From the time we are toddlers, we spend most of our lives talking to ourselves, through our thoughts. That little voice inside our head is our self-talk. It tells us how we feel about every situation and event that happens throughout our life. It becomes our best friend. It tells us what’s right and what’s wrong. It warns us of dangers. It reveals options. We spend countless hours in silent conflict blaming ourselves or others.

Powerful Consequences

When our silent self-blame, guilt, helplessness and shame, to name a few, are taken to the extreme they can develop into negative, irrational and undesirable consequences – even depression. 

Our self-talk is very powerful. We use it to feel the way we want to feel. If your self-talk is negative and irrational, you will most probably experience an undesirable consequence as a result. Likewise, positive self-talk and rational thinking will most likely result in a positive consequence. 

Rational vs Irrational

Rational self-talk and rational beliefs are helpful to the self, and create healthy emotional consequences. According to the late psychologist Albert Ellis (1913-2007), rational thinking is balanced and always allows room for optimism and possibilities. On the other hand, irrational thinking tends to perpetuate itself. For example, your self-talk could be “nothing good will ever happen to me.”

The irrational thinker sees any possibility of having something good happen or having any good experience as so unlikely that they give up expecting them.

Irrational thinking and negative self-talk is usually black and white, and stops any possibility of positive or alternative experiences.

Thinking Errors

Irrational thinking and negative self-talk is also accompanied by thinking errors that directly affect how you feel and act. Take a few minutes and review the list of the most common thinking errors and see if you recognize or use any in your self-talk. Write down two or three that you use regularly and have become habits over the years. Next, write how each thinking error affects your current behavior. Next to that statement write down how you wish your behavior to change. In other words, your desired behavior.

Let’s use “I can’t” as an example. It is a very common thinking error. You could write your current behavior as “something you can’t do correctly makes you feel angry and frustrated.” Your desired behavior could be written as, “I can do anything that i set my mind to.” Continue this process with the thinking errors you regularly use in your self-talk.

Re-Shape Irrational Thoughts

The key to controlling your self-talk and the way you think is to recognize your irrational thoughts and cut them off them as they happen. This will allow rational thoughts to flow, changing your self-talk to be positive and productive.

Re-shaping your self-talk will re-shape your beliefs, thoughts and attitudes.

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you toward improving your life.

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