We all worry if we catch ourselves talking to ourselves. It’s said to be the first step to madness. But, in a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, leadership experts Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman propose that, in some contexts, talking aloud to yourself can be really helpful. In fact, they claim that it helped 92% of people they worked with to shed bad habits and become more successful.
Basically, it involves having a conversation with yourself, to raise whatever problem you may be getting stuck with, to explore solutions and then agree a plan. (You will obviously want to do this when you are alone!). So, for example, you may be struggling to achieve your goals at stopping procrastinating, starting a diet, or getting more exercise. You need to find the right time, (just as you would if it was a difficult conversation with another person), and raise the issue with yourself. You gently elaborate all of the facts about the lack of progress, and then ask yourself what the problem is. You wait to hear your own answer. It has to be done gently and respectfully, as though you were having this conversation with someone you really care about. Try to tone down any self-criticism. You then continue to nudge yourself to explore some practical solutions, and also, very importantly, why this matters to you. Finally, you agree a plan that clearly states when, where and how you will move forward. You spell out any other help you may need.
Having a conversation out-loud gives a different dimension to our more usual inner dialogue. It seems to produce more commitment and creativity in solving our problems. And apparently, it works. Why not go ahead and talk to yourself?
For NHS funded therapy for stress, anxiety or depression, phone (01208) 871905 or self refer - [HERE]