Internal Dialogue and Questions
We don't think about it, but we are in constant dialogue with ourselves. Is this a positive, empowering and self-encouraging communication with ourselves? If it is, then you are doing very well! For most of us, it is often rather negative. We judge situations and we criticise ourselves, but rarely do we congratulate ourselves on what we are doing. Perhaps we do on the occasion where we do something we regard as exceptional. But for the rest of the time when we are working hard at things, mundane things, we don't congratulate ourselves or tell ourselves we are really great. The few times we comment on ourselves is where we have made a mistake or when we feel or look awful. Rarely does one look in the mirror and say to oneself 'Yeah, I look so good. I feel dangerous! What a sex bomb! Yeaaaah'. Usually one looks in the mirror in the morning and thinks to oneself 'You look like [insert expletive]. If you make a mistake alone or in front of people, often one says to oneself 'You [insert expletive]'. Is this useful? Not really! Try to cultivate the habit of complimenting yourself during the day, set yourself a goal if necessary. Try to catch yourself putting yourself down or beating yourself up and try to interrupt this behaviour and revert to a positive behaviour or try to at least laugh about the situation. Don't just curse yourself and attach a negative meaning to a situation. This is one place where our negative beliefs and references come from.
As an experiment, pick a time of day when you look in the mirror (perhaps in the bathroom or toilet) and really grin and outrageously compliment yourself. Totally and utterly outrageously! Lose your inhibitions about complimenting yourself. 'I am the greatest!'...'I am the strongest!'...'I am the sexiest'! Have some fun and do some fist shaking, goofy dancing or shadow boxing or whatever takes your fancy. Have some fun! No one is looking.
How we feel about something is usually a result of the questions we ask ourselves. Questions can be empowering or disempowering. For example, asking yourself 'why do I have to do this?', 'why do I always end up having to do this?' or 'how long is this going to take?' are unlikely to yield a positive or useful answer. Instead, you are using a question to trigger a certain frame of mind, presumably to feel a sense of closeness with yourself. Try to catch yourself doing this and stop or avoid the temptation and ask youself a more positive question. Positive questions get positive answers and make yourself feel good. A negative question make feeling negative, self-pitying thoughts seem credible and reasonable, whereas in reality they are rather childish and pathetic. Try asking yourself empowering questions like 'How can I achieve this goal and have a great time?' or 'What is it about this situation that I can learn from?' or 'What is really great about this situation?' You then think that the situation is a great way to be more adaptable or change your behaviour/approach or to play and have some fun. If you have to do something anyway, you may as well enjoy it! That moment will pass and never come back. One more hour of your life that is gone forever. Make the most of it!
Don't forget that thinking about something, depending on your choice of noun or verb, you may be attaching very different meanings to a situation or person. Be mindful to use an empowering or positive, or at least neutral expression rather than a negative one.