“The most important person to listen to is oneself, and our most important task is to develop an ear that can really hear what we are saying.” – Sydney J. Harris
Thoughts are things. We must be cautious about the things we say to ourselves. We have all heard about people being their own worst enemies. When we are overly self-critical, we can actually bring our own self-confidence down.
Our thoughts can build us up, or tear us down. Our thoughts have a significant impact on our attitudes, activities, and expectations. Set big goals, seek to achieve, but make sure your thoughts support the outcomes you desire.
As Earl Nightingale often reminded us; We literally become what we think about most of the time! We must take the time to develop the skill of reflective listening and monitor what we are saying not just to others, but more importantly, to ourselves.
So let’s go just a little deeper into this topic of self-talk and more importantly, reflective listening. Do you actually take the time to consider your words before they pass across your tongue and through your lips? Or, do you sometimes find yourself asking after the fact, why you either said or did something the way you did?
Either way is fine and there is no right or wrong way to do this, as the words right and wrong are actually very crude tools to describe our feelings and opinions about our responses to situations often controlled by societal norms that actually outline what is considered quote/unquote, right or wrong.
What is important to understand however, is how our thoughts line up with our core values and beliefs and whether we are able to both create and demonstrate congruence with what we both think and believe.
When we find ourselves in a situation where we either do not, or cannot honor our core values, we become conflicted. One of the ways we diffuse the experience of this dilemma, is through our self-talk. We typically either find a way to rationalize, or justify our behavior in an effort to help our subconscious mind make sense of our experience.
The thoughts we carry with us as we experience life are either supporting us or tearing us down and the only way to know the difference is to pause long enough to evaluate what we are actually saying to ourselves.
Do you ever belittle yourself? Have you ever found yourself saying something like: Why did I do that, I am so stupid? Or, I can’t believe I just did that, what an idiot I am. Of course we have, we all have… Consider this though for just a moment… How often do we say things like this where we don’t catch ourselves? What message are we inadvertently sending to ourselves?
Monitor your thoughts and what you express about yourself and what you say and do and you will see how if neglected, this practice silently impacts our self-confidence, self-esteem, self-worth, self-control, and self-belief. Our confidence is directly related to our self-talk and our ability to accurately express through reflection, our true capacity and capability to be our very best in any given situation.
What are you saying to yourself? How is what you’re saying to yourself either supporting you, or tearing you down? Be vigilant, be aware, monitor your thoughts for a day and see how many times you can catch yourself being something other than supportive or reflective, and then make an adjustment by simply asking; “is that really true?” This one small “SHIFT” can be the difference between CONFIDENCE and UNCERTAINTY.
Author Bio: Bobby Kountz