How do we see ourselves?
When it comes to our inner voice, the conversation that happens in our head, often referred to as self-talk* the one that we think no one else is privy to, and that we often think we have no choice in, but is there another way and can we potentially choose the quality of that voice and can we make it our best friend?
It could be saying: " You look amazing today!" or " You are so caring" or it could be saying: "Not good enough"...."You are better than her"... "It is not fair"...."You are stupid"...etc. These thoughts can either support us and foster self worth, or they can create habits of self-sabotage and a lack of self confidence.
We interpret every situation, interaction and conversation through this filter of self-talk, so is your self-talk your worst critic or your best friend?
It is well worth reviewing how we speak to ourselves, taking a step back and observing the self-talk that we entertain in our heads on a daily basis.
Do we kick ourselves when we are down or pick ourselves up gently with understanding?
Self-talk is often self created, in the sense that we do not have it when we are born, it is embedded by us taking on experiences, influences from role models and society, through being hurt, wanting to fit in, trying to please others etc. Which means there is potential for our self-talk habits to shift and change if we begin to make different choices:
Can we be more observant of the quality of the self-talk?
Can we develop more awareness of any self-talk habits that are there?
Can we question the self-talk and not just accept it or follow it?
Can we be honest about how the self-talk feels in our body and how it may be effecting our health and wellbeing?
Can we re-connect to our body, via simply connecting with the quality of our breath and that this supports a greater observation of self-talk habits?
Can we learn without perfection to make different choices concerning what type of self-talk we allow to be with us?
We often assume that the self-talk we have is part of us and although there is a reality to this, it is also a self learnt behaviour and a self created reality. This can appear to be normal but is it natural for us to have self-critical thoughts? We can decide whether we entertain the self-sabotaging thoughts or question them and be more discerning of how they actually feel in our body.
When we practice observing the quality of our thoughts we enable ourselves to deepen our understanding of the impact they may be having on our lives, our relationships, how we approach situations and ultimately our long term health and wellbeing.
We can observe self-talk simply by reconnecting to the quality of our breath and choose a quality of breath that supports the body to be settled and at ease. Meditation when done with the correct intention, can be a great tool or technique that supports this reconnection, greater awareness and observation.**
Can we nurture an inner voice that becomes our best friend? I would suggest it is possible, but like any other patterns of behaviour, to turn around self-criticism, blame or lack of confidence takes practice and a commitment to be honest with ourselves. However it can be so worth it!
The next time you hear that inner critic saying, "Stupid You" or You made a mistake....again"... stop, breathe, observe it and be honest about how does it really feel in your body? When we are honest about how we feel in our body and respond to it with care, we empower ourselves to begin to make changes that truly support us.
Samantha Davidson, a woman, wife, mother, massage therapist, complementary health practitioner, business owner, presenter and blogger who understands the realties of life. A student of life, understanding no perfection is required but with consistent honesty and reflection, we can learn that true health & wellbeing starts from within. Based in Cornwall, UK enjoying the fullness of life. www.insideouthealth.uk.com
*This blog is an observational piece written through personal and professional experience. It is in no way an alternative to seeking appropriate medical care. It is vital to seek support for our mental health if required, if you are concerned about your mental health & wellbeing please do contact your GP.
**To find out more see our section on meditation on our website and you can also attend our monthly free meditation sessions at the clinic.