3 Ways Talking to Yourself Will Change Your Life
The ultimate act of self-talk
To many of us, the idea of talking to oneself, or what psychologists might refer to as self-talk, is insane and nothing short of madness and might even be creepy to some of you, that I know from experience. But I am going to reveal the amazing benefits in talking to yourself and how it can improve your life. If you think this is some ridiculous claim, I dare you to read on and find out for yourself.
To appreciate the idea behind talking to yourself, you need to first establish the reason why you want to talk to yourself. I am not suggesting that you go on walking the streets talking to yourself as that may indeed seem like madness. These ideas are constructed within reason and contexts that they apply to and I can’t wait to reveal them.
To appreciate the idea behind talking to yourself, you need to first establish the reason why you want to talk to yourself.
The number one reason you should practice self-talk is to make better decisions. Let's say you are about to seal a deal on a $50,000 car that you like so much and a car you’ve always dreamed of owning. It is critical to be sure that you are making the right decision, whether you’re paying cash or taking a loan for it. Decisions like this can be clouded by our emotions, the attachment to the car after a test drive and all the images already playing in your head about driving the car to work or picking up your friends in it. The list goes on. At this point, what I like to do or suggest is stop and ask yourself a few questions like:
Can I really afford a $50,000 car? Do I need a $50,000 car? Is this going to hurt my finances or ability to save in any way? And consider asking yourself any other reasonable questions that might come to mind.
The goal of talking to yourself with these questions is to hear yourself saying it back. We tend to be more rational and realistic when saying something back to ourselves than when it’s just a thought in our minds. I have personally applied this principle and have skipped on making some major purchases as a result. I must admit though that I did make one of those costly purchases one time when I could have benefited from this knowledge that I am now sharing with you. I dare you to try this the next time you are about to make a purchase of a significant amount and you will be surprised at how quickly your decision will be shaped.
Our brain has the capacity to play back spoken memories and connect it to objects, people, and places.
Some of us do not have great memories and we forget things the minute after we commit to them. Research has shown that when you speak something to yourself you are more likely to remember it than when it’s just a thought in your head.
So let’s just pretend for a minute that you don’t have phone reminders or just can’t be bothered to write something on a piece of paper but you need to be reminded to call your mother after work. All you need to do is say it to yourself in the morning, “Tosin, reminder to call mom after work”. I know this sounds weird but here’s the amazing thing about this practice, as soon as you speak these words to yourself, somehow you are reminded every time you see something that connects to that statement; a cell phone, someone making a call, and the most striking one is when you actually leave work and head home, this reminder will become so strong that you can hardly shake it off. What started with a simple self-talk and proceeded on to subtle reminders throughout the day is now a full-blown and effective memory trigger and you get to call mama!
Our brain has the capacity to play back spoken memories and connect it to objects, people, and places. This can be used in many other contexts, just let your imagination roll.
This is the most subtle benefit of talking to yourself. You develop the ability to collect and process information faster than an average person. Just like with decision-making, your ability to problem solve situations can be greatly enhanced when you communicate the problem and possible solutions to yourself verbally (a fancier way of saying “talk to yourself about it”).
I have personally found this to be extremely true for me when working on a difficult task or project and I need to arrive at a solution within a strict timeframe. I continuously reassess the problem and possible alternatives by reiterating them verbally and I have found that this enhanced my ability to focus on the task at hand and pick the most viable solution.
We tend to see things closest to reality when we say it. You can call it the law of confession but it is true that the things you say are more likely to come to pass or shape your outcome than the thoughts you hold in your head.
We tend to see things closest to reality when we say it.
If these are not enough reasons to treat yourself to some self-talk every now and then, I don’t know what is. These are some of the best positive and safe self-talk practices you can engage in. Now go practice it!
Tosin AdewumiThe All-Round You | Passion Reveals Purpose
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