I have noticed most of my clients at this time making goals for the upcoming year. But I have also noticed that sometimes we don’t even set goals because of our fear of failure and our negative self talk.
As humans, we’re sometimes very hard on ourselves. Whether we’re conscious of it or not, our beliefs can sometimes be very damaging to our self-esteem. Unfortunately, these negative talking points in our head sometimes keep us stuck in a rut.
When I do intuitive readings or teach energy healing techniques to my clients I often refer to the negative self-talk voice as the ANGRY SOCK PUPPET.
A great psychologist, Albert Ellis, had many tokens of wisdom to pass around. One of his ideas centralized around these negative thoughts, which he often referred to as irrational beliefs. It is the duty of this angry sock puppet to stir up these irrational beliefs.
Discover how you can stop this vicious circle and turn your angry sock puppet self-talk into words that support and encourage you, instead.
Pay Attention to Triggers
The first step to stopping negative self-talk is figuring out what is triggering these negative beliefs in the first place.
Albert Ellis called these so-called triggers “activating events.” These can be everyday occurrences that happen to us or around us. Anything from having your boss or supervisor yell at you and take away your project to experiencing a run-in collision with a deer on a country road can be an activating event.
Are you in conflict with another? Did something not go your way?
Further, triggers can also be incredibly personal to you and unique to your life. These are sometimes referred to as “red flags.” Red flags are issues that pertain to you alone, such as your weight, family and close relationships, integrity, and anything else that you deem sacred.
When these issues get raised, they immediately set off an alarm within you.
Identify Irrational Beliefs
These irrational beliefs are the real culprits behind why we get upset or angry at the triggers we’ve just experienced, according to Albert Ellis. It’s not the trigger itself, but the beliefs that cause the negative self-talk.
Ellis claimed that these irrational beliefs are responsible for our emotional states, also known as the consequences of our beliefs. In this way, by identifying and then changing these beliefs, we can experience fewer emotional consequences.
For example, let’s look at this process:
- You just learned that you got turned down for a promotion at work.
- Getting turned down for the promotion is the activating event or trigger.
- The underlying thoughts or irrational beliefs you might be having include, “I’m never going to advance my career,” “My boss hates me,” or even “My boss is never fair to me.”
- These beliefs or thoughts can lead to emotional consequences of sadness and depression.
Dispute Irrational Beliefs
The idea behind identifying these negative, irrational beliefs is so you can do something to change them.
You can change them by challenging these beliefs. This is a process of examining the truth and reality and seeing that it is different from your belief. “Thanks a lot Mr. Sock Puppet, I realize you are trying to protect me but I got this handled and you can keep your opinion to yourself!”
In the prior example of getting turned down for a promotion, a series of questions can be asked to help you sort through reality from these irrational beliefs. You want to challenge yourself by asking questions that are almost the opposite of your identified beliefs.
Some of these challenge questions may be:
- What is the truth in this situation? Am I in touch with my higher self?
- Do I have evidence to support that my current beliefs are true?
- In the example above: Are there times when my boss has been fair?
- Is it true that I’ll never advance in my career, or is this just a minor setback?
These questions can help you identify the truth from what you may erroneously believe or negatively think about a situation.
If you can identify the truth, this can lead you to think differently and avoid suffering the emotional consequences of the trigger in the first place.
Follow this process whenever you notice thoughts that are unkind to you. Stop that negative sock puppet in it’s tracks & replace the thought with your rational adult voice. Change your beliefs and you’ll find your self-talk becoming words of encouragement, instead. Pretty soon your negative sock puppet will take on a tone of helpfulness and happiness.
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