Coach's Corner

Internal Dialogue

Helping your inner voice be more positive

Internal Dialogue – an inner voice that allows for deep introspective reflection

Are you drawn to your future or driven by your past?

Reread that question and let your mind travel through it as you determine your internal response. Travel through the way you make decisions and take action. Do you look ahead with excitement toward achieving a vision, or does experience automatically dictate how things will happen in your mind? While coaching keeps you in the present, your mindset (drive towards future) and values (lessons from the past) catalyze your views of “the now.” Determining how you are moving forward will help unlock the keys to achieving more robust goals.

Imagine you have to reach out to a manager, coworker, or adjuster that generally is very critical about the reports and e-mails you send. You have two general modes of behavior to take based on your internal dialogue. The first way creates a conviction that you can determine future results based on prior responses. The second creates goals that help find more robust answers in the future. The past drives one, while the other is drawn to the look ahead.

These kinds of conversations are drivers for a lot of things we do. Our internal dialogue generally creates an additional narrative into what you will do or say. It carries your mood, makes assumptions, and can process perspective much faster than you can speak. This is where your internal dialogue can sometimes become your most substantial opposition.

Before you can create ways to overcome negative internal dialogue, you need to be able to define it. Take a look at the following list to see if you note times when your inner dialogue takes over:

  • Do you internally ask yourself questions and answer them?
  • Do you find yourself rethinking different ways you could have responded to conversations?
  • Do you have various comments about your life, and circumstances, focusing heavily on other people?
  • Do you repeat sequences or words you hear in your mind often?

If you answered a resounding yes to any of the above, you likely have established some negative internal dialogues. Generally, all people do. Often, your inner dialogue creates ideas that alter your mindset against achievement, thus not fortifying your strengths. Statements like, “I’m never gonna get it” or “I’m not going to be as good” will create a conviction that trying to improve is useless.

So how do we train our internal dialogue to help us? Focus on the following:

  1. Start by carefully noticing when you are speaking negatively to yourself and take a step back. By simply knowing that you are looking for this behavior, you’ll be able to recognize it and step away from it.
  2. Upon awareness, ask yourself, “What is the current, objective situation?” Focus on objectivity by carefully removing all your assumptions and opinions. This will instantly create a positive detachment.
  3. Continue to practice awareness and detachment until you can eventually stop it by reframing your goals. The more you look to be drawn to your future, the more able you will be to connect to “the now.” Set a goal and focus on your next step.

It takes time to adjust your inner dialogue to help you focus on the right things but successfully doing so will open a lot of new potential. Your expectations of everything you do will improve, and your ability to communicate more effectively with coworkers, adjusters, judges, friends, and family will drastically improve. Your prior experiences will serve as learning opportunities but not divert your desire and ability to create positive action.

Mindset comes in many forms, but internal dialogue pushes you to act. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have it help you take positive action?

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