5 Ways to Learn Which Inner Dialogues Most Influence Your Life.
How aware are you about what you’re thinking and saying to yourself? Every thought has a subtle power to shape your reality, so let’s tap into the source of things with these five easy self-awareness exercises.
1. Do a silent staycation.
One of the best ways to become more aware of your inner dialogue is by taking one of your days off to stay at home and be silent as long as possible. In order to maintain your silence, it requires you to avoid conversations with other people, so you’ll have no one else’s thoughts to distract you except your own. You can take this time to meditate, contemplate and journal.
2. Record yourself speaking your thoughts aloud.
Just say everything that pops into your head, like your stream of consciousness is playing out in a movie that you’re just watching. Then play it back after an hour to give yourself a fresh perspective on what you’re thinking. Taking a break from your thoughts and reflecting on them later gives you new eyes to see your life with.
3. Start a diary for daily introspection. Then play the “rewrite-your-life” game.
After a month, compare what you wrote today to what you wrote a month ago. You’ll start noticing patterns. Now take something you wrote more than once that was negative — it could be a complaint about your co-worker, reflecting on how exhausted you feel or feeling sad about not being able to afford that one thing you wish you had right now — and convert it into something positive. For example, you could write down one little thing you appreciate about your co-worker. If you’re feeling really bold, take it a step further and tell your co-worker tomorrow how you honestly appreciate that one thing they do. They’re likely to respond in such a positive way that it can totally help change the downward spiral that trapped you at work. Little by little, you can reprogram yourself to become more aware of what you’re thinking and take charge of your happiness.
4. Interview yourself.
It helps to record this conversation with yourself when you’re alone somewhere so that you can express yourself more fully. Ask yourself these questions and answer them aloud:
- If I could change anything about myself, what would I change and why?
- For one day, I have an unlimited amount of money, so what will I do with it?
- What are three things I wish I knew how to do? Why can’t I learn one of them?
- Describe one thing that you wish others could understand about you.
5. Sketch a mind map to discover those frequent thoughts you have that influence you the most.
A famous quote by Frank Outlaw describes how you should:
Watch your thoughts. They become words.
Watch your words. They become actions.
Watch your actions. They become habits…
You can see where this goes, and soon your habits shape your character and your destiny. Often, we can easily see what’s happening outside without understanding the thoughts we had in the first place that led up to this moment we’re experiencing right now. That’s why in this mind map, we’re going to work backwards to uncover those “source thoughts” and see which ones could use a change.
Start by writing down one good habit that you do almost every day. Maybe you always go to work on time. Write that down and circle it. Now make an actions circle where you list all the most-important things you have done to make sure that you can arrive at work on time daily. Draw an arrow from your actions circle to your good habit. Go back further now and write down some of the things you say to yourself and what others have said to you that motivated you to get to work punctually every day. Connect your words circle to your actions. Finally, draw your thoughts circle where you list the most impactful thoughts you had that started this chain of events. It could be the moment when you started worrying that you’ll never get another job as good as this one if they fire you for showing up late every day, for instance.
Now follow these steps, starting by writing down a bad habit and working backwards the same way we just described. When you finish this introspective chain, realize that you can change this habit easily once you change the way you were thinking that led to your bad habit.
Self awareness is a gift.
One of the greatest benefits of developing more awareness about your inner dialogue is that it gives you the freedom to change. Without self awareness, you can’t progress closer to your goals, so don’t waste time in regret. Start focusing on what you will become.
Stay tuned to our blog for more great inspiration to live your best life.