In the last email (see email 17)
I suggested that by moving our influence inward we can begin to alter
our self-perception. Deciding how we wish to see (and experience)
ourselves rather then being at the mercy of past and external messaging
is a process.
Our internal dialogue is an important factor to consider.
We all talk to ourselves. Some of us mumble quietly, some of us mutter
aloud. But the wheels are always turning in our minds. We are in
constant internal dialogue about: ourselves, others, and the world
around us. We are always gathering information, making assessments, and
using internal discourse to validate our experience and beliefs.
Getting a handle on our self talk is one of the most powerful things
that we can do for our well-being. When our internal dialogue is
unhealthy it impacts us personally and it “leaks” out into our
interactions and relationships with others.
Once we begin to understand the subconscious mind and develop a respect
for its power we realize that we must take charge of our internal
dialogue. Out thought habits must be consistent with what we want.
What most people do not fully appreciate is that runaway thoughts
are programming the subconscious mind through their intensity and
The subconscious does not question what you tell it. That is the job of
the conscious mind, to analyze and reach cause and effect conclusions.
The subconscious mind is a servo-mechanism, we give it a goal and it
responds based on mind files, references and memories that have been
stored over time. We must begin to see thoughts as prompting the goal
seeking behavior of the subconscious mind. Thoughts are words and visual
representations (the pictures we form in our minds) that trigger
states. Thoughts trigger emotional states that have been habituated over
The subconscious mind does not question whether an emotional state is relevant in the here and now.
It takes some discipline to develop new internal dialogue or thought
habits, but it can be done. We do this through training and repetition.
Like anything, what we practice becomes easier.
The goal is to make sure we are practicing what we truly want to keep.
This effort must be made consciously. Managing our thinking by day
allows the subconscious mind to process information behind the scenes,
even while we sleep.
Here is a challenge for you:
- Take a few days to really pay attention to your inner
dialogue. You may be surprise by how negative you are about yourself,
others, and the world around you.
- Try asking yourself what you were just thinking before an emotional state was triggered.
- Ask yourself if the state you created is in your best
interest. Does it serve you? Does it uphold the self-image you wish to
Terri Lee Cooper MSc. RSW