What Does Your Self-talk Tell You?

The greatest obstacle for me has been the voice in my head that I call my obnoxious roommate. I wish someone would invent a tape recorder that we could attach to our brains to record everything we tell ourselves. We would realize how important it is to stop this negative self-talk. It means pushing back against our obnoxious roommate with a dose of wisdom.

Arianna Huffington

We live in a culture where image is everything. Photo-shopped images of successful, thin women or muscular men line the shelves of grocery stores and bookstores. Our phones update us on the latest Instagram post of a fashionista visiting Paris, or Facebook portraying perfect family vacation photos and LinkedIn showing us people with impressive careers.

There is considerable pressure to look or act a certain way. People tell us what we “should” be and we internalize it. It gets inside our heads. We tell ourselves who we should be and what we shouldn’t do.

Jenny Walters is a licensed therapist who coaches sessions named “Taming Your Inner Critic.” I first listened to her sessions on my Simple Habit meditation app.

The first session encourages you to listen for your inner critic. Think of a time when you were upset or made a mistake. Concentrate on this experience. Then listen to the voice that pops up. What is your inner critic telling you? Feel free to write it down. Take some breaths.

I found out my inner critic was downright mean and hateful. The voice I had been listening to for years without question was harsh, critical and full of self-reproach. I didn’t like her one bit. It didn’t feel comfortable acknowledging the voice at first.

But then you take the time to instill love and self-compassion to your inner critic. You learn how to soften the bellowing voice. You learn to recognize your inner voice and what it tells you. Then, you learn to work with the voice to increase your self-confidence.

Using Jenny’s coaching methods, I learned to recognize my inner critic and to take the time to counter it. For example:

“You shouldn’t have dropped the tray. You are so clumsy. It’s embarrassing.” I’d acknowledge the self-talk and then counter it saying, “Yes, there are times when I can be clumsy, but that’s okay. People drop things at times. No one is perfect.”


“You shouldn’t have said that. You are so stupid.” I’d say, “I’m not stupid. I can do or say stupid things at times. Who doesn’t? What I said wasn’t terrible. I just didn’t say it as eloquently as I meant to.”

I’m a work in progress and it’s okay. I’m learning and growing in self-compassion. That’s important.

If you took the time to actively listen to your self-talk, what would you find out? What are you telling yourself?

It’s important to find out because whatever you tell yourself is your own truth. We are constantly battling the voice inside our head. We need to make sure we know what “truths” we are telling ourselves.

Listening to your self-talk is an important tool for self-discovery. Learning about yourself and what you are telling yourself helps you to gain insight and can be quite life-changing. When you show yourself kindness, you also become kinder to others.

We have a choice whether we listen to the lies we tell ourselves or we can take the time to counter the lies. We can choose to hate ourselves or learn to cultivate a healthy amount of self-love. It takes time and energy, but it is worth it to be the best “You” you can be. Instill some self-compassion to your own inner critic. You deserve it, truly.

I now see that owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.

Brené Brown

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