The Voice Inside
Each time you participate in any particular behavior, whether it’s label good or bad, you begin to engrave it as a habit. The habits you form stem from every choice you make when faced with a decision. These choices create and mold the person you will ultimately grow to be, therefore what you practice is what you become.
Inner dialogue is no different than those behaviors. The mental chatter that is constantly talking inside your head has immense power over how you judge yourself and your capabilities. It is constantly guiding you toward or away from opportunities depending on your belief system. Inner dialogue is created, amplified and caused by your experiences, which later become patterns. These patterns are put into place because of the choices you make every day, whether you are aware of them or not.
So how aware are you of the choices you are making daily and their impact on your inner environment?
How aware are you of the voice inside your head?
Is it motivating and empowering you?
Is it criticizing and doubting you?
Maybe a little bit of both?
The struggle with changing your patterns and habits is that it is so deeply embedded in the mind that you resort to them without much thought. This is an example of living on autopilot or living mindlessly. When you think about the fact that your mind and body will eventually participate in any behavior continuously practiced, it is fascinating. Because that also means it’s possible to change these patterns into behaviors and thoughts you WANT to have and those that will benefit your well-being.
Consider this: The way you choose to respond or react to a situation eventually becomes your inner dialogue. Circumstances that hurt you, the ones you harbor feelings for, the people you haven’t forgiven. Any situation you face that is similar has the potential to bring you a similar outcome of pain, leading your mind to bring you back to how you handled the first one.
If you want to change your self-talk start by becoming aware of the chatter. Instead of approaching inner dialogue with the intention to change it, just simply become aware of what is already happening. Bring your attention to the tone of voice during challenging times vs. joyful times. Notice how your body may tense up or relax in accordance to the conversation inside your mind. See if you can trace it back to the root judgment that is the cause behind your choices. You may begin to notice the fear of change or a distant memory of a similar situation when you suffered somehow. Once you become aware of the changes you seek you can begin to pause before decision making and decide consciously. Slowly but surely you’ll be rewiring your responses to those that benefit you.
The connection between your experiences and the choices you make is incredible. Make the conscious effort to look closer at it and get a better understanding of who you are choosing to become. Think of the times you’ve made mistakes, took steps back from the huge progress you’ve made and the times you failed. How did you treat yourself mentally?
Were you supportive and forgiving?
Were you kind and understanding, viewing it from more than your personal perspectives?
Did you take the time to listen to how hurt you were as a result?
Did you explore how it made you feel?
Did you treat yourself the way you would a friend?
Most of the time you are your toughest critic, while in a similar situation you would provide warmth and compassion to others. With a more conscious effort, you could start to shift not only your relationship with yourself but your response to the world around you.
If every day you choose to be kind to yourself as a result you would become a kinder human being. The same goes for being critical, understanding, angry and compassionate. It all lies within the choices you make every day. So wake up and pay attention to what you allow into the mind. Because whether you are aware or not there is a constant conversation going on inside you. It’s time you became a part of it.