It wasn't long ago that the idea of self talk carried the connotations of multiple personality disorder, but that view was the result of a lack of good information. The truth is that self talk has come a long way in recent years and is now considered a powerful technique not only for changing unwanted behaviors, but also for discovering those behaviors in the first place. Neither one of which is an easy task to accomplish. Most people live their whole lives without ever realizing that they could have been so much more had they only looked closely enough.
Tracking down the belief systems behind negative and limiting behaviors is difficult any way you slice it. And if that isn't hard enough, then we begin the equally difficult tasks of replacing those belief systems with new and more positive and constructive ones. Self improvement is not an easy path to follow, especially in the beginning when you are not yet familiar with the tools and techniques used much less the kinds of things you will probably encounter on the way. Self talk is just one of the tools available to help us during this journey but it is becoming more and more useful because it is equally powerful in discovering the behaviors that need changing as well as in the task of replacing them. This represents two powerful edges that we can use to our advantage.
One of the problems with both of these endeavors is the fact that we don't perceive our so called normal reality as it truly is, a dynamic and constantly changing event of processes. Instead, we seem to want to capture reality and freeze it in time and our entire civilization tends to reinforce this perception. But there is an assumption here that needs to be looked at, specifically, that this view of reality implies that we should fear change for some strange reason. This assumption is backed up by the shear difficulty of first determining if we have any negative behaviors that need to be changed, and second by the equally difficult task of carrying out those changes.
The part of you that is reaching out for change will definitely experience a great deal of resistance to any new and unfamiliar ideas, and the longer we have had those negative behaviors, the more difficult they will be to remove and replace. Sometimes a frontal approach is not the best strategy and will only rally the resistance and make it stronger. So we sometimes have to sneak up on ourselves and self talk is one of the sneakiest ways to communicate with ourselves. But self talk is potentially able to uncover some really strong issues almost out of nowhere, so we need to be armed with some equally strong armor. The best armor of all is a genuine desire to change and a real feeling of love and compassion for yourself.
We talk to ourselves all the time, but we don't always listen. It's almost as if there is a part of us that is reaching out for freedom from something that even it may not understand, and self talk teaches us to not only listen, but also to create our own messages that will run automatically and begin the process of change. Ironically, self talk can help us to acquire the loving armor we may badly need in the beginning. This is done by creating messages to ourselves designed to build awareness of the need to love and be compassionate with ourselves and then listening to those messages.
Slowly we begin to hear what we are trying to say to ourselves and this points us to the areas that need our attention. For example; for years whenever I got behind the wheel of a car, I would gripe and grumble about the morons out on the road and how they couldn't drive worth spit. Some days it was worse than others but this kind of negative behavior was not good for my spirit or peace of mind and body. So one day I began to really listen to myself and I was astonished, who was this person? Long story short, this one insight led to many more realizations about my negative mindset on life itself. It was all very upsetting at the time, but looking back on it now I wouldn't change a thing, it was a blessing in disguise!
I was able to change my self talk and thus change how I was responding emotionally. Self talk is after all thoughts created by our own mind and we can listen to them and become aware of their impact on us and our lives and if necessary, change them to have a different impact, one we choose. But although there were many unpleasant realizations, there were some very good ones too. Since I was able to change that particular behavior when driving, I did not miss the implication of what this meant regarding the power that I now realized was available to me, and that was big, that was huge, and that alone was worth the bumps along the way.
Armed with love and compassion for ourselves we can begin to put the fragments of ourselves together until one day we begin to see who and what we really are. We meet our higher power and our spirit guide on this journey and suddenly we have a support team helping us, and then the day comes when we are finally able to just let go and flow along with the ever changing present moments of direct experience and enjoying the act of being part of the great river of life.