Recognizing and Revising Self-Talk Patterns Common Exhibit for Learning Outcome #1

Inner Critic

  • I was playing basketball earlier today and a lot of action happened of course. In one instance, I found I was blaming myself for not being able to deliver the right bounce pass to my teammate. It seemed like an easy action: bounce the ball to your teammate so he can score. After I bounced the ball, I bounced it way too lightly and the defender easily took it. While I was running back to defend, I was instantly thinking, “I should not be running this hard right now if I didn’t mess up that pass”. I kept thinking about the failure during my new offensive possession. I was drilling myself deeper into blame and eventually ended up having a terrible game.
  • In this instance, instead of blaming myself so harshly, just move on and try again, but do better the next time. I see that from mistakes I can make perfection. Mistakes are okay, if you don’t keep it a mistake. Move forward from mistakes and learn from them to be great, instead of lamenting over a simple error. Also, my favorite scientist is Albert Einstein and he once said, “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new”. Mistakes are as much a part of success as anything else involved.

Inner Defender

The image above is a picture of my work for a math exam. I had fixed the 7 and made it darker after the fact. While I was darkening the 7, I was thinking, “How in the world did someone not know that this was a 7? We are in a MATH class, and my 7 has a little dash in the middle, but it is clearly a 7!” I had lost a total of eleven points on that one problem, where six points were for not writing to the liking of the grader. I was very angry at the idea that I lost points for someone not being able to read my number 7. I had no thoughts about me being the problem in this case.

I have always thought I had legible writing. However, I can now admit I do write poorly when rushing through work. I can understand how someone may have not seen it as a 7. In fact, throughout my school career, people have sometimes said I had messy handwriting. Although I do normally defend myself in most manners, it is good to see other side and understand the viewpoint.

Inner Guide

I have great relationships with my close friends. This means we like to do things together most of the time because we all enjoy our “squad”. I had a test Friday morning and this was the Thursday night before the test. Of course, my friends wanted to play basketball and watch the big game that night. In this instance, my inner guide really came out and I became responsible. I told my friends I need to study for my test and make sure I am prepared. This thought worked out in the end when I got an 86 on my chemical engineering test.

This is a rarity in my life to say no to hanging out with my friends. However, there are times to play and times to work. From all this, I learned if I studied earlier I could have easily gone with my friends, but I made a responsible decision in my situation and from that responsible decision came out a great product.


My default setting for inner voice is inner critic. Any time something happens, I consider everything that is my fault. I normally do this type of thinking in every situation. I believe the reason is from birth, my guardians always taught me the hard way to take responsibility in my own hands and own up if something is my fault. However, I normally have the feeling that I am the one in the wrong and so I assume the responsibility. My parents have also taught me to take great responsibility. My parents are both inner critics I would say, so perhaps just being around them has given me the same type of thinking. Of course I want to change this type of thinking because I want to be positive and only take responsibility for things I have done. If I were to change my type of thinking, I would probably want to mostly be an inner guide just because I wouldn’t get so mad at myself and blame myself when not all of it is my fault. The only way I see my thinking changing is to pause when something happens and think about how something should be handled. Instead of immediately blaming others or myself, I would think the situation through and try and get the most positive things out of it, learn from it, and just basically carry on. I love seeing other people who already have a great mindset, and either hearing or seeing from their perspective may help my mindset and that could be one way to change my type of thinking.


Created with images by ElisaRiva - "head brain thoughts" • janeb13 - "albert einstein portrait theoretician physician" • ElisaRiva - "head brain thoughts"

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