Today I want to dive into what I consider to be a superpower for many men: self-talk.
You may have heard of the term self-talk in different self-improvement circles but I view it a bit differently. I want to help you understand what it is, the important role it plays, and how you can develop it in your life, not only for rebooting but to help you achieve all your goals.
What is Self-Talk?
Self-talk is your intra-personal communication. It is the way you speak to yourself internally and the story you tell yourself, both of which also contribute to the way you communicate with others. Everybody talks to themselves, it’s a normal thing. Some have a more constant inner dialogue than others but everyone experiences it to some degree.
When you pay attention to your inner dialogue you’ll see that it reflects your thoughts and emotions. It provides a running commentary on everything going on around you, on your hopes for the future, your regrets about the past, and more.
People often think that self-talk is something innate that can’t be changed. It’s part of who you are and is the way that it is. However, I know that’s far from the truth. You have more control over your self-talk than you’d like to admit or believe.
Paying attention to your self-talk helps you get to know yourself in a deeper, more honest way. You discover your thinking patterns and how you react to events outside your control. Once you notice these patterns, it allows you to do something about them.
Dysfunctional vs. Constructive Self-Talk
Some people are programmed for positive self-talk. It doesn’t take much for their headspace to remain upbeat and beneficial as they move through their lives. However, others are prone to negative self-talk. Their inner monologue tends to carry a critical view of the world around them and especially themselves.
This means there are two types of self-talk: constructive and dysfunctional. Dysfunctional self-talk tells a bad story that makes you feel helpless and hopeless. Constructive self-talk makes you feel awesome, like you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
Dysfunctional self-talk is what creates negative feelings. It causes things like anxiety and depression, further instills insecurity, and exacerbates negative emotion. On the other hand, constructive self-talk provides access to all kinds of wonderful emotions. It leaves you feeling happy, confident, and full of optimism.
Getting your self-talk to this constructive space is when it becomes a superpower that makes you unstoppable.
Why is Self-Talk So Important?
Self-talk has a direct impact on how you feel. Negative self-talk makes you feel terrible while positive self-talk makes you feel incredible. This isn’t the only thing that makes it important, though. The interesting thing about self-talk is that it amplifies your perception of experiences.
For example, if you’re stressed out and overwhelmed with negative thoughts, it makes your stressful situation even more stressful. But if you’re filled with positive thoughts, you’ll have an easier time talking yourself through this moment of difficulty, trusting that it won’t last forever.
Ultimately, your self-talk creates a feedback loop. The positivity or negativity of that loop depends on the way you talk to yourself. If your inner dialogue amplifies both negative and positive things, which would you prefer it amplifies?
Learning to Control Self-Talk
You’re not a victim of your inner dialogue. While you may not know how to control it yet, the good thing is you can learn how to. You can incorporate different practices that help you develop an awareness of how you talk to yourself and then change those negative thought patterns.
The first step to controlling your self-talk is to make a conscious effort to pay attention to your thoughts. Do this as you go through your day. Listen to the way your mind reacts to whatever happens around you. Observe the patterns of thought that happen automatically with little input from your conscious mind.
The more you pay attention, the more you’ll recognize the trend of your thoughts. Are you more prone to positive or negative thinking? If you’re here in the Porn Reboot program and early in your reboot, you’re more likely to err on the side of dysfunctional self-talk.
Next, write down a list of your most common thought patterns. What are the things you regularly tell yourself? Are you encouraging or do you tear yourself down? What specific phrases do you repeat? Write all of these things down on paper so you have them in front of you in black and white.
Read each thought and ask yourself whether there is any truth behind it. It may be difficult at first when you’re still programmed to see yourself negatively. The more you read through this list, though, the more you realize most of the things you tell yourself are far from true. In fact, many of them are probably ridiculous.
Self-Talk and Your Reboot
You’ve spent so many years of your life telling yourself all sorts of terrible things; no wonder you feel so poorly all the time. Learning to control your self-talk is crucial if you want to be successful in your porn addiction recovery.
If you tell yourself that you’re a loser every time you slip it will be much harder for you to overcome these setbacks. But if you accept your imperfections, tell yourself that you’re working hard, and that you learn from your mistakes, it will be much easier to avoid these mistakes.
Working on your self-talk is an important part of your reboot. There are tons of men in the free Porn Reboot Facebook group who understand the difficulties of controlling self-talk. If you’re having a hard time with changing your dysfunctional thinking, jump into the group and find some support from your brothers as you work on it!