Self Talk. Are You Talkin’ to Me?

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Yes, I am!
And to be clear, I’m talking to me. Self talk is a habit I acquired years ago. As it turns out, it’s quite healthy!

(excerpts of Wall St Journal Article by Elizabeth Bernstein):
According to recent studies published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology it’s called ‘Self Talk’ and it’s considered by experts a subset of thinking.

With Self Talk you make yourself the target of your own comments, advice or reminders. You are having a conversation with yourself. Sometimes it’s an automatic reaction. Other times we can use it in an effort to influence our own behavior. Instructional self-talk is helpful when learning or practicing a new sport or task. Before giving a speech you can remind yourself, “Speak slower” and “make eye contact.”

Dr. Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis says, “What happens with self-talk is you stimulate, direct and evaluate your action,” It is important to be short, precise – and consistent. “You have to sustain it. You instruct yourself until it becomes automatic.” says Dr. Hatzigeorgiadis. Interestingly enough, those folks who spoke to themselves as someone else would speak to them (used their name or said “you” instead of “I”) performed better under stress.

It’s treating yourself as a person and as it turns out, it’s an excellent way to do business! The business of Life, that is.

The article gives examples of “How to Improve Your ‘Self Talk’:
Before a Job Interview:
Remind yourself of the desired outcome so you don’t wander off point.
Ex: ‘This company needs more leaders who are good at listening.’ ‘I am a problem-solver.’

During Competition:
Build your confidence by reminding yourself of all the positives.
Ex: ‘You are well prepared.’ ‘You have the skills.’

Before Public Speaking:
Repeat the specific directions that you know help you perform better.
Ex: ‘Don’t rush.’ ‘Pause for emphasis.’ ‘Make eye contact.’

Before a First Date:
Take a step back and talk to yourself in a calming tone that is slightly distanced.
Ex: ‘Relax.’ ‘You look fine, stop worrying.’ ‘Remember to listen.’

Ms. Bernstein says, “It is perfectly OK to talk to yourself, as long as your words are encouraging and not berating, experts say. Think of yourself as a life-long best friend who is honest and direct but most of all supportive.”

Indeed!

Imperfect Pearl