‘Self-talk’ can spiral into disempowerment and become a major barrier to your progress if you don’t nip it in the bud.
A number of techniques have been developed to support people in dealing with negative self-talk.
My favourite technique for causing a state change in my ‘Self Talk’ is to use the script method. It will enable you to deeply explore old scripts and write new scripts that move you forward.
Other useful techniques include: Reframing, Mindfulness, NLP methods such as anchoring and meditative techniques such as Ho-o-pono-pono.
You can use these techniques, as well as widely available breathing techniques to restore yourself to a peaceful space, and address some of the challenges you face.
When you come up against something that hits a raw nerve or something that makes you feel uncomfortable. That is the perfect time to practice these techniques. The trick is to catch that situation and know that you can’t perform at your best when you are in that space, and then apply some of the techniques discussed here.
This is what our Authentic You Community will focus on during Q2 2019.
In the meantime, here is an introduction to scripts and a couple of the exercises we will be working on to get you started….do email me with what you discover and how you apply these tools – I would love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Using Scripts to free your mind and create a foundation for growth
Often people dive into creating an inspiring future without dealing with what gets in the way. This is like building your house on quicksand. Not recommended.
For me, it is essential to at least surface what gets in the way for you…whether that is your version of guilt, fear or something else. What makes you give up on what seemed like a good idea at the time? What makes you procrastinate? All things that stop you from having what you want in life.
My favourite technique for dealing with what stops us in life is ‘script theory’ as popularised in Eric Berne’s book ‘What Do You Say After You Say Hello?’ published back in 1972.
The script sequence usually goes like this: something happens and you make a decision based on that occurrence. You then experience feelingsassociated with that decision. These feelings drive behaviours and actions that either deliver the desired outcome – or not. With this information, you then adapt your original decision – or keep it as it is. Sometimes these decisions empower you and sometimes not.
You may see clearly how the scripts you created and reflected on in these reflective inquiries threw you in to what people would call either alpha or fluffy behaviours. Bear in mind that these behaviours can be beneficial in certain scenarios.
You can use the following technique whenever you experience being upset or disempowered. It is very effective if you apply it in the moment. It can also be useful to sit down and reflect on what gets in the way for you.
Reflective Inquiry: A trip down memory lane – the dark side
Look back over the story of your life and identify situations that impacted you negatively. See if you can identify any extreme moments where you did not show up as you would wish – where theactions you took were not ones that you were proud of, and where the result and impact was not what you wanted - where you experienced being afraid or guilty.
Much of our subconscious time is spent in dialogue with these scripts – continually confirming, disconfirming, modifying or regenerating them – although they may be accurate or not in differing degrees. These dialogues are what I have referred to as your ‘self-talk’. They are the lenses we use to examine and understand ourselves and others.
Reflective Inquiry: Uncovering your scripts
Once you identify the disempowering situations that you want to shift, spend some time reflecting into the script you have written for each event:
- What happened?
- What meaning did you bring to the event?
- How did it make you feel – and how does it make you feel when this script repeats in your life now?
- What ‘automatic’ and unproductive behaviours do you display and what ‘automatic’ actions do you take when this script runs for you now?
Reflect on the recent impacts of those actions.
The value in this technique is that you can start to consciously decompose those scripts that do not empower you by enabling you to look at situations in which your behaviour is sub-optimal. There was a time when that script served you or protected you. There may be situations now where it no longer does – or it gets in the way.
Knowing what these scripts are, you will begin to appreciate that they are not true. They are just scripts you wrote at a certain time in your life based on a decision you made then - and then convinced yourself that the decision was the truth. You can now start to delete the old scripts and write new scripts that will lead to different, more productive behaviours and actions.