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Your Self Talk – Be Kind To Yourself

Transforming Your Inner Dialogue – Practice Compassion Towards Yourself And Be Your Own Best Friend:

Many of us experience a constant stream of inner dialogue, while others may have very little. Let me guide you on how to refine this inner conversation.

Let’s begin with a narrative. Back in 1986, I led a workshop titled “Interpersonal Behavior” for my company. On the third day of this week-long workshop, one participant, a woman, confided that she struggled with the progressive relaxation exercise due to a persistent critical voice in her head. This voice, she revealed, was reminiscent of her mother’s disapproving tone. Through the exercise that follows, we discovered that this voice, though critical, aimed to improve her. Agreeing to adopt a more nurturing tone for a fortnight, this inner critic embarked on a transformative journey.

A month on, I reached out to her, coincidentally just as she had sent me a letter. Curious, I inquired about its contents. She explained that after a brief return of the critical voice post-exercise, she had grown weary of its negativity. In a moment of frustration, she demanded it cease. To her surprise, it did. The voice that once berated her had become supportive and gentle.

The Exercise

Tune into your internal monologue as you envision offering a genuine compliment to a friend or loved one. Pay attention to the voice’s volume, tone, location in space, and pace. Now, direct a compliment towards yourself, noting these same qualities. Which voice resonated more with you? If it was the encouraging voice you used for the other person, internally request this part of you to adopt this nurturing tone moving forward. Express gratitude to this aspect of yourself using the same warm voice.

Over three decades ago, I underwent this very process, and since then, I’ve maintained a harmonious relationship with myself, never succumbing to self-anger, even amidst mistakes.

Should you encounter a self-critical voice, engage with it. Inquire about its intentions, which are often rooted in positivity, such as personal betterment or protection. Encourage this voice to guide you with constructive actions rather than what not to dos. Request that it employs an affirming tone for future guidance.

If this approach doesn’t resonate with you at present, consider the alternative adopted by my workshop attendee. You might also explore altering the perceived location of the voice. Another effective strategy is the “Spin Procedure,” which you can learn more about here:


Or you can add this “Circus music” to the critical voice.


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