Specialist SEN Solicitor
6th December 2021
Last week I talked about avoiding negative self-talk, but this week I want to talk about how you need to instead use positive self-talk!
You often just need to consciously verbalise in your mind what you want to happen in a positive way. You are simply replacing negative self-talk with more positive self-talk. Some people also say that it is about improving ratios and that you should have three times as many positive than negative thoughts, but I think that just having more positive and less negative thoughts is better.
But you can’t jump straight from negative to positive thinking in one foul swoop. Long-lasting change only comes through little changes over time, not trying to do everything at once. You have to accept this and realise that you always need to do things little by little. Although you may try to be more positive than negative, you won't immediately become positive in everything that you think.
Like most things in life, it is usually a case of two steps forward and one step back - not one step forward and two steps back, otherwise you will be going the wrong way! All these small changes a bit at a time though will lead to big changes eventually, probably without you even realising. There is also a difference between our conscious mind and our unconscious mind.
Our brain is also very suggestible. If you think about it, if we fill our brain (or allow it to be filled) with negative thoughts, rather than positive thoughts, than this is the way that we will think of things. But then, if you also think about it, if we fill our brain with positive thoughts, rather than negative thoughts, that is also the way that we will then think of things.
It is therefore important to not let your mind be continually hijacked by negative thoughts, or controlled by others, such as what we read or hear everyday on news or social media. If you really believe that it’s too hard to do this, then try to lessen or stop your exposure to it. It is not as difficult as it seems to deliberately ignore news or social media - just remember, you have a choice!
Also, remember, as I said before, a lot of the negative thoughts that we have are based on our own unconscious fears. So, being aware and having insight into yourself are also great weapons to use against negative self-talk. However, you have to catch yourself in the moment and recognise when you are sounding negative, or being exposed to negative things.
You can’t just force yourself to think positively by saying positive things to yourself, as they do not really mean anything sometimes. There is also a danger that you can sometimes see these things as a bit delusional or untrustworthy. In the same respect though, just as you should not tell lies or deceive others, you should also not tell lies or deceive yourself!
Sometimes, you get turned off by a positive voice in your head feeling like it is coming from a self-help book, or it sounds a bit corny, like a motivational speaker, so you mistrust it. You must therefore find something evidentially true and put a positive spin on it that you can believe. If you record it in some way, you can also look back on it later to see how positive self-talk actually works.
The brain is also, as some people say, the rebellious organ in the body, so it often does the opposite of what we want it to. We therefore usually also need to see continual evidence that positive thinking is working for us. It is a bit circular I am afraid, as only the more we do this, the more we achieve and only can we then evidence to ourselves that positive thinking works for us.
It is also about attitude and seeing things more positively. You don’t just need to turn down the volume on your negative voice, but you also have to turn up the volume on your positive voice. However, we often have soundtracks in our minds from earlier in life and tend to hold onto negative things that people have said to us, especially when we were young and impressionable.
So, this week, try to use positive self-talk as much as possible - you will hopefully find that the more you do it, the more positive things will become for you!
In this week's SEN Update, you will find sections entitled:
I know how busy everyone is, so feel free just to read the sections of interest,
or read everything; the choice is always yours.
I received another email this week from the SEND Division at the Department for Education (DfE), which stated:
In light of the new Omicron variant, yesterday we updated the Special schools and other specialist settings: coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance. The main updates are:
Information for all education and childcare settings on new measures in response to the identification of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the UK
Contact tracing and isolation
Changes to the red list for international travel to England
We will keep the guidance under review as the situation develops.
Special Educational Needs and Disability Division"
In terms of news, here are the articles that I found of interest this week:
School Covid absence up 60% in England in two weeks
England’s nativity plays Covid guidance ‘unhelpful’, say school leaders
“Strengthening and modernising”: Ombudsman sets out proposals to strengthen public voice
Again, aside from clicking on the relevant links for more information, I would also remind you of the very useful resources and information provided on the following websites:
- Council for Disabled Children
- Special Needs Jungle
I would also highlight again the magazines: SEN Magazine and Autism Eye which are both very helpful to any parents or professionals involved with children/young people with SEN.
Keep safe until next week.
With best wishes
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