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The Pros and Cons of Talking to Yourself

The Pros and Cons of Talking to Yourself

Do you talk to yourself? It’s okay to admit it, it is perfectly normal and research says it can even be helpful. Talking to yourself can help you focus.  For example, if you are looking for your keys and you keep repeating “keys” “keys” you are more likely to find them than if you did not say anything.  Talking to yourself can help you slow down your thoughts so that you are able to process them more completely and come up with better solutions to problems. It can also help you process strong emotions and lessen their impact. Of course, listening to what you are saying to yourself is important too. That inner voice pulls from a knowledge base that is often hindered by the noise of everyday life. Used in a positive way talking to yourself can be your cheerleader, motivator, problem solver, self-esteem booster or devil’s advocate. However, if that voice is negative, it can eat away at your self-esteem and actually have more of a negative impact on whatever it is that went wrong and on your feelings about yourself. We may not think that it has an impact but when your brain hears it, it cannot discern whether it is true or not, so it tries to justify it -often making the real solutions difficult to see. So, listen to the words you use and how you communicate with yourself. Keep it in the positive and the results will be positive. Let it go negative and you may need several positives to cancel out the effects of that one negative. Don’t let others impact that...
Change Your Mindset – Raise Your Self-Esteem

Change Your Mindset – Raise Your Self-Esteem

What would you do? Things are not going your way and you are having one of those days. You know, the kind of day that you struggle to write that report, meet deadlines, you burn the new recipe, or fail at something that should be easy for you. You have messed up and you and everyone else know it. What does that internal voice say to you when that happens? Do the ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) come marching in or are you understanding and patient with yourself? Will you pick yourself up and try again or resign yourself to not being “good at” X? Things like this happen throughout our lives and based on your level of self-esteem and your mindset you may either never attempt that again or jump back in with both feet and push through it until you get it. Imagine that two students have received low grades on their test. Their initial reactions are similar as they are confused and disappointed in themselves. What happens next determines which of them has a stronger sense of self-esteem and a growth mindset. Student A is frustrated and discouraged and hides the test in her notebook and refuses to even look at it. She makes excuses about not having enough time or not understanding because of the teacher. (Empty)Promises to do better will likely not work out and her confidence in that subject will continue to decline. Student B takes the oppsite approach. Although she is upset, she tries to figure out what she did wrong. She asks a friend about one part and goes after school to...
Nothing So Wrong With Us That What Is Right With Us, Can’t Fix

Nothing So Wrong With Us That What Is Right With Us, Can’t Fix

That was the title of a keynote speech at the CHADD (Children and Adults with ADHD) conference I attended last November by Mark Katz. Think about that title for a minute. As Mark explained, it is the meaning that we attach to adversity and/or the meaning that others attach that influences how we feel about it and how we feel about ourselves. If those experiences are negative, as they can be for many students with ADHD, then it takes more “strength” to stay mentally strong and to not let those experiences determine how they feel about themselves. We know they can do it, just not consistently. So point out that circumstances/difficulties are temporary, not permanent, and that there is usually a light at the end of the tunnel to aim for. Key Points: Teach kids that their intelligence is not fixed, it is malleable. Push them to roll up their sleeves and try again. Avoid saying things like, “you’re so smart” as it implies that intelligence is fixed and sends a conflicting message to them when they fail. Make “making mistakes” a valued part of learning. Encourage constructive learning. Have a mistake jar where chips are put in for mistakes and then reward the family when the jar is full. Build resiliency. Focus on the positive. Level the playing field by helping students learn to use the tools, strategies and technologies that work best for them. Encourage their interests and support them as they find what interests them and what they are good at. Bottom line – do whatever it takes to keep your child’s self-esteem intact. It’s how...