At a glance:
- Self-talk, or our inner dialogue, is a self-fulfilling prophecy because it lays the foundation of our perception of ourselves, as well as the world.
- A life coach can help reframe your negative self-talk into a positive one by asking the right questions, building awareness and giving you tools that help you break out of these limiting beliefs and mindsets.
As a life coaching service in Australia, we can vouch for the transformative power of productive self-talk. Healthy self-talk can be a simple and effective tool to foster personal growth. Practising productive self-talk helps you identify and reframe negative thinking patterns, raise your confidence and uplift your self-esteem. One of the major determinants of success and growth is our ability to talk to ourselves in a compassionate and uplifting manner. How we talk to ourselves shapes our perception of who we are and what the world has to offer. It forms the basis of our identity and the foundation of every relationship we nurture.
Self-talk is the background hum, the ongoing internal dialogue we have with ourselves throughout the day. It plays a key role in shaping our emotions, mindset, as well as actions, whether we are aware of it or not.
Self-talk, whether negative or positive, is a self-fulfilling prophecy. But the key to hacking it is to understand it, as well as the many shapes and forms it takes in our everyday experiences. Self-criticism, self-doubt and pessimism are typical characteristics of negative self-talk. Like the way we label ourselves (‘I’m a failure’), catastrophising or overgeneralising (‘I’ll never be able to make this relationship work’), or committing to all-or-nothing thinking (‘If I don’t have it all, I’ll have none’). We reinforce our limiting beliefs by engaging in negative self-talk and further push ourselves down the loop of self-sabotage.
On the other hand, positive self-talk is marked by encouragement, compassion and optimism. It’s not that optimists are not realists. Optimism involves focusing your subconscious on the desired outcomes and possibilities of a situation. By using affirmations and stacking on your actions, you can reinforce a positive identity and construct self-talk that serves you. Healthy restorative self-talk helps you stay resilient and focused in the face of adversity, thus leading to greater self-confidence and self-esteem.
Now that you’ve seen the impact of productive self-talk on personal growth let’s explore some ways in which a personal development coach can help you shift your self-talk from that of self-sabotage to self-compassion:
A life coach can help you identify and question negative self-talk.
You can’t change what you don’t know. The same is true for self-talk. Sometimes the echo chambers of our mind are so pervasive that an alternate reality seems unimaginable. Negative self-talk may appear like harsh voices of criticism, disdain and disappointment, and it may be tempting to ascribe negative self-talk as your truth. A life coach will help you develop an awareness of your negative self-talk and identify the vocabulary you use to address your situation and yourself. A life coach will question these long-held, deeply rooted notions that contribute to your self-talk and ask the following counter questions:
- Do you have any evidence of this thought or belief you carry about yourself?
- Is this belief helping or stunting your personal growth?
- How would you respond to a friend having these similar thoughts?
Once you have identified the nature of your internal dialogue, your life coach can then work with you to unpack the source of these beliefs about yourself. A coach will help you realise that you can be more than your present thoughts and that what you know of yourself is not a finality. You can then work together to reframe your self-talk to be more accurate and supportive.
A life coach can encourage you to practice positive self-talk regularly.
The harsh truth is that healing and growing are not easy, and it’s not something that comes naturally to us. Human beings are wired to ascribe meanings to events, and using new words to describe our situation may not be obvious when we are used to negative self-talk. Most people forget this. But just like all other forms of growth, personal growth requires practice. Learning how to communicate better with yourself is a skill you must learn, practice and imbibe. One way a personal development coach can help is by encouraging you to incorporate positive self-talk into your daily routine by using affirmations along with life-giving actions. For example, we encourage our clients to end a yoga session with a verbal affirmation: ‘I am grounded, safe and in control of my choices’.
Life coaches use visualisation techniques to reinforce positive self-talk.
Visualisation is an effective tool to help you channel your imagination for your personal as well as professional growth. It can help reinforce positive beliefs and provide you with the freedom to minimise the limiting beliefs in your story. Working with a life coach means having a confidante, a support system that can help you envision new and desirable outcomes based on your own abilities. We, at Quality Mind, with our team of mind mentors, guide our clients through numerous visualisation exercises which put their imaginations to better use rather than catastrophising or generalising. This helps build confidence, manage anxiety, and improve motivation levels for getting hard tasks done.
A life coach will encourage you to celebrate your success.
You work hard, and when progress happens, you are convinced that it’s not enough, that you don’t deserve to celebrate or rest, not yet. Your personal development coach will help you see that you deserve celebration and rest and that every step, no matter how small, matters. Cheering for yourself may not look like a fundamental trait of success, but it is. When the chips are down, and no one is rooting for you, it may seem pointless to keep taking those steps and showing up every day. That’s why celebrating your wins, small or big, is an effective way to keep that inner dialogue healthy. It builds self-confidence, motivation and self-esteem, the prerequisites to meeting any challenges head-on.
Other helpful ways that a life coach can help you inculcate a habit of positive self-talk:
A life coach can help you learn some mindfulness techniques to ground you in the present moment when you are facing overwhelming anxiety and self-doubt. Knowing how to self-soothe and tell your mind an alternate story is a key skill in personal growth.
Modelling positive language:
A life coach can also demonstrate positive self-talk by remodelling the phrases and expressions you generally use. This includes replacing them with words that are encouraging, kind and assuring. A life coach will ask you to avoid negative self-labelling, name-calling and ‘always’ and ‘never’ phrases when talking about yourself or your relationships.
In a world of hustling hard, self-compassion can come across as a weakness, but nothing can be farther from the truth. The ability to treat ourselves with kindness is by far the most important life-saving skill we can have. It involves practising kindness and understanding even in the face of failures and mistakes. By encouraging you to practice self-compassion, a life coach can help you reduce self-criticism and build resilience and self-esteem.
A life coach can help you harness the power of humour in reframing negative self-talk and reducing its impact. By encouraging you to find humour in life’s mishaps, a life coach can help you take challenges and obstacles in your stride. This can help you gain perspective and reduce the emotional intensity of negative self-talk.
Building a healthy inner dialogue is not given in everyone’s life. So remember, even when you are aware of the negative chatter, don’t belittle and shame yourself for having negative self-talk. The key is to practice and forgive and stay patient while expecting results. An online life coach can provide you with ongoing support, encouragement and accountability as you work towards your goals. If your thoughts and inner dialogue are becoming a source of frustration and fear, it is time for you to seek help. Book your free session with Quality Mind now. If you are not sure, use a free life scorecard to get an idea of your inner dialogue and how that might be affecting your relationships and life.