Are your thoughts strengthening your self-confidence or weakening it?

What would your life be with more optimism about yourself, more love, more gratitude, more self-confidence? How will a more positive inner dialogue influence your relationship with your partner or your children?

Your conscious as well as your subconscious permanently hear and record what you are saying. Be it loud or just in your head.

You think and talk to yourself inside your head all day. There is an incessant stream of thoughts that comes up to you in different situations. This dialogue is partly positive, partly negative and it constantly influences you. Most attempts to stop this dialogue are not effective in the long run.

What you tell yourself is very individual. But be aware! These thoughts determine your feelings and by consequence, your actions. Giving your inner dialogue a positive twist can substantially change your degree of happiness, your inner peace and has influence on your behavior.

You might regularly fall into the trap of a negative dialogue. No one is immune from having to face problems that you cannot solve - whether because they are too complex or because you do not have the right means to address them. Under these circumstances, and if the problem is relevant to you, it is normal for you to feel pessmistic or fearful.

“If you believe that the world is conspiring against you, it will just do that.”

Bangambiki Habyarimana

In such a situation, inner dialogues that strengthen negative ideas are conducted and bring you back to the painful experience you have not yet overcome. It becomes most difficult when you have to face new experiences that remind you of what you have failed in the past. Then there are negative reactions, because the situation is seen as a potentially dangerous threat. It is quite likely that you overreact in such a situation and that this is one of the behaviors you would like to change.

If you have negative thoughts about other people, then it can even be that these negative thoughts change something in your counterpart. Because such thoughts are noticeable.

Have you ever felt when someone has rejected you inwardly and yet spoken friendly to the outside world?

In Paul Watzlawick’s book ‘The pursuit of unhappiness’ he uses the following story to exemplify an escalation of a negative inner dialogue.

A man wants to hang up a picture. He has the nail, but not the hammer. His neighbor has one. So our man decides to go over and borrow it. But then he has a doubt: "What if the neighbor doesn't want to lend me the hammer? Yesterday he greeted me only so fleetingly. Maybe he was in a hurry. Maybe he just pretended to be in a hurry, and he has something against me. And what? I did nothing to him; he imagines something. If someone wanted to borrow a tool from me, I would give it to him immediately. And why not? How can one refuse such a simple favor to a fellow human being? People like that guy poison your life. And then he imagines that I am dependent on him. Just because he has a hammer. Now I really have enough!" And so he runs over, rings the bell, the neighbor opens, but before he can say "hello", our man yells at him: "Keep your hammer!!".

What can you do to initiate a turnaround?

Changing your inner dialogue is something you can train yourself on, but it will take time until it works. It is not about you not having negative thoughts anymore but it's possible to repeatedly weaken and transform these automatic thought patterns. With the help of more in-depth coaching methodologies you can work on the underlying beliefs to help you change that inner dialogue towards something more constructive.

Negative thought patterns express themselves often in generalizations. Do you have thoughts like these:

  • He’s always getting on my nerves.

  • If only I were a bit younger.

  • This happens only to me.

If you catch yourself telling you such patterns start asking yourself what you actually mean by that, for example:

  • He’s always getting on my nerves – When exactly is he getting on your nerves and what exactly is he doing? Is he really always getting on your nerves?

  • If only I were a bit younger – What would you do differently then? What exactly hinders you to do what you want to do right now?

  • This happens always to me – What do you mean by always? Are you sure that this really never happens to someone else?

This simple exercise can open a few doors for you if you start questioning your own generalizations and negative thoughts. Choose your words carefully and with caution when talking about yourself and your feelings. Your subconscious hears and records everything!

Your words and thoughts strengthen your feelings or weaken them.

Does it make a difference if you say "I have made many mistakes in life" or if you say "I have made many experiences"? Does it make a difference if you say "I am totally exhausted", or if you say "I need to recharge my energy"?

For sure it does! The choice of words is a sensationally simple method to influence our feelings - at least in the short term.

What would your life be with more optimism about yourself, more love, more gratitude, more self-confidence? How will a more positive inner dialogue influence your relationship with your partner or your children?

Find out how you can activate your full set of inner resources by booking one of my keynote speeches!

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© 2019 Ulrike Seminati, Zurich, Switzerland