Common Exhibit #1 Recognizing and Revising Self-Talk Patterns

Recognizing and Revising Self-Talk Patterns

Inner Critic:

I was about to stop doing my homework because my friends invited me to play basketball. In my mind I knew the work was more important and my inner critic told myself that I need to have more self-awareness and more mental strength to skip on basketball to finish what is most important.

I should start to encourage myself to choose the right choice rather than getting down on myself for it. This will help me stay higher in confidence.

Inner Defender:

Sometimes I am too lazy to go to the dining hall and get a real meal that I resort to snacks that are in my room. I know deep down that this is unhealthy but my inner defender backs me up and says that it’s no less healthy than the food I would get in the dining hall.

I need to be able to be more of a guide and tell myself the benefits of going to get a larger meal. This would help my overall health and, thus, my performance in the classroom.

Inner Guide:

Before my 10am class I thought about skipping it, but my inner guide told myself that the benefits of walking to class greatly outweigh getting a little more sleep. So I was able to get to class on time and I am happy I did.

This sort of behavior is what I need to have at all times when I come to a decision that must be made.


Growing up I was always a great soccer player and stood out on every team I played on. When I got to be a sophomore in high school I was offered the opportunity to play for the Charleston Battery Development Academy. This was obviously a great team and I would have to work hard to succeed at this level. At first I said I wanted to deny the opportunity and to continue playing at the current level I was at. My inner defender told myself that it was because I had already said I would continue playing but deep down I knew it was because I was shying away from the amount of work I would have to go through. Luckily my inner guide was able to overpower my inner defender and I decided to take the spot on the team and I am so glad I did.

Naturally my inner defender is the most prevalent of these inner voices. I believe that is because I want to believe that all my decisions are correct no matter if they are or aren’t. I would like to change this default inner voice to an inner guide instead. I think this must be done over time and that I must focus on stopping the other two inner voices as soon as they begin.

In the future, using the inner guide will be done in most situation sin which I’ve been given a choice to make in which one is obviously a much better choice for my situation. For instance, with exams coming up I must use my inner guide a lot to make sure I am doing what is needed to be done to do well and end the semester strong.


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