Innercise: How to Boost Your Self-esteem Using Self-talk
Author:NeuroGym Team |May 24, 2017
What if your best friend stopped by, and told you that you don’t deserve your dream life?
What if she told you that you won’t ever achieve your dreams? Or that you’re too fat? Or too dumb? Would you keep her around?
Most likely the one person you tolerate this type of talk from is . . .
It sounds silly to think of your friends or family members talking to you like that. After all, that’s not how we talk to loved ones.
Here’s the crazy thing: most of us have internal conversations that sound a whole lot like that terrible theoretical best friend. I’m sure you can think of a time when you felt nervous, and your inner voice (the disapproval of the inner critic) went on and on about what you can’t do, or what you don’t have.
Negative self-talk is no new thing—the struggle is real.
Why Is the Voice Inside Your Head So Mean?
Back in the cave days, humans faced more immediate threats to survival. Before in-home security systems, it was up to an individual to avoid being eaten by a tiger or stabbed by a neighboring tribe member. Sensitivity to possible danger often meant the difference between life and death.
Your brain pays extra attention to all potential threats because it wants to keep you safe from physical (or emotional) harm.
Throughout the day, thoughts surface at random, based on past learning and experiences. Sometimes, a negative thought floats by—you can choose to let it pass, or you can fixate on it.
You see, every time a thought enters your mind, you’re either strengthening it or weakening it, because thoughts become neural pathways. Positivity creates positive neural pathways and negativity creates negative neural pathways. Makes sense, right?
Unfortunately, if we don't silence the mean voice in our heads, we can unintentionally reaffirm a lot of limiting beliefs. The good news is that you can change your thought patterns!
Increase your self-esteem and self-awareness with this Innercise®
If you’ve been feeling a little down on yourself lately, this Innercise will counteract your negative self-talk. Just take some deep breaths, and get into a relaxed state, then follow the steps below:
Write down a positive affirmation;
Say the affirmation aloud to yourself, and really feel the emotion;
Repeat daily, until you've convinced yourself that it’s true!
When you use new affirmations, you’re creating new neural pathways for that thought pattern. At first, you may feel yourself disagreeing with the statement.
At first, you may feel yourself disagreeing with the statement. If you say aloud “I’m capable of earning all the money as I can imagine,” and you feel a suddenly strong negative reaction, it’s ok—that’s normal.
Even if it isn’t true yet, repeating a positive statement to yourself provides several benefits. Telling yourself something like: “I deserve to reach all of my goals” gets your brain more comfortable with the idea. The more you rehearse the thought, the more you reinforce the neural pathway.
You can boost your self-esteem . . .
To amplify your results, add emotion, and repetition.
Emotion is the weight to your Innercise. Just like heavier weights help you gain strength faster when you exercise, the more emotion you use when saying your affirmations, the more you’re making them stick.
Repetition reinforces Innercises, just like exercises. The more you perform an activity, the better you get, and the more comfortable you are with it.
Have you tried this technique before? Let us know in the comments below!
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About The Author
NeuroGym Team: NeuroGym’s Team of experts consists of neuroscientists, researchers, and staff who are enthusiasts in their fields. The team is committed to making a difference in the lives of others by sharing the latest scientific findings to help you change your life by understanding and using the mindset, skill set and action set to change your brain.