The Self-Talk Challenge

Today I wanted to share an excerpt from my upcoming Time Mastery Workbook, part of my project to revamp my time management program to be more effective.

Extra Mile: The Self-Talk Challenge

 On my 30th birthday, I noticed just how many negative things I said about myself. It seemed like every joke I told was a self-deprecating one, and every time I made even the smallest mistake, I would say something about how clumsy, stupid, or careless I was. I wasn’t aware of just how much damage it was doing, but I realized it couldn’t be good for me. I challenged myself not to say anything unkind of myself, not even in jest.

The first time I did this I managed to go 132 days without saying anything mean about myself. The effect was incredible, on my mood, my relationships, and my energy. I have taken the challenge several times afterwards: sometimes I have been less successful, but often I have been able to improve on that time.

If you are interested in going the extra mile, I recommend taking a version of self-talk challenge. The simplest version is to see how long you can go without saying something negative about yourself.

For a more meaningful challenge, we’ll use a variation on the “swear jar” tool. Set a jar or bowl somewhere. Every time you say something negative about yourself, put a token, or better yet, some money – a dollar would be ideal – into the jar. At the end of every month check on how well you did. If you used money, go out and do something kind for yourself with the money you put in the jar, and promise yourself to do better next time.

[…] I would encourage anyone who wants to take the Self-Talk Challenge to write it down by hand and sign it. [This will help build your commitment to completing the challenge.] I recommend writing this agreement.

I _____________________, commit to speaking only well and honestly about myself. I acknowledge that saying negative and hurtful things about myself diminishes my health, confidence, and energy. I recognize this fact and choose to take The Self-Talk Challenge to begin my journey to healthier ways of thinking and speaking about myself.

I am taking up the challenge again today as a part of my way to ensure I remain productive through the summer.  I would like to encourage my readers to do the same, and as always, I encourage you to email me and tell me about your experiences.