Everywhere you look in the self-help world you hear a lot about the “talk” or “voices” in your head. There are all kinds of strategies and books out there that attempt to help you get that noise in your head under control. In a previous post I’ve mentioned how using mantras has helped me in the past.
Today I read an article called 18 Habits of Highly Successful People by Shana Lebowitz. The very first habit listed is “They Talk to Themselves,” but it was not what I expected. Apparently there is research that says when you talk to yourself you should use the third-person instead of the first-person. So rather than saying to yourself “I can do this!” you should say “Jenny (or insert your own name), you can do this!” The research shows that talking to yourself in this way can reduce stress or help you see stressful situations as challenging instead of stressful.
When I first read this and thought about addressing myself in the third-person, I almost laughed. Seems so silly to talk to yourself that way! But being on the never ending quest of finding ways to improve my life, I decided to have an open mind and give it a try. Keep in mind that I’ve only tried this for one day so far, but after one day I didn’t see or feel a difference as a result of talking to myself in this new way. As I found myself struggling with various issues today, I used the new talk with my mantras. I don’t feel that the refocus I gained from the mantras was any different than it would have been had I still been using the first-person. I used two mantras today and the first one was already in the third-person: “Focus on how you want to feel.” And the second one was: “I can and I will” which became “You can and you will.” With the one I changed, I felt like it actually lost that self-empowering and determined feel that it has in it’s original version.
So in conclusion, I will continue to try this different way of talking to myself because I know just one day of trying something isn’t enough. And I look forward to investigating the other 17 habits of highly successful people from the article.