Do you listen to those voices inside your head?

The way you talk to yourself makes a difference

Do you ever catch yourself having a conversation with, well, yourself? I know I do! Especially when I am in a position of trying to figure something out or trying to make a decision. It’s important to have positive self-talk but what happens when those negative thoughts get in there? How do you handle negative self-talk?

I Can, I can't
Self-talk is our inner dialogue that triggers an emotional response. It is supposed to give you confidence, to make you feel better about yourself, build self-esteem and make you feel in control, not put you down and make you feel crappy about yourself.  Self-talk does affect your personal judgement and how you perceive yourself. When you find yourself in a negative situation, how can you control your self-talk to not turn against you?

Let’s say you get some unpleasant feedback from your boss about that project you have been working on. What is your first reaction going to be towards this information? Are you going to tell yourself that you did a poor job; that you aren’t worthy of even having a job; that your boss doesn’t like you; and that they are going to fire you? Do you think that type of thinking is going to help your situation or make it worse? Or are you going to re-evaluate what your boss told you, take it into consideration and next time blow them away and knock that project out of the park!

We all have bad days and we all get down on ourselves – what we need to learn is how to control those negative thoughts and turn them into positive, motivational thoughts. Your boss is just trying to help you out so you can do better and grow. If they really didn’t care about you and your work, they wouldn’t have said anything to you and would have just let you keep failing. Take what they said into consideration and that it’s a sign for you to improve and grow as a person.

So how can we turn that negative self-talk into positive self-talk and get you back on the right path?  A good way to start is by trying to analyzing your reactions using the EXPEL model.  There are 4 steps to this model that can help you analyze what happens when negativity takes over.

EXPEL Model 2

Step 1: Explain

Go over the situation, the facts, with yourself. What really happened and not what you think happened in your mind at the time. Try to put your personal feelings aside. Try to explain the situation to yourself when you aren’t so emotional.

Step 2: Pinpoint

Determine what sort of mind frame you were in at the time of the situation. How were you feeling – mad, frustrated, ignored? Tap into your emotional response, doesn’t have to be logically. You just want to understand what was going on with you at the time of the situation.

Step 3: Evaluate action

How did you handle the situation? Do you think it was the right way or is there a better way you could have handled it? Here is where you can learn and take away from what happened. Next time you find yourself in a similar situation, try and remember this – either to not make the same mistakes or if you handled it the best way you think you could have, remember what you did.

Step 4: Link to self-esteem

On a personal level, how did you feel when it was all over? Were you happy with the outcome? How you behaved? Did it give you confidence or did it make you feel crappy because you know that you could have done something differently?

It helps to write this all down. Click here for a printable EXPEL Model chart.

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