Your internal dialogue powerfully programs and shapes your self-concept. If you believe you are worthy and strong, you will live up to that truth. The following exercises will help to focus your habits and patterns and hopefully set you free of some of your negative internal dialogue:
If you find it easier not to wait for the two-hour mark, but instead to jot things down as you hear yourself saying them, then by all means, do it that way. The point is to develop a thorough understanding of one day's internal dialogue, without completely upsetting your daily schedule.
Imagine that you are scheduled to make an important presentation at work tomorrow. A number of important customers or clients, as well as several of your coworkers and your boss, will be there watching. It's the night before. You're lying in bed, in the dark, thinking about the presentation. What are you saying to yourself?
Take whatever time you need to consider, honestly and thoroughly, the kinds of messages that would be going through your head. You'd be having a conversation with yourself, so what would you be saying? Write down as much of this conversation as you can.
Look back at the writing that you did for both Exercises 1 and 2. Do you see common themes or threads running through both sets of writings? If so, what are those common features? Describe them in writing.
When you look back over your writing for Exercises 1 and 2, how would you describe the overall tone or mood of your internal dialogue? Is it positive, upbeat? Or is it pessimistic, defeatist, self-condemning? If it is positive, is it rational? Or is it just some rah-rah self-con job with no substance? Are there particular areas where what you've written sounds especially harsh or critical? By contrast, does your internal dialogue as to some areas of your life strike you as particularly upbeat and optimistic? Circle any writing that you think illustrates especially positive or especially negative internal dialogue.
Again, glancing back over your writing for both Exercises 1 and 2: What does your writing tell you about your locus of control? Is your internal dialogue oriented externally, internally or in accordance with chance? Write down your answer.