Self-Talk Part 1: Recon

The longest relationship of our lives is the one we have with ourselves. Are you pleased with how you talk to yourself? Do you speak positively to yourself? What is your default tone of voice? Over the next few weeks I will explore self-talk, and offer methods to modify your inner voice to better serve the life you want to live. 


You cannot adapt to an opponent’s attacks if you cannot see them coming, so let’s start with awareness. Keep a notebook handy and make a tic mark whenever you feel unhappy or stressed, or download a mood tracking app to your smartphone. Here are some of my favorites:

Don’t worry about identifying your thoughts or changing your inner voice’s tone. Right now, you’re in recon mode; trying to get a general sense of when you do not feel well.

By tracking your mood for at least a week, preferably two, you can zero in on the days and times when you feel especially bad. Everyone is a bit different. I, for example, have a harder time on Tuesdays in the morning and Saturdays in the evening. Why? I’ll get to that in a later post; what is important is that I need to be more vigilant with how I feel and how I talk to myself on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Next week, I’ll share my most recent mood tracking data and show you how to make sense of your data. For now, commit to tracking your mood two or more times per day for the next seven days. 

Whenever I feel I am talking cruelly to myself, I take a moment to replace my words with someone else’s. The quote below is one that I use every time I recognize that my negative self-talk is taking over the conversation.

If I am worth anything later, I am worth something now. For wheat is wheat, even if people think it is a grass in the beginning.
— Vincent van Gogh