I’ve always struggled with my internal dialogue.
I analyse everything. Every decision, every action, every feeling, every outcome. What could I have done differently? What should I have done better? How did I want that to go? How did it go?
A base level of discontentment with the current situation can be a powerful motivator. It can push you to create the life you want to lead. But beyond a certain point, it stops being useful. Beyond being a constructive feedback mechanism it simply fuels a feeling of inadequacy.
When you think about your life, most of it is memories. Most of it is an imagined picture of what happened. An imagined picture that you paint for yourself. So if you can change that picture, that narrative, you can change the experience.
When I thought about my past, I created a narrative about how I thought things had gone. It was almost always negative. No matter what happened, I’d find something I wish I could change and focus on that. Something I wish I had or hadn’t said or had or hadn’t done.
I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with using negative words. The key lies not just in recognising those words, but also paying attention to the feeling created whilst using them.
Recognising that emotions will come and go, no matter what. How I perceive them though, is up to me.