Have you ever noticed that you were talking to yourself in public, only after someone gave you a strange look? How about those times when the voices in your head were helping you make a decision? Maybe you've seen the voices in your head manifest into a devil and an angel version of yourself sitting on top of your shoulders, guiding you in making a decision.
But guess what? You're not crazy if you talk to yourself in some shape or form. Talking to yourself and having positive dialogue is actually perfectly normal, and it can be quite beneficial for you.
The politically correct (PC) term of talking to yourself is referred to as self-talk. What is self-talk, you may ask? Well, as the name implies, it is actually talking to yourself. It's that simple.
If you find yourself in a moment of self-talk, it more than likely is falling into two categories, motivational or instructional. These two forms of self-talk can assist you in making decisions that improve your communication, help with your decision-making, build your confidence and even help build stronger relationships with those around you.
The benefits can truly be endless. Let's break down these two forms of self-talk.
Motivational self-talk simply refers to those times you may find yourself struggling, and you're suddenly psyching yourself up with phrases such as, “I can do this.”
If you have ever found yourself playing a sport like baseball, more than likely, you've used motivational self-talk to increase your confidence when it was your turn to bat. Instead of a sporting arena, how about at work?
You just graduated from college, landed your first big job and you need to give your first presentation in a room full of your colleagues. Beforehand, you may find yourself rehearsing and giving yourself a small pep talk to control your anxiety. That is self-talk.
And at the end, did you feel relieved that not only that it over, but also happy that you succeeded in what you wished to accomplished? Of course you did. Self-talk helped you accomplish your goal.
Now, the other form of self-talk talk, instructional self-talk, is a bit different than motivational self-talk. The key to instructional self-talk is — you guessed it — instruction.
So, as you could assume, this form of self-talk helps you in devising instructions and in formulating step-by-step plans to arrive at a solution. Think of it as strategy planning.
This form of self-talk makes itself known when you may come across a problem, whether it's something you've never encountered before or are simply not too familiar with. While motivational self-talk is used for motivational purposes, instructional self-talk helps you in devising the strategy you will use to approach the solution and your tactical choices.
This is where your creativity can come into focus. You may encounter a problem at work and think of some ways you will approach the dilemma.
Or perhaps after a disagreement with your best friend, you realize your way of communication may not have been the best. After a few days off cooling off, you decide to approach your friend in a different manner and think of a different form of communication that will not lead to conflict, but a desirable result.
You envisioned different scenarios in your head and talked to yourself about what tactics to employ. Perhaps you realized texting was not the best way of interaction before, so you now decide to pick up the phone and actually talk, either in person or via phone. After some internal dialogue, you realized a conversation may go a long way.
Simply speaking, talking to yourself can greatly benefit you. Self-talk is pretty normal.
Remember, we believe what we tell ourselves. If you tell yourself you're amazing, you will start to think so.
You've probably been engaging in self-talk all your life and haven't even noticed. It's a great way to assist with problem-solving, improving communication, controlling anxiety and building confidence.