A friend of mine, John Christian, referred to “self-talk” as the inner conversation we have with ourselves. It often is a conversation based on exaggeration – we talk ourselves up, which can boost our confidence to self-belief but also bring us crashing down to earth as well. Talking down to ourselves can both keep us safe but ensuring our expectations are so low we are never disappointed, and also keep us depressed and under-confident. Self-talk is often literally an inner conversation of words – we can write them down and look at them, and we can rephrase them, reword what we say to ourselves and have a different conversation with ourselves if we so choose.
One form of self talk is self-collusion. It goes like this: whenever we tell ourselves that something isn’t as good or as bad as it truly is, we agree with ourselves! Whenever we say to ourselves “I cant do or say that” we collude by agreeing. It is as if we are two people: the person in action who is in feat of truth, honesty, challenge, risking something better, and the commentator or observer of that person in action who has become a rubber stamp of agree,net, who collides with the mediocrity that exists on the words of our self talk.
“Should I be open here ?” “Best not, too dangerous.”
“It is a bit of a radical step” “Yes, keep things as they are.”
When our default place life is always a place of safety, of risk avoidance, where we never risk being honest, never challenge ourselves or others, if our inner observer, some sY our conscience, always simply agrees with our default on non-adventure, then we are stuck in self-collusion.
And it can last a lifetime.
The price of always wearing a suit of armour is that, we may feel and be protected from external harm, but our movement is also hampered and we’ll never feel the touch of another on our skin, or the warmth of the sun, only a barely felt knock against our hard armour.
“The very walls you erect to keep challenge out, also bricks you in.”