"I will not chew gum in class."
"I will not talk when I'm supposed to be working."
If you were like me in elementary school, you may have had to write out lines - sometimes on the chalkboard, other times on paper.
As a former teacher, I was even known to assign lines as a consequence for some unwanted behaviour. It would have been better to reinforce the targeted action by having the student write out what I wanted them to do, rather than what I wanted them to stop doing. In retrospect, with more miles under my feet, I recognize that line-writing isn't the most effective way in which to redirect behaviour.
As an adult, you may still be writing lines, but on the chalkboard of your mind. What lines are you repeating to yourself? Consider that in so-doing, you reinforce non-resourceful behaviours that serve to keep you stuck, often in stress.
The I can't-I will never-I am not able to litany can erect barriers to your personal growth. When you say them to yourself, it is like a rehearsal for a production that will never come to pass. After all, haven't you just told yourself that how-many-times?
But are these things you say to yourself a chimera - an illusion - a self-fulfilling prophecy? You are telling yourself the truth, aren't you? Maybe not. These thoughts may have served you at one time, but they may not be representative of who you now are. They may be made up by you in a misguided attempt to keep you safe - to prevent you from taking risks that would allow you to shine, to grow or even to have more fun?
That's stress talking. Yes, in your head. Past experiences are affecting your current actions, which include what you say to yourself. You may take the pessimistic view to prevent yourself from getting hurt or disappointed. If you berate yourself, it somehow has the illusion of hurting less than when someone does it. Previous situations that were similar, but not the same, may have caused you to learn to protect yourself however you knew how, at the time.
However, with new information, learning, awareness and practice, you can choose a more appropriate course of action. Rewrite those lines to something that brings you greater peace, an improved sense of self-worth and a willingness to engage in the things that make your heart sing.
"Every waking moment we talk to ourselves about the things we experience. Our self-talk, the thoughts we communicate to ourselves, in turn control the way we feel and act." - John Lembo
Where do you start?
With your heart. Heart rate variability (HRV) is a rhythm pattern that is influenced by how you think and feel. Improve it and you can be the witness to changes in your life - emotional, mental, physical and spiritual.
Your first assignment is to start noticing your thoughts and feelings. Are they negative in nature - criticisms, complaints or glass-half-full thoughts? This is good information that can be the impetus for change.
Below is one of my sample sessions using the emWave®. You see my heart rhythm in real time. With regular practice, you are empowered to see how you improve the pattern with the techniques that change how you think and feel.
Contact me when you'd like to purchase your own emWave, take a five-hour coaching program or to find out how I can help you change your self-talk.
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