Learn this powerful and very simple technique to change your inner voice in such a way that it becomes your best personal coach. Instead of letting the little, invisible voice discourage you and make you feel small and miserable, you will develop a compassionate voice that motivates you and helps you go strong through challenging times.
If you want to learn from him directly, I strongly recommend his most recent book “Leading with character“. Read further for his wisdom in a nutshell.
The little voice can be changed!
We all have this voice in our heads that guides us through the day. This voice is a mixture of all the advice and coaching we have picked up from our parents, teachers, older siblings, and the environment.
While some of these instructions might have been useful in our childhood, today they might be working against us.
For example, your little voice might be discouraging you from asking a question and showing your opinion during meetings.
It might be telling you that you will be exposed as incompetent and embarrass yourself. It limits you to engage in meaningful conversations, to be authentic, and have an impact.
How would you behave if you could tell yourself:
You don’t want to ask the question because you’re anxious to be embarrassed. That’s understandable. You want to make sure the colleagues know you are competent.
When you ask the question you will help other people who need the same information. You will also help to clarify the topic for all your colleagues. So, you are doing a great job of bringing the discussion further. There is no stupid question. Go ahead and ask.
Luckily Dr. Loehr has discovered that we can influence our self-talk and adjust it to serve us to become our own best coach. With this new voice, we can change limiting beliefs, increase joy, and excel in our performance.
4 steps to a positive self-talk
Here are the 4 steps to reporgram your self-talk:
- Become aware of your self-talk
- Journaling daily
- Rewrite self-talk
- Apply the new self-talk
“The power broker in your life is the voice that no one hears. How well you revisit the tone and content of your private voice is what determines the quality of your life. It is the master storyteller, and the stories we tell ourselves are our reality.”— Dr. Jim Loehr
One: Become aware of your self-talk
The first step in changing your self-talk is becoming aware of it. As you go through the day, be more mindful of the voice.
A good place to start is for example in the morning. What do you say to yourself to get out of the warm and cozy bed in the mornings?
On the days I don’t feel like getting up early, I tell myself that the universe has certainly something nice for me, even though I can not see it at the moment.
I start thinking of one nice thing that I am going to do that day, that I know makes me feel happy and content. And it doesn’t take long before a smile covers my face and I switch off the snooze button, jumping out of bed.
During the day watch for the times when you ruminate, such as rehashing past decisions, doing social comparison, dwelling on your imperfections.
What is your voice telling you?
Two: Journal daily
Now that you notice the voice all the time during the day, find a quiet moment, 10 minutes works for me, to write them down. Get yourself a journal and write your voices every day. Pen and paper work the best for me. It seems there is a direct connection from my pen to my brain, which I experience less when typing on a computer.
Top sporters do this for years to determine how to influence themselves better and win another Olympic medal.
It is important to write what the voice is saying and in which situation. Also, record how did it make you feel and act. You can even go deeper and notice to whom this voice belongs.
Is it in the tone of your mother or father, or is it your own voice?
Is it angry or fearful? Is it kind and loving?
Three: Rewrite the voice
This step is about developing a compessionate, kind and coaching voice, by using the simple technique of re-writing.
You get your journal and determine which self-talks are disempowering you. Then write down what would be a better, more supportive instruction in that situation to push you in the right direction.
In the example above, you need a voice to encourage you to participate in meetings. Instead of don’t embarrass yourself or who on earth would like to listen to you? you can rewrite this voice in your journal into you have something unique to give to this world. people love you and appreciate what you say.
You need to find what speaks to you. You’re more likely to believe yourself if you use language that feels real to you.
There is an excellent article in Harward Business Review by Alice Boyes, PhD clinical psychologist, to help you with ideas on where to find inspiration for supportive and kind self-talk.
It is that easy, yes! All it requires is discipline and commitment to work on it 10 minutes every day.
I use the rewriting technique a lot for other purposes as well, such as developing my imagination or transforming and understanding anger. Click here to read more about it.
Four: Apply the new voice
The final step is to start applying the new voice. In step one, you learned to pay attention to your voice and the situations where it criticizes and diminishes you.
Once you are in this situation again, you need to consciously pull the new self-talk you memorized from the journal and absorb all the blessings it gives you to cope with the situation in the desired way.
In the beginning, it might feel awkward or unnatural. It is always the case when we are changing some habits or behaviors that have been with us for a long time.
Often, we’re our own worst critic. When we feel anxious or frustrated, we talk to ourselves more harshly than we’d find acceptable by anyone else.
By changing our self-talk to a more compassionate, kind, and supportive voice, we are becoming more adaptable and open for new possibilities.
Applying this simple 4 steps technique regularly will inevitably deepen your self-knowledge and self-confidence. You will know how to love and move yourself to growth and personal fulfillment.