This post is the fourth part of a series on Being Happy. Links to the other posts in this series are at the end of the post.
When I was the most unhappy I had the most negative self talk happening. There was a constant stream of “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t” or “They can’t expect” type of thoughts going through my head.
Remember my post on Default Settings? (If not check it out) Well, all those little negative messages had managed to become my default setting. As I mentioned in the post, the first step is to recognize when those negative messages pop up. Don’t judge the message, just notice that it’s there. The second step is to replace the negative message with something else.
There are a few ways you can replace the negative message once you recognize it. One is to reverse the message. So, if the message is “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t” change it to “I am good enough” or “I can”. Another approach is to take the negative out of it and change the message to a question. The message “I can’t complete that task” becomes “What steps can I take to complete that task” or “What help do I need to complete that task.”
It might also be helpful to keep a note book handy to jot down some information each time you notice negative self talk. Write down the gist of the message and what was happening at the time. At the end of the day review it and look for any patterns or any messages that appear frequently. Then brainstorm ideas to change your pattern or address the message.