Recognizing and Revising Self-Talk Patterns

Inner Critic: This voice usually creeps up when I feel that I have hit rock bottom and I am not sure what to do. I will start to question myself about what I have done to get to this point and will look for anything to blame myself, like the times when I am faced with a tough question on a test and torture myself about not trying harder, even if I feel that what I have done up to that point is more than adequate. The best way I could channel this toward the inner guide is by uplifting myself for what I have done right. It is fine to point out flaws that I have made, but I should also acknowledge everything that I did right, too, and how I can implement those actions into what I do in the future.

Inner Defender: I rarely have this voice speak up in my mind, but when I do, it is usually when I am facing some difficulty. One example of this is when I am having trouble paying attention to the material in my Computer Science 1010 course. My teacher speaks in broken English and there is a student who frequently disrupts the class (I certain it is beyond his control). In these moment when I am having trouble understanding the material, I tell myself that if this thing were a certain way, I could function more properly and that I would have to worry about the difficulties I am facing. A good way to start channeling this attitude towards the inner guide is by trying to relate these difficulties to myself instead of outside forces. Of course, students disrupting the class is a valid reason for having trouble with the material, but it is important to see more into what is causing the problem within myself. I need to look at myself and ask what can I do to fix the situation I am in, instead of blaming others around me.

Inner Guide: I usually have this voice in my head near the end of a semester. I reflect on what I have been through and analyze things carefully, looking for problems and thinking of solutions. I am honest with myself about things without having to put myself down and I think about what I have done right and tell myself to do more of that, because, ultimately, it leads me to some sort of success, whether big or small.

The inner voice that comes to me most of the time is inner critic. Most of the time, I do not feel that I have the confidence in myself to motivate me to get things done. This voice always starts with me thinking that I am about to accomplish something with whatever it is I am doing. Then, the voice gradually gets worse. It starts with me telling myself “There is no way I can do this.” The harder the difficulty I am facing, the worse it gets. I start to doubt myself more and more and ask myself these hard questions that seem to come out of nowhere. Having this voice in your head that has you put yourself down constantly when things do not seem to go right or should have gone better is one of the most infuriating and frustrating things a person can do to themselves. It is a terrible part of me, a harsh punishment that I put on myself that I desperately want to be absolved from. I feel that the best way for me to change this, is to create a new view for myself. One that can be honest to myself without having to tear me down. One that can let go when things go wrong and tell myself to work harder, that I do not have to wallow in a state of despair and that things will get better because tomorrow is a new day. Most of the screeching that comes from this inner voice stems from my recent academic performance. I have had problems adjusting to life at a four-year university, mainly with studying and keeping up with the work. The skills that I have picked up from CU 1010, as well as my fellow students, has put some ease on this. I feel that applying more of the skills that I have learned in this course, as well as what I have learned from my experience at Clemson University, can help alleviate the stress that I have been going through, and put my mind at ease.

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Created with images by Loughborough University Library - "Top tips 6"

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