Wait a minute – what? Negative self-talk? The most underrated and elegant gift in the world? How can that be?
Humour me for a moment and let me invite you to try on a different perspective on the so often demonised and heavily berated negative self-talk. There are campaigns against it, positivity movements, and more memes than you can shake a stick at, but does it disappear?
Why is that? Have you ever asked yourself that question?
All the positive quotes in the world will not make negative self-talk disappear, and the reason behind this is that negative self-talk serves a purpose. As a result of this very important purpose mother nature is immune to our battle cries to be rid of it. Negative self-talk is sticking around, so get used to it!
Evolution has taught us many things, and one of those is the famous phrase “survival of the fittest”. Which in simplistic terms means that everything that is adapted to it’s environment and is useful will be passed on, and everything that is redundant, irrelevant or poorly adapted will disappear.
Ask the dodo.
Does this mean that mother nature views negative self-talk as an all important cog in the human design? I am going to say yes.
Having previously been on the receiving end of my own lashings of negative self-talk for many years, I can certainly say that I did not view it as a blessing at the time. So what is the purpose of negative self-talk?
The most important role of negative self-talk is that it is your own unique feedback system that you are off track of your purpose. Negative self-talk will show itself any time you move and start to act incongruently; when you are acting in a way that is not in alignment with the individual you want to be and the values you hold most dearly.
Have you ever noticed how when you are doing things that you love, that inspire you, that you can fully immerse yourself in, the negative self-talk disappears? Sure you still face challenges and obstacles, but that negative self-talk just isn’t there. All of a sudden you can mobilise resources, you can dig in deep and put the work in, you can surmount any challenge.
Yet when you are doing something that is against your values, challenges the way you see yourself, or you feel unfulfilled and low, negative self-talk ramps up, and no positive meme can balance the scales.
Negative self-talk is your feedback system to let you know when you are no longer being true to yourself and when you have strayed away from your true self, e.g when you are trying to be someone else. This could be when you are trying to act on something you have been told to do, by some authority figure.
The second gift that negative self-talk gives us (wait – 2 gifts?!) is that it shines a bright and powerful light on our limiting beliefs. When we come up against something we perceive to be difficult or painful, if we have a limiting belief sitting in their somewhere it will be brought to the fore. You may experience that flooding of self-doubt, worry and concern. The fear kicks in.
This is an incredible opportunity. This is the time for you to grow, expand and become an even greater version of yourself. This is different from the first kind of negative self-talk, because this is something that disappears when you do a very specific thing…
When you take action despite feeling afraid and despite that negative self-talk in your mind, a wonderful thing happens. Only as quickly as you can grow as a human being, does your negative self-talk diminish to equal degree. With repeated action, the negative self-talk disappears.
So not only does negative self-talk continue and perpetuate until you take notice and begin to get back to being yourself again, and connecting to the things YOU find most important in the world. It also gives you little pieces of insight on a day to day basis as the appetiser for your growth as a human being.
I’d say that’s quite a gift, wouldn’t you?
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