The other day, while watching Gotham I realised how the characters there were driven by their ‘other’ self. In order to survive sanity and order of this world, I believe, we all need this “other self”. We all to an extent, feel the need to have a schizophrenic companion to talk to. While schizophrenia is the extreme, what I am referring to is a rather constructive form of self-talk.
From the moment I wake up I conduct an internal dialogue with myself, for example, “to get off the bed or not.” And I think we all do, we all talk to our “other” within us. We challenge ourselves, argue with ourselves, compliment ourselves and compete with ourselves. We need a companion in ourselves to question ourselves.
This significant other self of yours helps you exercise control on yourself, keeps you focused, motivates you, helps you overcome challenges and offers clarity in times of confusion.
Helps you maintain discipline
Element of discipline comes from within and that is why self-talk is very important. We are at constant battle with ourselves. There are times when I debate with myself before eating something unhealthy. At times it is difficult to override these thoughts. But, these are the times when this self helps me strike a balance and maintain discipline. It guides me to the right direction. It tells me that I need to stay fit and healthy; working out is important; it is necessary to eat healthy.
This exercise is also a bit like self-criticism because it is like a reality check that spurs you to be a better person and make better decisions.
The statements like “I can do this” is the biggest example of self-talk that motivates you and drives your energy to the right direction. Such statements help boost your performance by building confidence, enhance self belief perform better and reduce nervousness.
This is my mantra especially when I am working out or trying something new. This self talk is particularly useful for tasks that involve strength and endurance or situations where you have to make quick decisions. Talking to myself with positive affirmations helps me feel determined to keep going. It motivates you to go through rough patches in your life.
When an event happens to you, your beliefs about that situation, how you interpret what has happened — everything is shaped by this self. Many a times during meetings at Diamond Bank, I find myself at difficult situations. Being in retail business is not an easy task and we often find ourselves in heated arguments. That is when such self-talk comes handy.
We should encourage positivity but, also trust our instinct that comes from past experiences. Self talk is a steady stream of thoughts and internal dialogue that goes in our heads constantly. It shapes our mood, emotions and performance. But, in order to make self talk work for us in challenging situations we need to practice it regularly.
Keeps you focused
It is about getting a healthy balance between the two. We need to listen to our self-talk and see if we are doing certain things wrong. For example, many people mistake self-reproach for self-talk —
“I am an idiot”; “I always fail”; “I always do it wrong”; this is not self-talk. Hence, do not be a victim of self-induced stress.
Our internal self talks in various moods, positive, negative or neutral. It has a direct effect on our outer self. If we surround ourselves with negativity all around, then inner self will always give out negative harsh statements. But, that is why keep talking to your self regularly, do not let the negative thoughts overtake your inner self and this will help you in staying focussed and positive.
I believe the relationship between “I” and “me” is the most important of all. In order to succeed in doing so one needs to first recognise this self. When people recognise their self talk in real time then they start seeing the importance of it. It is very easy to ignore this and go on with life without self realisation. But, talking to yourself helps you be a better person. The internalisation of the process of self talk is natural.