A Kinder, Gentler Self

Life Coaching: Checking your self-talk

click to enlarge Carla Brannan is a certified professional life coach in Spokane.
Carla Brannan is a certified professional life coach in Spokane.

Talking smack about ourselves is so acceptable it's nearly a pastime. What are your personal zingers — do they relate to your appearance, your intelligence, your ability to organize and plan? Over time, little by little, we can't help but start to buy into these negative thoughts, regardless of their validity. This disparaging self-talk can have an impact on our attitudes and may ultimately affect our actions. For example, an exciting promotion is announced at work, and on paper you're a perfect match. However, you may let the opportunity pass by because you've convinced yourself that you're just not smart enough to handle the job.

Since our self-talk impacts our attitudes and actions, perhaps increasing positive thoughts will lead us in a healthier direction. Here's how to get started:

1) Get curious about your thoughts. When you catch yourself in a negative moment, practice reframing that negative to a positive: "Oh, I could never do that" becomes "It's not impossible, so I'm gonna give it a try."

2) Surround yourself with words and images that make you feel good. Use magazines, quotes from the Internet or create your own.

With consistent effort, being kinder to yourself will help you develop a more positive perspective that's sure to benefit you and the people in your life.

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