Writers call it their inner critic, (or muse, depending on their mood). Others describe it as communicating with angels. You might call it meditation. Someone else may consider it thinking. The point is, your self-talk influences how you see the world, meet challenges and achieve your goals.
Here are seven innocent variations of self-talk that can have dramatically different results.
- I must _____. (Rule driven)
- I will _____. (Promise driven)
- I intend to _____. (Plan driven)
- I need to _____. (Urgency driven)
- I am _____. (Meditatively driven)
- Why am I _____? (Purpose driven)
- Am I _____? (Validation driven)
Let’s use a perennial favorite goal like, lose five pounds this month, to highlight the subtle differences.
- I must lose five pounds this month.
- I will lose five pounds this month.
- I intend to lose five pounds this month.
- I need to lose five pounds this month.
- I am losing five pounds this month.
- Why am I losing five pounds this month?
- Am I losing five pounds this month?
Which one is the most effective? That’s for you and your unique personality to decide. Personally, I look at it as a continuum. I take an important goal and run it through each of the phrases. I know I may start out motivated and excited, but if I lose my focus and the fake it ’til you make it routine, isn’t working, turning the statement into a fact finding question get’s my brain engaged around my purpose and then acts as a truth-teller.
Things are seldom as bad as you think nor a good as you wish, but confronting the current reality helps move you in a meaningful direction.
Try something different. What self-talk have you found to be effective for you?