Self Talk and Cultivating Your Garden

11/10/2013 14:56 BST | Updated 23/01/2014 23:58 GMT

I have written before about an "inner dialogue". The self talk that goes on in our heads.

I have OCD. I like everything in its place. All of the stripes on the cushions in my home need to face a certain way, all of the dishes need to be done before I go to sleep at night, or I won't be able to sleep. I also have this constant inner dialogue going on. Funny little thing i am.

I noticed my inner dialogue on Sunday as I was searching for a coat hanger to hang a dress I had just washed and worn to a wedding the night before. That's another OCD habit I have. Washing my clothes immediately after I wear them.

"No. No. No." I said in my mind as I scanned my bursting closet, with no hangers to spare, looking at which dress I was willing to remove from its hanger in order to hang my new dress. I have an astonishing amount of clothing. Yet, like most women, still nothing to wear.

"You don't deserve to be on a hanger" my inner dialogue said, as I removed a dress I didn't particularly fancy, and left it sitting on the wardrobe floor. If I had this conversation out loud, people would assume I'm bonkers.

And I have this is the shower too. I always look at the shampoo bottle and read this word that's on it. Combability. "That's not even a word" I say to myself each time I look at it.

So I've established that there is this ridiculous inner dialogue constantly taking place in our minds.

But what about the negative self talk that sometimes floods our thoughts?

"God I look fat today"

"My boobs are too small"

"Is that a wrinkle?"

"Is that a pimple?"

"My gosh that front tooth is really crooked"

I am constantly picking myself apart. I think everyone does this to themselves. But these are just the surface criticisms. What about the ones that cause us real damage?

"I'm so stupid"

"Why don't I have any courage?"

"I am so negative"

"I am my own worst enemy"

"I'm not good enough"

This self talk undermines our confidence, and yes, when we do think this way, we really are our own worst enemy.

Why do we have this perception of ourselves?

Why do we only absorb the negative, and never the positive? How is it that a bad comment can cancel out any of the good?

You know what negative thoughts do. They undermine our confidence. They destroy our self worth. They create doubt. And they can cause illness. Where do you think the word "disease" comes from? Dis-ease.

If there is an element of dis-ease within, it can actually cause disease. Initially it manifests as anxiety, depression, headaches. Then irritable bowel syndrome, weight loss, insomnia. Sometimes then the more sinister stuff can take hold.

Let's liken it to a garden. Let's grow some tulips.

If you do not look after your garden, removing the weeds, turning over the soil, fertilise it, water it, and generally take care of it, it will be overcome with weeds, and those beautiful tulips will be strangled and die. And if you don't care for them from the start, they may not even get the chance to bloom. But here's the best part. The seed is still there, and it's never too late to cultivate your garden. Those tulips can always be late bloomers.

It's important to eliminate any stress and dis-ease from our lives to enable this proverbial garden to flourish.

Stop with the negative self talk and start loving yourself for the gift you truly are.