Self-talk matters.

We have relationships with many different people in our lives; relationships with family members, relationships with friends, relationships with co-workers, relationships with neighbors, etc. A key difference in those relationships is the varying levels of frequency, intensity, and content of communication, and that can shape the level of closeness we feel towards others.

But what’s our relationship like with the person we see in the mirror? What does our communication look like in that relationship?

The way we speak to ourselves can play a significant role not only in the way we speak to others, but in our ability to be present for life. Imagine you are lounging at a pool at the most beautiful resort in the world, with no place you have to be. Reclining on your chair reading a magazine, any outsider would look at you and think you’re enjoying yourself. But there’s that head of yours, and that self-talk that’s constantly full of doubt and insecurity. How do I look in my bathing suit? What if I picked a bad place to lounge? I must have sounded so dumb just now when I met those tourists from Spain.

Wherever you go, you bring yourself with you, and if your self-talk negative, your capacity for joy is curtailed. So start noticing how you speak to yourself. Is it always critical? Is it ever gentle? Are you too hard on yourself? Awareness is the first step to changing the way you think and feel about yourself. Examining your self-talk — and challenging it — can provide meaningful information and lead you to a better relationship with yourself, others, and the blessings in front of you.

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