Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. All opinions remain my own. For more information, please refer to my disclosure policy. I want to thank Julio Carlos for taking the time to write this amazing article on how to give yourself a pep talk and mental health.
If you are alive, you heard at least once that little voice of doubt that came to haunt you telling you that you are no good, that you couldn’t do it. If you are like most people, that voice is a constant pain in the ass. You are not alone, and I get it because that voice still wails from time to time, but it’s MUCH better now.
Yes, today, we will talk about the voices in our heads and how we can make them work for our mental health and help us in our lives. To do that, I will show you how to give yourself a pep talk in 5 steps.
How to Give Yourself A Pep Talk
First things first: Remember That The voices won’t stop or “go away”.
Yep, that’s right. Those voices in your head won’t stop or go away. Not because they are “permanent” but because they are a feature that our brain has to keep our sanity in check. We must understand that those voices result from what we hear, think, and believe of ourselves. They come from our deep subconscious, and they work like parrots, saying what we choose to believe about ourselves.
Yes, that’s right, they are the manifestations of our beliefs and the thought patterns we choose to work with.
Second: Always Remember That “They aren’t permanent.”
Have you ever heard of the saying: “Insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results”?
Or that one that says something like: “for you to get the things you are getting, keep doing the things you are doing”?
These sayings are right!
You see, as I said before, the voices are a “feature” from our brain and a “result” of the thought patterns WE* choose to have. This last part is crucial, and here’s why: Many people fail to change these voices because they fight the voices instead of changing what creates them. Many of us try to shut down the voices themselves and fail because their voices are the consequence.
And that leads us to our THIRD point.
Third: It all starts with thought.
This step will not work if you don’t do it constantly, and it’s straightforward: question your actual thoughts about yourself and choose better thoughts. I’m not saying “go to a mirror and produce affirmations” every day. They surely help, but they won’t deconstruct the bad thoughts once they come, believe me.
Do it like this: whenever you have a sucky thought about yourself, for whatever reason and no matter how small or “unimportant,” whenever somebody tells something that you feel like it’s bad, stop that thought or person and question them.
- Why do you say that?
- Why am I thinking like this?
- Is this fair/true, or is this just biased?
- Do I have to accept this?
- Do I want this?
- Do I have to put up to this?
- Is this the truth, or just that person’s opinion?
Go deeper and deeper to the root cause of that thought or words that you or the other person said. Deconstruct the thought by logic.
Choose to deny everything that doesn’t seem right, isn’t grounded on logic, or reasonable enough to be considered. Choose to separate the truth from personal biases of yourself towards yourself and others. Don’t let other people’s biases define you by remembering that your actions define you and that your past actions may still be defining you, but you can choose to improve your actions and become another person.
Choose happier, more reasonable thoughts. Easier said than done, right? But here’s a simple method to choose happy thoughts: – Ask yourself if you can do better and learn from your mistakes, then, replay your mistakes to learn how you could do better, take notes, and do better.
Here’s an example:
Imagine you are having a conversation with yourself, like this:
Voice: Your toes are ugly.
You: Yeah, I have awful pinkies.
V: Yeah, your feet are ugly too.
Y: Yeah, *sobs* you are right.
V: You are ugly. Nobody will ever love you because you don’t deserve love. After all, you are ugly.
Y: *gets depressed and cries*
Now let us see what can you do:
V: Your toes are ugly.
Y: *stops*. “Why do you say that?”
V: Because they aren’t perfect.
Y: Do my toes have to be perfect to be beautiful?
Y: Is there such a thing as perfection? A global standard of perfect pinkies?
V: Yes, and your pinkie doesn’t come close to that. You are so low down the scale that you aren’t even considered.
Y: Am I competing with someone?
V: No… but… they are not perfect.
Y: Do they have to be perfect to be mine? Or for me to love them and accept them as mine? I mean, I don’t have much choice in genetics now, do I?
V: No… but you aren’t beautiful like that Actress, and you don’t deserve love.
Y: I may not be, but do I have to be beautiful like someone else for people to love me? Do I have to depend on my looks alone to be worthy of love? Is love THAT shallow of emotion that only sees the appearances of one?
Y: I may not be beautiful like XYZ, but I have some great perks. I can swim fabulously, have a great sense of humor, and can do maths pretty well. I’m young and have lots in front of me so that I can become even better. If someone doesn’t love me because of that, I can always love myself. Plus, I have great friends, and that’s cool.
V: Yeah, you are right. You are pretty good at maths, and you love swimming. Jeff is a very nice friend as well. You are right, and you can get better.
It may not go like this, but I am sure you get the idea. The thing here is to question your thoughts or what people say until you get to the root cause or you can find a point where you can remind yourself of your qualities.
To our next, and final point then:
Fifth: Forgive yourself and try again.
That’s it. Remind yourself that you don’t and you won’t get things right on the first try, or second. It’s ok, it’s called learning. But I assure you: Try it 100 times and you will see that you will get it right at least once.
Give it 100 tries before you give up this method, and forgive yourself every time you fail. Oh, btw, remember to congratulate yourself every time you try with a pat on your shoulder.
Share your experiences on the comments on this 100X challenge and let’s see how it works for you. See you there.
Julio Carlos is a writer, author of the motivational poetry collection Lifter, and a self-development podcaster.