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- How Happy Are You With Your Current Life?
Hello Friends! How is your self-talk these days? Are you being nice to yourself? Do you build yourself up instead of tearing yourself down? Do you believe in yourself and your endeavors? I have several questions for you today. Are you happy with your life right now? Are you happy with where your life is and the direction that it is going? Are you content, or are you still journeying, questing, for contentment? If you said “yes” to being happy with your life right now, then good for you! That is WONDERFUL! To be able to say, “Yes, I am happy with my life right now. I am content!” is an incredible blessing! If that is you, then I would ask you to be sure to try to help someone else in return. Help someone else along the way. Give them a hand up or a step up. Help them to get to the point in their lives that you are right now. It will help them as well as yourself. When we help others, not only do they get a blessing, but so does the giver. When we take the focus off of ourselves and shift it to others, it helps us to be happy. Crazy right? But that is how it works. One of the secrets to happiness is GIVING to others. There are many, many ways to give to others. People need support in so many ways! I talked to a stay at home mom the other day that had a toddler and was due to give birth soon to their second child and she was suffering from isolation. She needed some emotional support. I hope that I was able to help her with some of that. I gave her my phone number to call if she needed to talk. Even if she never calls, at least I know that I tried and that she now knows that she’s not the only one that faces frustrations that many mothers face. Sometimes it is just nice to know that you are not the ONLY one. Sometimes that helping people can simply be giving them a smile and call them by name and saying “It’s good to see you.” Other times, it might be putting in a good word for them somewhere. Two of the easiest ways to be nice to other people is to smile and to call them by name. Our own names are sweet music when others use them in conversation. We ALL have different needs and the ways that we can support people are as varied as people themselves. So if you are happy with your life, then share your happiness and turn around and support the next person.
“One of the secrets to happiness is giving to others.”
“Our own names are sweet music when others use them in conversation.”
What if you answered “No”? What if you are NOT happy with where your life is? Many people are not. There are many people that want to make changes in their lives. Does this describe you? Do you want to make a change in your life? Friends, contentment and happiness are both journeys. It is not a state that you arrive at and just say “Ok, I’ll stay here!” Wouldn’t that be nice? Sadly, that is not how it works. Change is a constant in our lives. If you are not happy with where you are, that is good news because you know that it won’t always be like it is now. Our choices can have lasting consequences. Some matter more than others. If you decided to have toast instead of cereal for breakfast, that choice does not amount to much. However, if your choice is something like “Do I move for my dream job? Do I apply to another company? Do I quit my job and stay home with my kids? Do I marry my boyfriend? Do I ask my crush out on a date?” These things have LASTING effects on our lives. Do you make well thought out choices, or are you more the type that decides immediately what they want and then dives right in? Do you have a set of priorities or a moral compass that drives your decisions? How have your life choices been working out for you? Have you been successful in the areas that you want to be successful in, or does it seem like you cannot do anything right and it’s one wrong decision after another?
- How Motivated Are You to Make Changes to Your Life?
What if you had another answer to my question? Maybe you answered somewhere along the lines of “I am mostly happy, but there are a few things that I would like to change.” Are they minor things or are they big things? How MOTIVATED are you right now? Would you like to become more motivated? Not just motivation that fades away in a week either, but motivation that really sticks long term. Would you like that type of motivation for yourself? We are rapidly approaching the time of year where everyone seems to be thinking about these types of things. Many people make New Year’s Resolutions. Every New Year that rolls around we decide that “This year I’m really going to _____” Fill in the blank with whatever suits you. It could be to save money, lose weight, be a better mom, yell less, better an attitude, work harder, stop procrastinating, etc. Then, within about 3 months, we find ourselves going back to our old behaviors. Bad habits creep back in on us and we find ourselves slowly sucked back down into the black- hole of exactly where we were before. This is discouraging at best and downright suffocating at worst. Don’t give up!
- The Power and Importance of Self-Talk
My next question is “How do you talk to yourself?” (I am full of strange questions today, aren’t I?) We all talk to ourselves in some shape form or fashion. It may not be out loud, but in images or feelings or in the way that we evaluate things and form judgments, we all have some form of communication with ourselves. Is your self-talk negative, or is it mostly positive? Do you mostly have a good attitude or a bad one? How do you see things? Are you a pessimist or an optimist or a who- thought- of- this- dumb- glass- of- water idea anyway? Just drink it and go!
While it may seem like those 2 questions have no relationship to one another, they actually do! How we talk to ourselves has a HUGE impact on how we feel about ourselves, how we see ourselves, and the choices that we make. If our brain hears something long enough and often enough, we start to believe it. Whether it is true or not, we MAKE ourselves believe that it is. This can either work hugely for us or against us. Our brain programming creates beliefs, our beliefs create our attitudes. Our attitudes create our feelings and our feelings determine our actions, which in turn create results. Our self-talk is right at the beginning of that brain programming. (*see book reference below) For example, if you tell yourself on a continual basis “I’m clumsy, I’m ugly, I’m no good at anything, I can’t budget, I’m too old for that, I’m fat, I can’t do creative things, etc” then your brain will start to believe it! When you start to do something, then those things that you have told yourself will come back to haunt you. For example, if you buy some new make-up and put it on, and you look in the mirror and think “That looks pretty good! I look nice!” Then your brain goes back to what you have been programming it to say and “says” back to you “but you’re still ugly underneath.” *BOOM* there went all the wind out of your sails. BUT what if this scenario played out differently? What if you have been telling yourself “I’m pretty, I’m smart, I have so much confidence, I am going to go out and ROCK today!” You stand in front of the mirror and you put on that new makeup that you splurged on and you look in the mirror and think “That looks pretty good! I look nice!” Your mind answers back, “Yes! You do!” Woah, what a boost!
“If our brain hears something long enough and often enough, we start to believe it.”
- Using Self Talk as the Catalyst For Postitive Change
Use this to your advantage! Use your self-talk to make a POSITIVE CHANGE in your life that LASTS! We all hear negative stuff every day. You need to counter that with something. We all need encouragement. Most of the things that I write about having a positive attitude, about making good choices and changes in your life start with self-talk. If you do not change the way that you talk to yourself, your old habits come back and drag you back down. Maybe you are sitting there reading and thinking, “You are crazy! Talking to myself??” I’m not crazy. I challenge you to try it for 24 hours and see if it makes a difference in your life! Let me know the results, good or bad! I would love to hear from you! For 24 hours try telling yourself good things. Talk to yourself in your head with your thoughts, and talk to yourself out loud when you are alone. It feels very weird at first. However, when you talk out loud to yourself, you are engaging more of your senses so it has more of an impact. If you try this for 24 hours, in those 24 hours you will start to feel better about yourself. You will start feeling more confident, happier, and more at peace. It is not a magic fix, it is true, but it is a tool that can be used to help you. Are you going to use it to help you or to drag yourself down?
“Use your self-talk to make a POSITIVE CHANGE in your life that LASTS!”
Self-talk is also self-motivation. Have you ever been to one of those motivating talks that leaves you all fired up and you think “I’m going to use this to change for the better!”? I have been. I left all motivated and on fire to do whatever new thing they had talked about, but 3 months down the road, it was “Motivational talk? What motivational talk? Oh, that? Blah, blah, blah….” The problem with most motivational talks is that the motivation comes from an external source. Aka… when the motivational speaker leaves on his flight out of there… he takes your motivation with it. If you use self-talk to motivate you, then you will always have your motivational speaker with you! You will always have someone that believes in you because that someone will be you. You might start off faking it. I was skeptical at first too, but I still tried it and it worked! There was a lady at church once that responded: “I’m going to fake it till I make it.” When I asked her how she was doing after a personal loss. The more I think about that saying, the more I like it! Yes, you might start off feeling quite silly talking to yourself, but let me ask you this: Who is going to know about it if you don’t tell them? No one!
Give it a try for 24 hours and see if it helps. If it does, then you have just unlocked a powerful tool! You do have to keep at it. Those negative comments are constantly bombarding us! Fight them off with some positive self-talk. Tell yourself that you can do whatever it is that you are trying to do. Tell yourself that you ARE good enough, you ARE strong enough, you ARE smart enough. You know why? Because you are! Believe in yourself. This is the cornerstone for believing in yourself. This will help guide your feelings and your actions. If there is a change that you want to make in your life, use this. If you want to be happier with your life, use the self-talk! I know that you have the power to make the changes that you want in your life. You can make some amazing decisions. You can take that risk that you have been wanting to take and see what happens! The risk is not in failing, the risk is in not trying at all and never know what COULD have happened. Make this year the best one of your life. I wish you all the success in the world in your personal quest for contentment!
*Book Refrence: “ What to Say When you Talk to Yourself” by Dr Shad Helmstetter, PhD