughts with a Question
So here’s the second technique for changing your self talk. Answer your painful thoughts with a question.
When you notice painful thoughts you can’t use willpower to push them away. It’s like will power for any habit… it’s not a permanent solution. I’ve been using will power to stop chocolate every year of my life. Cleary I don’t really want to.
You can’t force yourself to stop thinking a thought. It’s like if I tell you to stop thinking about a pink elephant, you have to think about the Pink Elephant in order to not think about the Pink Elephant.
You can’t force it away, you can question it away.
When I work with clients, we use the reprogramming process called The LOVE process. And You can hear all about it in episode 2. But, in the meantime, here is something to train your brain to change your self talk.
Counteract that painful thoughts with a question.
Here’s an example: If you hear the words in your mind, I will never be happy again… You can ask yourself t… do I know that’s absolutely true? My favourite short and simple question when I hear painful thoughts is what else is possible. it forces me then to look at proof that maybe that thought isn’t true. And it helps me look for possibilities of what could be true. Showing your mind possibilities is very powerful for rewiring the brain.
Write down the painful thoughts and find the alternatives.
And the 3rd technique for supercharing your self talk is to start writing it on paper and find proof against. Remember, it’s the meaning that you give to these words. It’s believing this words in your mind, that cause the emotions in your body. So you can lessen the impact by poking holes in those thoughts with evidence.
Write the words in your mind exactly as you hear them. And then as you are looking at it on paper ask yourself what proof do I have against this.? How do it feel to believe this proof. So for instance, you hear yourself say to yourself I am a failure. You would write down all the ways that you are not a failure. We simply have to give our mind another path to take and it will begin to release that painful thought.
If you would like to learn this process and practices with one-on-one support, you can find me at www.dianahjohnsoncoaching.com/workwithme. This is the process that I talked about an episode number two because it completely changed my life
Okay so here’s the recap of the three things to do supercharge yourself talk.
First you start listening to the words going through your mind. Just like a radio playing in the background, you listen with no emotional reaction. You know they are only words.
Secondly, you stop the train of thought in its tracks with a question. And my favorite question is … what else could be possible. You’re just training your brain to not stay on the same train of thought.
And finally, put those words on paper and find evidence or proof against them in order to release them
Remember change your self talk, and you will change your life.
All right as promised I’m going to give you three reflection questions so you can put this work into practice.
- What are the words that I use talk to myself about my life circumstances? For example, how do I describe my divorce or my life after divorce … simply, what words do I use to describe my life.
- Out of those words, what one has made a potential reaction.
- What would be possible for me and how would I feel if I chose my words wisely?
Okay so that’s it for this week remember your words have so much power. Listen to yourself more than you speak, choose those words inside of your mind so wisely, and above all else be kind to you.
Coming up next week I am going to be sharing with you the key to healing loneliness. And it is not going to be what most people have probably told you. It’s going to be a good one so I hope you Tune In.