When we see someone talking to themselves and indulging in a serious soliloquy, we usually jump to the common stereotypical conclusion that he/she is weird or insane(schizophrenic, to be precise).
But studies from psychologists show that in fact talking to yourself will make you smarter, relieves stress, retain focus and organize your thoughts more effectively.
Do you know that Einstein “used to repeat his sentences to himself softly.”?
How to talk to yourself effectively?
Treat yourself as a separate entity.
In the moments alone with yourself, step outside of your skin for a moment, get into the third person view, call yourself with your first name, and start conversing with yourself as if you're talking to your best friend.
Tell yourself, “John, this is what you’re going to do”.
“Don’t give up , you’re almost there”
Since self-talk is so powerful, don’t use it against yourself, saying things like
“I’m a complete loser”
“I’ll never be good enough”
lead to depression, negative thoughts and loss of self-respect and confidence.
Even if you want to involve in constructive self-criticism, talk to yourself like “John, you’re being quite lazy, get your a*s off and start working”.
Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai spoke on the Today Show about her mental dialogue regarding a potential Taliban attack:
“If the Taliban comes, what would you do, Malala?” she remembers asking herself.
“Then I would reply to myself, ‘Malala, just take a shoe and hit him.’”
Soliloquy and self-realization-
Soliloquy or talking to yourself allows you to know more about your own thought flow and process.
Valjean’s Soliloquy from Les Miserables is my favorite.
He starts to reflect back on his ingratitude and realize the actual gravity of his sin.
He clearly talks himself way out of his situation and starts a new life altogether.
Talking to yourself and being honest with yourself is crucial to prevent yourself from self-deception and living a life of integrity.
Soliloquy allows you to create a safe construct from your own ego.
I practiced rewarding myself when I reached the goals I’ve set for myself.
For eg., I once wanted to buy a Nike T-shirt which I really liked and thought would go well with my morning jogging routine but,
I’ve told myself. “Okay John, I’m going to buy you that t-shirt if you reach the 10Km running goal this week”
Not only did this attitude teach me self-discipline, but also helped me reach my goals faster. Finally, when I treated/rewarded myself to buying that T-shirt, not only did i feel great for achieving it but I felt like I indeed earned it.
A word of caution: Being too hard on yourself can be sometimes hazardous and prevent yourself from forgiving yourself.
Motivate and train him(speaking from the third-person point of view of yourself).
Brainstorm with him about the problems you have, sit down with him and talk to him.
Put boundaries and be strict on him.
It’s like you are coaching and mentoring someone to achieve their goals, except this time it’s you mentoring yourself.
Talk yourself out of your problems with a different mindset.
Ever realized why you’re so great at counseling others and giving good advice but fail so miserably when it comes to your own?
As Albert Einstein said,
“We cannot solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that we used when we created it”
When our brain associates itself with the “I”, there isn’t enough space to distance ourselves from our negative thinking situation where we focus more on the problem than the solution.
When you talk to yourself, ask him(yourself) about the problems he is facing, the roadblocks he is hitting in life;
Take time to listen to him because there aren’t many in this world who are willing to listen to him and genuinely care about it.
Once you listen to yourself, analyze the situation objectively.
Tell him(yourself) from a third person perspective how to get over it.
Distancing yourself from yourself for a while will allow you to think out of the box, with a different mindset.
When you talk to yourself you review and rate your performance. Be accountable to yourself and involve in constructive criticism.
Make it a habit of holding a review meeting with yourself every other day or week.
Talking to yourself and introspecting will determine how well you’re doing since the last meeting with yourself.
So go ahead, be crazy and talk to yourself more. 😉