Self Talk Inspiration

 

 

thumb_7qrodllp5v6o_1024What do you want to hear when you talk to yourself?

How would you inspire your best friend who needed support in a time of crisis?

I hear too many why questions in my self talk.

Why did you do that? Why didn’t you finish that? Why are you still worried about what you cannot change?

You are strong. You have courage. Follow your heart. Be kind. Give yourself credit. Pay attention to the light within. Listen to your heart. Be caring to yourself so you have the ability to share that caring spirit.

I can change my self talk by focusing in the words that demonstrate love, courage and compassion. My mantra has been: you are loved, you are loveable.

What do you need to tell yourself? Find those words and repeat as often as needed.

Words can be used as Weapons

Words can be used as weapons

Words can be used to shame, blamarchere, humiliate, hurt, discourage and intimidate.

Words used as weapons can create emotional distress even when the intentions are careless instead of deliberate. Words can be thrown out in anger or frustration. Words can be used in a deliberate pattern of verbal abuse. I think we fail to recognize the effect of verbal abuse on our physical and emotional health. We have been told to toughen up and ignore hurt feelings, that we are too sensitive and cannot take a joke.

 

In reality your response or understanding of the intended meaning of words is what counts. If you think you have been insulted or ridiculed: then you have been. Trust your internal instinct on how the words were intended.

Suzette Haden Elgin reminds us, “ That verbal violence is a toxic menace. The majority of illnesses and disorders that develop in the workplace have emotional stress as their direct or indirect cause.” (1.)

Words can be carefully crafted as a verbal attack. Elgin describes here how

to recognize the “Verbal Attack Pattern”.

“The most reliable clue you have to verbal abuse is to listen to how different words are stressed in the spoken sentence. Listen for odd or abnormal emphasis to be placed on words spoken.”

Examples: If you really cared about your health–you would get off the couch and start exercising

What is so difficult about eating healthy? It is so simple any one could do it.

In both these examples the attacker is not interested in your answer.

These words are not used to encourage or support. A verbal attack is meant to injure, blame or shame. You don’t have to apologize or explain when under attack. Here are some short ideas about how to defuse a verbal attack.

The attack will include a bait: Some part of the sentence will attack you personally and expect you to defend against that part of the sentence.

Your best defense is to recognize that attack pattern and ignore the bait.

Instead keep your voice calm and address the situation at hand or agree with something that has been said.

All words spoken are not absolute truths. Just by understanding and recognizing a verbal attack can help you reduce its impact or power to inflict pain. It saddens me to realize how often we accept criticism as our fault without questioning the intention behind the words spoken to us. My hope is to raise awareness of the words we hear and speak. That we focus on how to communicate with sensitivity to others and learn to defuse or deflect words used as weapons. I have gathered many tools and skills over the years as a martial arts instructor and teacher of verbal self-defense. I hope this blog gives you some new ideas and would be happy to discuss your specific situations with a coaching call. Schedule a call with Coach Gwen

Elgin, S. (2000). The gentle art of verbal self-defense at work. Paramus, NJ. : Prentice Hall Press

 

 

Communication Dance

When I talk to my parents and inquire about how they are doing in general or in any specific area: the answer is always we are fine, just fine. What I observe when I am with them is the difference of how they move or operate now compared to previous years. I see a big difference. Is this fine because they really think everything is OK or because they have accepted the changes and I have not?
This is where our communication dance becomes complex. I think we are in a dance where I try to uncover issues and they cover or minimize any issues that come up. My big laugh comes because this is our family pattern in exact reverse. Growing up, my parents asked the questions and I covered up at every opportunity and minimized any issues I had.
I think every family has their practiced communication patterns. I have found they get mixed up or turned upside down as we all slide into different roles based on aging needs and changing abilities.
So, what do you do now? I have found listening and really listening is what gives me the best idea of how my parents are doing. I try to be curious about a topic and ask with interest instead of demanding to know why something happened. This practice has met my need for getting more depth of information from just phone conversations.
Try stepping back and looking at your current communication patterns with your family? Are they working? What would happen if you practiced just listening?

Personal Boundaries

Personal boundaries are those invisible limits that you set around your life to allow good things in and keep you out of harmful situations. I consider boundaries as landmarks that mark my comfort zone in many situations. For many years I was a yes person. I would agree to take on any project and fix any situation for others with no regard for how that affected my energy levels. Then I moved to the other extreme and became a no person to any request. I had to learn to say no to everything because I did not trust my own system for deciding what things were harmful or helpful to me.
What can strong boundaries do for you? Personal boundaries put you in charge of how you live your life and how you choose to interact with others. They demonstrate respect for your needs and how much you treasure yourself.
What happens when you have no limits or personal boundaries?
One example is that you invite people into your life before you know their trustworthiness. You open yourself up to victimization. You find yourself overcommitted and unable to keep promises with feeling overwhelmed with no end in sight. Very weak boundaries can lead to emotional upheavals and feeling that life is out of control.
What happens when you set up very strong or rigid boundaries?
Here safety and control are you key needs. The results are not being open to new ideas or shutting yourself off from interactions and personal growth.
How do you find a middle ground? You learn by paying attention to your current boundaries and how they are working for you? What things have you agreed to do that immediately created a sense of overwhelm for you? What people or requests made you uncomfortable? When have you wanted to change your mind and join in after you turned down an invitation?
The best idea I can give you is try treating yourself as you would your very best friend. Be considerate of your own time. Take actions that demonstrate your value in life. Make it a process to act as your own best friend.

Trust Yourself First

Trust yourself first

Did you know that fully 85% of you happiness will be determined by your relationships with other people? This information comes from Brian Tracy who is an expert in motivation and self development programs.

How well that you get along with others and how long they get along with you will determine your level of happiness in life. Your social relationships at work and home   both require quality time of giving people full attention to thrive and grow your relationships.

Trust is the number one important principle of any relationship.

To build trust, you must keep your word. You must do what you say you will do. Your actions need to be reliable and dependable for yourself and for the people around you.

This seems like a simple concept- just do what you say you will do every time.

What I find is that I have to start with trusting myself and my own intuition. Paying attention to matching my actions with my intuition is important for me to trust myself.

What does it take to build trust with myself?

First I need to take time and think before I act or make decisions. Only in a quiet space can I listen to my inner feelings. When I am under pressure I tend to agree to take on a task or responsibility that I really do not want or need to do. Then I am stuck keeping my word and being unhappy about it.

The second thing I have learned is to say “no” or” let me think about it”- before agreeing to take on a responsibility.  Keeping agreements is part of building trust.

So what if we made an agreement with ourselves first. My agreement is that I will give myself thinking time and space before agreeing to take on any commitment for other people.

This one agreement has done more for keeping me out of overwhelm than anything else I have done.

What agreements do you need for yourself? How will they help you manage life more easily?

Build trust with yourself first and see how that affects your relationships with others.