I'm Not Crazy, And Neither Are You
Did you ever have an imaginary friend as a kid? You probably talked to this friend a lot. We eventually grow out of talking to that imaginary friend, and we realize—when we’re older—that we were really talking to ourselves all along. But what if it isn’t that simple?
See, I never really grew out of talking to myself.
Science has a lot to say about people who talk to themselves. Some studies suggest it’s a sign of success, and some say it’s a sign of genius. I don’t think of myself as a genius, and I don’t know if talking to myself has helped me be successful or not. What it does do, though, is help me process.
Living with anxiety means I overthink just about everything, and if you have anxiety, you probably know exactly what I mean. I will say something in a conversation with a friend or do something, something completely innocuous, and a few hours later I’m thinking to myself “why did I say that? why did I do that? what if they took it the wrong way? what if they’re upset with me now?” even though there has been no indication of any kind from that friend. And that’s my brain pretty much every day. Can you relate? So, often when I’m in the car, I’ll say those things out loud: “why did you have to say that?”. And then I’ll sort of talk back: “no one is upset with you, and you can’t change it now.”
I do it when I’m running, when that rude voice tries to butt in and tell me I won’t make it. I do it when my anxiety gets the better of me. I do it to work through tasks and projects at work. I do it because I need to hear the words sometimes, and hearing myself say them is usually more powerful. And I actually notice that when I don’t, I don’t feel as creative or able to produce higher quality work.
Sometimes talking to ourselves reminds us that we hold the power over our minds. Sometimes we need the reminder that we have power over our own thoughts, that we can control them. Sometimes we need to hear how things can work out so we can approach a problem in a new way. And, sometimes, talking to ourselves can lead us to talking to God.
So, if you are like me and you talk to yourself, you’re not crazy. It may just be one of the keys to your brilliance and success.
Do you talk to yourself? Does it help you process life?
If not, how do you remind yourself you have power over your thoughts?