Language is important. Life literally revolves around communication. God created the Earth by speaking it into existence. People pay large amounts of money to listen to other people talk. Right now, you’re reading this blog.
With such a high emphasis on communication, it begs the question, how do you talk to yourself? Would you pay to hear someone put you down? Do you read blogs that demean you and call you names? If not, then why do we talk to ourselves that way?
Think about it. That last question may sound rhetorical, but I truly want you to think about it. All the flaws, the mistakes, the less-than-perfect attributes we see in the mirror or the mind’s eye – what are they to you?
While it is important to be honest with ourselves, it is also important to be nice to ourselves. Despite popular belief, the two can be done in tandem. But what does that mean – and more importantly – how do we do that?
Snooping around the internet, I came across this blog that talks about just that. It’s not hard science, but it’s pretty convincing reporting.
Refer to yourself in the third person.
The idea behind it is simple, really. If we refer to ourselves in the third person, it gives us more of an outsider perspective. Outside perspective has a tendency to encourage, treating the faults as unfortunate but also irrelevant. When we can stand back and see ourselves as someone else, we are more gentle. We give grace and allow room for forgivable flaws.
In practice, you might think of it as an internal pep talk.
Words like, You got this Amy, can become the all-conquering manifestation of a great accomplishment. If we are speaking in terms of self-esteem, I would say Amy you have value, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14 rings true to you when you insert your name!
The other day I was telling a friend about this method for tackling something overwhelming. She decided to put it into practice as she was about to face a nerve racking performance. Later, she told me that as she stood backstage preparing to sing in front of a new group of people, she told herself in the third person that she could do it. That she had done it before and that she has always done well. Afterwards she told me, “Out the gate – it was the best I have ever done.” Using visualization techniques is a very common trick. But adding the language of “other”, at least in her case, proved to be an effective trick!
Regardless of how you do it, positive self-talk is important. When God spoke creation into existence, He called it “Good”.
So should you.