How vital it is to ensure that our self-talk is healthy and is moving us towards wholeness.
The work I'm presently doing with a client is once again strongly reminding me of this. Again and again negative self-talk comes up in my teaching. Again and again it arises in my own life. Again and again I teach and learn how we can face our self-loathing and hear our inner voice speaking to us of our hopelessness and unlovability. Again and again I am amazed at how we can transform our experience by transforming our self-talk.
This particular client is frequently faced with a task which she believes she cannot hope to complete successfully. It involves speaking out in a professional situation in a language which she believes she speaks incompetently.
I asked her to identify her self-talk after a recent work meeting during which she delivered a report. When she realised that the only thing she told herself afterwards was, "That wasn't good enough.", she was filled with sadness. My client at once understood how this self-talk made her disheartened and afraid, how it drained her of confidence.
She also gained insight into just how important it was to her to be "good enough" and how much fear and anxiety she could generate around these feelings.
So now together we realised how negative, stale and even laughable her self-talk has been.
And now together we have arrived at some new self-talk for her. Statements which are encouraging, useful and truthful for her now.
"That wasn't good enough" becomes "That was good enough for now"
Her list "I'm not ... " becomes a summary of positive qualities and skills
"I am ... "
Instead of highlighting incompetence in her speaking skills by saying "I'm bad at ..." she identifies strengths and tells herself
"I'm good at ... "
She enhances her transformation by telling herself how she is changing:
"Day by day I am becoming more ..."
So I encourage you to identify your self-talk and then to shed that which is old, stale, useless.
Be kind to yourself and tell yourself what you long to know: that you are, above all else, completely lovable; wholly worthy of being loved and loving.
I find this affirmation to be useful and life-enhancing, it's from Margaret Fourie's book "TALK' (Metz Press, 2007)
"I am competent, confident and worth loving"
Indeed you are and good luck with your presentation!
For more about me and the communication coaching I offer go to my website