When people come for relationship coaching as an alternative to relationship counselling or marriage counselling, anxiety counselling, depression counselling or stress counselling, the thing that always strikes me is the self talk that drags people down.
There is a correlation between how much people tell themselves, and others, negative statements about themselves and how miserable they are. I am rubbish at ‘x’, my problem is I always do ‘y’, I hate ‘z’ about me, and so on.
If these negative statements come out in coaching sessions then they are clearly thoughts that are quite prevalent in their minds on a day to day basis. These are often the negative self talk statements that people undermine themselves with. These are the very seeds of self defeating thoughts that people plant in their minds and then repeatedly water. Each time these seeds are watered, they flourish into firm beliefs. Sadly, these negative self beliefs are the very weeds that suffocate their ability to improve their relationship with themselves and/or with someone else.
It is SO important to be aware of the thoughts that you are thinking; thoughts that you repeatedly programme your mind with which then create anxiety, stress, and even feelings of depression.
We all do it. I do it. You do it. To what degree, differs from person to person. The fact, however, is that we need to take responsibility for our own thoughts.
Thoughts repeated over time, no matter how incorrect, become consolidated in our minds as beliefs simply because we repeatedly tell ourselves the same thing over and over and over again. The line between perception and reality becomes blurred and suddenly, we have not only forgotten if the statements are true or imagined, but we are also at the mercy of the negative thoughts we have repeatedly fed ourselves.
I bet everyone reading this can think of someone who tells themselves and everyone else that they have a bad memory, or that they always bump into things, or that they always catch a cold, or something else that they “always do” or something that they “are”.
What actually happens is that we give our minds instructions on what we expect of ourselves and so behave accordingly. People tell their minds they are going to fail at something and so they do not try to do that which is necessary to prevent the failure, be it a failure to remember names or a failure to keep the weight off or a failure to keep their anger under control. It’s not even always a conscious decision. If, for example, you tell yourself you “always fail to keep the weight off” then you will consciously and subconsciously do the things that are conducive to failure and neglect to do the things that would ensure your success. You might neglect to drink enough water each day or you might eat far too much food at meal times. You might be inconsistent with your exercise but tell yourself that there are “real” reasons why you can’t exercise.
Your mind will consciously and subconsciously work towards the instructions you give it, so be sure to give your mind the right instructions, the ones that focus on what you do want and are good at. Focus on the positives, not the negatives. Focus on your strengths, not the weaknesses. Focus on your achievements, not your failures. They’re the thoughts to remember and they’re the ones that will help you to achieve your goals, whatever they may be, whether it’s to relieve yourself of anxiety, depression or stress, or to improve the trust, intimacy, respect, love or communication in your relationships.