The Power of Positive Self Talk.
Happy Monday Everyone!
I hope you all had a beautiful weekend.
This weeks Mindful Monday post is firstly about recognising and acknowledging your Self-Talk, secondly recognising whether that self talk is positive or negative, and finally coming to understand that how we choose to talk about ourselves can truly impact the way we feel about ourselves, and how much we then choose to participate in life.
I feel that this quote says it all:
“The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.” ~ Confucious.
I wanted to share a little about my story from the last few years, and why i’m a firm believer in the power of Positive Self Talk.
I’m currently sat in Uppsala Sweden sipping a coffee as a write this post - feeling very content, grateful and also contemplative.
The reason I mention this, is that sitting here now full of positive feelings, feels like a full-circle moment. It was here that 2-3 years ago that I taught my first International Yoga Class alongside a very good friend - and little did I know at the time, but it was the start of my journey into becoming an international teacher.
When I first returned from my training with Marianne Wells in Costa Rica, I knew i’d made the right decision to take what at the time felt like a drastic decision - to leave my current job of the time to pursue a new life as a Yoga Teacher / Coach / Bodyworker etc. Within only a few days of starting my teacher trainer, I felt so deeply connected to what I was learning about myself and the life I could be leaving - that the decision to make a change was not just cognitive, it was embodied. I told myself - “You will do your best to share this far and wide - You will enable others to see what they are truly capable of, and to find deeper connections to themselves and others.” and I whole heartedly believed / Knew that this would be the case.
Upon returning from Costa Rica I decided to dive in at the deep end, and in my first week back taught 4/5 classes. Of course at the time, this was quite a scary task to take on…and as expected there were some clumsy moments and errors made, but class by class my confidence to share what I loved about the practice of yoga began to shine more and more…I got out of my way and allowed the yoga to do it’s thing so to speak!
I had to move back home to my parents house, and also take a couple of side jobs - one at a cafe and one at an estate agents to support myself whilst trying to build my new business. Of course as a young 20 something man, this was a bit disheartening /demoralising in ways as it felt like a bit of a back-step, but I couldn’t have asked for more supportive parents or friends around me at the time that encouraged me every step of the way which made it infinitely better.
Of course, I didn’t align particularly with the part time jobs, but I knew that they were also assisting me and being able to pursue a life that I aligned to…each and every day that I had to step into the cafe I told myself… “not for long - soon you will be travelling the world teaching, and enabling others see what they are truly capable of, and to find deeper connections to themselves and others.” This to me was non negotiable - and sooner that expected, this 4/5 classes gradually built to 16-24 sessions a week and me becoming a full time teacher. Fast forward a year or so later and it wasn’t long until my friend in Sweden asked if i would be interested in co-hosting some workshops with her… my first chance to teach internationally! Which of course I welcomed with open arms.
Now here I sit a few years on, an International Yoga Teacher and teacher trainer - having visited and taught in over 10 countries (this year alone) on Teacher Trainings, Retreats, Festivals and weekend seminars. I’m also currently now a Transformative coach in training, and also a Bodyworker in training - two ventures that i’m so excited to develop.
I don’t write this to brag about my achievements or anything of that nature - but to clarify the point that if you tell yourself something is possible, and that you believe something to be your purpose, or to pursue something that you truly align with…then I believe that anything is possible.
I’d like to say that this post is also not to fill you unrealistic expectation…it can be very hard work pursuing something that is not the norm, as there are constant hurdle and obstacles, there is constant questioning and doubt from others and at times within yourself, it requires a lot of resilience, persistence and desire to achieve what it is you’re setting out to achieve.
This is going to require strong self belief, and a lot of positive self talk - and in order to do this you’re going to need to become aware of what your current narrative is, and how to change it if necessary!
Next time you find yourself taking a turn to negative town, write down the phrases / comments etc that you hear - “you’ll never acheive that, its not realistic” / “what makes you think you deserve a life like that” / “ you’re not good enough” etc. Start to become aware of what your current negative self talk and narrative is, because whether or not you’ve realised it up until this point, it is shaping how you move forward into everything you think, say and do.
Next ask yourself these questions: “How are these thoughts / beliefs Serving me if at all? Is this 100% true? What is the payoff / reward for continuing to believe these things (maybe you get to stay safe and remove chance of disappointment or failure)? Can you think of a time / example when you were good enough / where you did succeed etc however small or insignificant you may think it is? How would your life change if you were to change the way you currently think about yourself? What else may be possible if these beliefs were to change?
It’s time to replace these Negative statements / thought processes with Positive and empowering ones. Your task: For every negative belief, statement or phrase you wrote down from step one, i’d like you to write a new positive and empowering one that you can replace it with.
Read them out aloud.
Each and every time you find yourself filled with your old narrative / your old negative self talk, take a breather, and one by one replace those negative thoughts with your new empowering ones…continue to do this aloud until you feel that they are strong enough to be done silently.