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Taking charge of your Inner Chatter
Episode 617th November 2022 • The SEO Mindset • Sarah & Tazmin
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In this week's episode, Sarah and Tazmin talk about inner chatter. What is yours saying, how is it making you feel & what stop us from doing?

About 'The SEO Mindset' Podcast

Build your inner confidence and thrive.

The SEO Mindset is a weekly podcast that will give you actionable tips, guidance and advice to help you not only build your inner confidence but to also thrive in your career.

Each week we will cover topics specific to careers in the SEO industry but also broader topics too including professional and personal development.

Your hosts are Life Coach Tazmin Suleman and SEO Manager Sarah McDowell, who between them have over 20 years of experience working in the industry.

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Transcripts

Sarah:

Hello. Thanks for joining myself and Tazmin for another episode of The SEO Mindset. This week we're chatting about inner chatter, so we'll be discussing what it is and why it stops us from doing certain things. Quick reminder that if you do enjoy our podcast, you can donate for a one off payment of £5 via Buy Me A Coffee. There is a link in this episode show notes. And also please do spread the word. Next time you are listening to an episode, find a link to the episode and share it with a work league friend, family, neighbors, heck, even the family dogs. They might find it useful, but yeah. So, Tazmin, how are we doing?

:

I'm doing really well.

Sarah:

Really well.

:

It's a glorious day and I've had my walk this morning, so I've had a good amount of time to deal with my own in a chatter.

Sarah:

Very wise. Before talking about in a chatter?

:

Before talking about it, absolutely.

Sarah:

Can you tell that I've got my poorly voice on?

:

Yeah, sounds do a bit sniffly.

Sarah:

Hopefully it's husky and kind of like, you know, sounds kinda like oh, I.

:

Know, I'm just no reframe away. We like that.

Sarah:

But yeah, I feel a little under the weather, but I think we're getting into the cold winter months, aren't we? Yes. Right, so you have planned this week's episode, right? And it's in a chatter, so I'm going to pass on the button to you.

:

You know, this subject for me is so key to how we live our lives, how we feel about our day, and then in turn, what we do with our day. So this voice in our heads, and I've heard some people saying, how can you shut the voice down? How can you quiet that voice down? The reality is you can't. You're always going to, the moment you wake up, be thinking about stuff. And the quality of your thoughts is critical to the quality of your life. So I want to start talking about what do we know about that? In the dialogue, we have so many thoughts each and every day. So many people have said 60,000, 80,000, 100,000, whichever one of those you believe, there is a lot. And the thing is that so many of those thoughts are not calm, encouraging, full of lovely words, talk. A lot of it is negative and a lot of it is untrue. And that's why being able to handle your inner chatter is such an important skill to have. And another thing about your inner thoughts is you're not often thinking about today, about good stuff. You're thinking about what's happening in the past, what's happened in the past. And each time you relive that past, you're reliving pain, you're reestablishing negativity and you're probably embellishing it with even more negativity. Or you're thinking about the future and you're worried. And right now, with everything that's going on in the news, everything that's going on in the economy, so many people I meet are talking about the doom and gloom of the tomorrow. But the reality is you can't change the past. You don't actually know what's going to happen in the future. All you've got is today and the thoughts you've got now. And so much of our unhappiness, our lack of self belief, our anxiety and our stress and stress, especially this week, because it is Stress Awareness Week, comes from how we think. What are your thoughts about that, Sarah?

Sarah:

Oh, gosh, yes, I definitely can resonate a lot with this because we all have that in a negative chatter, don't we? And it is right. I like the motto, Be more dog. So dogs are very much in the moment, right? They don't hold quides. Anything that happens to them, they're not then like, I don't know, say, I don't know, they get in a scuffle with another dog or they get told off for eating something that they shouldn't. I don't know, like sneaking a cake, right? They never hold gridges and they just move on and they very much live for the moment. So I'm a dog owner and yeah, I don't know if this is a weird tangent to go on, good for it, but do you know what I mean? Like dogs, they just love every moment. So when they're out there so I take Ben to his favorite place to go and walk, because it's a race course, so he gets to go and run. So he loves that. He loves being all snuggled up and couldn't with you. So, like, whatever moment, like a dog, they're in it and they're just in that moment. Right? And I think I know it's a weird I'm going to stick with this tangent because I think, yeah, like we all need to be a bit more like that, like things that happen in the past, it might have been really upsetting. Yes. But we need to I suppose there is a tricky thing, isn't there? Because you don't want to hold a grudge and you don't want to hold on to stuff, but you also don't want to be a doormat, right? So I suppose that can trickle in as well. Like, well, if I don't hold on to this, then people might think that I'm going to accept that behavior going forward. So, yeah, I realized that I was just in a massive well, you can.

:

Hold on to the learning, but you don't have to hold on to the negative memory. How many times did we woken up or met someone and thought, oh, do you remember the last time I had an interaction with her and she said this and what does that do to our day and what does that do to our mood? Nothing good. Absolutely nothing good. And the more you remember it and the more you feel about it, the more and more embedded it is in your mind and it impacts the way you interact with everyone else. So if we think going on another tangent, if you've been in a bad relationship and you have relived that all the time, when you go into another relationship, you're already putting yourself in that place of stress because you're thinking, oh, they've done this thing, and remember when that other relationship, that thing happened? And then I felt bad and they said this and they said this, instead of saying, okay, this is a new relationship with a new person. How can I handle this situation as best as possible or just find yourself enjoying that relationship? I know, again, I've gone down a different tangent now, but when we wake up, the thoughts we have are going to impact how we feel. And depending on how we feel, is going to impact the choices we make that day. So if you go into work and you say, oh, yesterday I had a scuffle with such and such, and you come into that day holding onto that feeling, how is that going to impact your day? Probably not very well. But if you go into work, even if it's a job that you're not going to be in forever, you don't see any longevity in it. You go in and think, you know what? I have a job. I have people who need my services. I can choose to be the best possible SEO professional today. I can manage my actions and my thoughts and my feelings. I can treat people with respect. So a little bit of sharing. One of the first things I do when I wake up is I go through a practice of gratitude. And I'm grateful for my warm bed, and I'm grateful for the house I'm in, and I'm grateful for the family that I am living in, and I get to spend another day with these two amazing people that I live with. And then I go and I'm to the point where I'm grateful for warm running water. You mentioned about being cold and grateful for warm running water. Not everyone has warm running water. And it does set my mood to be more open, more positive. And another trick is your happiness, your self belief, your anxiety levels, your stress levels can all be improved by the way you think. So that's my top level diagnosis of inner chatter and what it does to your life.

Sarah:

Yeah.

:

Wow.

Sarah:

100% agree.

:

And I went on a talk years and years ago where I suppose it was one of the first times I was introduced to the topic, and she was saying about characterizing your inner chatter. So she said, if you listen to your inner chatter, what are they saying and how do you picture them? And she gave some examples that she said, Is your inner chatter a judge? So is it saying, Why are you doing that? You shouldn't have done this. Really judgmental. And I had like, a picture of a judge in my head? Or is it a bit like a corporal? I'm not very clued on about the different rankings in the army, but think about the top ranking, whatever that is. A major.

Sarah:

I wish I could help you out there, but I have no idea.

:

But imagine somebody in a uniform with lots of medals and lots of stripes. Is it stripes? Ticks, whatever on their shoulder anymore?

Sarah:

Badges.

:

Badges. That's the word. It'll do. I'm hoping, listeners, you're getting the gist of what I'm saying now. For me, my inner chatter is that person, you can have fun after you have polished your shoes and made your bed and walked around this field a gazillion times. So when I've got less of a handle of my Inner Chatter, that's what it's saying to me. You can go out and play with your friends after you have cooked for everyone and cleaned and polished and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Some people's Inner Chatter is a bit of a drama queen.

Sarah:

Or like, spill the tea. I want to know the goss.

:

Yeah. Or. Oh, no. It always happens to me. Oh, no, you know what? Life is terrible.

Sarah:

Yeah. Chip on the shoulder, no one. Yeah.

:

Or for some people, it is a bit of like a Jacqueline Hydes devil situation where they say, oh, no, you don't need to do that project now. Go and play with your friends, go and do something different. And then you go and do that. Something different and then you've missed your deadline and then that same voice changes, saying, Why did you do that? You're always doing that. You're so rubbish at meeting deadlines.

Sarah:

I love this. I'm trying to think, because I imagine that the character of your Inner Chatter can change as well.

:

Yes.

Sarah:

So, I don't know, for example, there might be a day where I'm a bit more like drama queens, like, nothing ever goes right for me, or other days, there might be a bit more of a major or like the top corporate level. I think that's really helpful to visualize it, isn't it? Because once you visualize it, you're bringing it more to your attention.

:

Absolutely. And we'll talk more about how you can get a handle on it. The more you visualize them, but almost put them in sort of like cartoon character visuals, you can then start destroying them because they're not as powerful. You can adjust them, you can call them all sorts of silly names, because the idea is that you have to be in control of the Inner Chatter. The Inner Chatter should not be controlled.

Sarah:

I love that. 100% agree.

:

And if you can get to that point, gosh. There is nothing you can't do. Absolutely nothing. And this is one of the challenges of life and the challenges of whether it's through your relationships or your family or work or whatever it is, that Inner Chatter is going to be the thing that can fuel your progress or lock you up in a place of misery.

Sarah:

And I suppose it's about being aware of that in a chat as well, because you might just like, a thought might come into your head, it will mess you up and then it puts it down for that hour or the rest of the day. Right. And that's because you've just let it happen and you've not addressed it. Whereas, like, if there is a thought that comes into your head, I guess if you question it, give it a character. That would be fun. Like giving your Inner Chatter a character. And you can be like, actually, this is drama queen, Sarah. This isn't core like me, Sarah, this is my inner chatter. Because yeah, they're feeling a bit like a drama queen today.

:

Yeah, absolutely. You've made such an important point that step one is check in. What is your Inner Chatter saying?

Sarah:

No, I skipped, because that's their part two, isn't it? Where we're going to talk about, like, how about how?

:

But the first one is absolutely check in with and be curious. Absolutely be curious and understand that it's not you, it's this stuff going on in your head that you have full control over. So don't take it as gospel.

Sarah:

Yes, I love that. Okay, well, should we take a short break?

:

Tells me. Yeah, absolutely.

Sarah:

I'm going to have a think now and think of some characterizations of my inner chapter because we're coming into Christmas season, there might be a pantomime dame in there, or the evil. There's always like an evil character in a pantomime, isn't it?

:

Yeah. You could have Inner Chatter evil and then you could have inner Coach very. Godmother love it.

Sarah:

There we go. It will soon be Christmas. Guys, I'm sorry to mention the C word in November, but you either.

:

Yeah.

Sarah:

Right, let's take a short break.

:

Sure.

Sarah:

Hi, thank you for sticking around for part two. Did you have a nice little break? Tazmin?

:

I did. I've rehydrated.

Sarah:

Yes. I always get so thirsty when talking. Now, before we get into the main topic of part three, there is something that you want to just let our listeners know about, isn't there?

:

So I'm not sure if our listeners know that I have a course called Revitalize, and for me, the purpose of the course is it's a four month course. You've been on it, Sarah, haven't you?

Sarah:

Yes. I would 100% recommend sorry.

:

And what I try to help people with is how to manage their time, how to manage their energy. And part of it is talking about Inner Chatter. It's got a whole module on it. And so I don't know if I told you this, but somebody who's on the course right now, she has been really good at naming her in a chatter, and she talks to them, so she'll say, oh, that's just Ms. Grumpy kicking off again. Ms. Grumpy, you can leave the room right now. Because I don't need you. I hear what you're saying, but I don't need you. Or that's miss negative. So I don't even know if the Mr. Men and Mrs books have all of these characters, but she's used that as a way of classifying and categorizing her in a chatter and then taking control.

Sarah:

That is such a good chat because there are so many characters, isn't there, Miss? We might just be making them up now, but there's Mr. Nosy and Mr. Angry. There will also be ones that are like Mr. Sad or Mrs. As well. So I love that. And that's going to be my homework. I'm going to do some research on Mr and Mrs characters. Mr. Men.

:

Yeah. Little miss something, isn't it? But she uses this technique with her two young boys. I think they are eleven and nine. And, you know, with kids, one of the things a great skill for them to be able to deal with is learn how to manage their emotions. But you have to know what they are to be able to manage them. And I think I went to MK go in one of the talks. They were talking about the Disney film inside out.

Sarah:

Oh, I have heard inside out.

:

Yeah, I'm watching that tomorrow. I've said to my daughter that, you know what, sunday afternoon I'm going to treat myself to movie afternoon and Nachos and we're watching Inside Out.

Sarah:

Sounds wonderful.

:

But what the boys are beginning to understand is, okay, I'm not angry, I'm feeling angry. It's Mr. Angry that is in my head right now. So what it does is a it helps you name that emotion, and when you've named that emotion as something separate to you, you've been able to detach it. So it's not that you're angry, you are feeling angry or missed angry has come into your head. And then they're learning how to deal with that and move on to a more healthier place. Revitalize we talk a lot about Inner Chatter and it really makes me happy that she's gaining from it and her sons are gaining from it as well.

Sarah:

So there is a link in the show notes. So if you are interested and you could even just use the link, go to Tasman's website and just enquire. Right. There's no commitment at the beginning.

:

Absolutely not.

Sarah:

Right.

:

Absolutely not.

Sarah:

Part two.

:

Yes. Let's talk let's talk more about Inner Chatter. All right, so we've talked about what it is and we've talked about ways of classifying them or categorizing them. What do you do to make it better?

Sarah:

Please. Are you interested? Very. Tell me now.

:

I'd say start off one with checking in in your health, because if you are like, you're feeling a bit run down today, Sarah. If in general you're not looking after your physical health, you're not working at your optimum. So check. Am I eating enough of the night? Right. Nutrition. And am I eating enough or am I overeating? Your physical health is so important and it impacts so much. So I'd say start off as looking at your health. Don't just look at what you're consuming in terms of food. What content are you consuming? So what are you listening to? What are you reading? What are you watching? Is it going to be giving you uplifting thoughts, or are you going to be thinking further and further down? Look at the circle of friendships and relationships that you have. Again, are those people are they going to lift you up? Are you mixing with people that are drama queens and judges? And you might be able to have this handle on what's going on in your head, but you also have to have a handle on who you are surrounding yourself with. So check your circle of friendships. There will be some people in your circle that you can't really get rid.

Sarah:

Of those, but I can restrict how much time you're spending with them, or you can be mindful of their effect on you.

:

Right, yeah, absolutely.

Sarah:

They learn that from the course people.

:

Yes. There have been going with that waterproof jacket saying, okay, I'm going to be able to take this much time with this person, and that's how my waterproof is going to help me. And don't let it sink in. And you have some empathy, that, okay, they're in this place, and they may have reasons for being in this place. I'm not about to change them. Then they don't want to change, but I can protect myself. And then another thing you can do, going back to what we were talking about before the break, get curious. What is my inner chatter saying? I don't have to believe it, I can challenge it. So it might be saying to me, I don't put your hand up for that project. You're not going to be any good at it. I can say, Actually, I don't agree with you. I think I'd be good and I might have something to learn. But that's good because learning is also good. So you use your powers of being able to reframe it. And when it's saying, you'd be no good at that project, you can say, actually, I think I'd be able to learn so much from that project, and I'd be able to add value to that project, so I'm going to take it as a learning opportunity. So don't believe everything that your head tells you. Yeah. And this goes on from it, that you can take a step back, listen to what your thoughts are saying, and very politely dismissed it. Because one way of looking at your thoughts is, would you say that to someone else? Probably not.

Sarah:

Probably not.

:

So why are you saying it to yourself?

Sarah:

Yeah, definitely.

:

And then one trick I have is you know those bells that you have in hotel lobby? In hotel receptions? Yes. Bing. I have one of those in my head, not literally, obviously. And when I hear my negative chatter going into overdrive, I just dismiss it and say, look, I don't have time for this negativity right now being dismissed. And then next thought. So it's good to have these little tricks. And what you're doing is that you're taking control. You're having adding a bit of humor to it, a little bit like we were talking about having characterizations for you in a chatter. Laughter is so great at helping you dismiss it.

Sarah:

Well, they do laughter therapy, don't they? Laughter yoga or something. And you always feel if you've had like a proper belly laugh or something, like proper made you laugh where you're crying, like you feel so good afterwards.

:

Absolutely. So have that reminder to yourself that just because I'm thinking it, doesn't mean it's true, doesn't mean I have to listen to it. It's about getting back into control. Another way to discount your inner chatter, say you've got one recurring theme of I'm no good at this, or another one is people look at themselves and think that they're not beautiful. And that leads to all sorts of this is say I am beautiful, look in the mirror and say, I am beautiful.

Sarah:

Yeah, because if you're in that space of you don't like the reflection back, it's something that you can build up to, right? And it could just start with, I don't know, like you put something on that makes you feel good and then you look in the mirror and you're like, I feel good today. Do you know what I mean? Like, I'm in this top, I'm in this outfit and it's making me feel this way. And if you get into the habit of doing that, something that my partner does is she has post it notes on her mirror and that is an idea of getting you to look at yourself more and you have positive post it notes. So she reached out to friends and family to get them to give us some affirmations. I think that's the right word to use. So then she has a reason now to like, do you know what I mean? To look in the mirror and see.

:

Yeah. And one thing I want to say about affirmations, because it is a word that puts many people off and I say that because they used to put me off. And I remember saying to someone, oh, I don't do affirmations. And he said, you do, because he just said it.

Sarah:

Yeah, I think we spoke about that on the previous episode, didn't we?

:

Because we are affirming things about ourselves all the time and all this negative chatter is affirming. I'm not beautiful, I'm not good at this, I don't know how to write content, I don't know how to speak publicly. We're saying it all the time, all the time. And it is about crafting a set of statements that are actually going to help you improve your life, not make it worse. So whatever your inner chatter is saying, be curious about it, write it down, think about what is this inner chatter actually doing to my life? And create a more powerful statement for you to have in your head. One of the things that we do on the course now, Sarah, is we've moved on from when you did it. I encourage them to look in the mirror for as long as they can. We started off with a minute and say nice things about themselves. And it could be, I like my eyes, I like the way my hair is looking today. And they struggled with a minute to start with, but they're getting so much better at it. And one success story, we've heard there's a woman who has lost five stone, but she still didn't feel that she looked good and she would stand on the scale every day. And I said, well, why are you doing that? What is that scale telling you that you can't tell yourself? And now she has an affirmation and says to herself, I am a full package. She tells her husband, you know what? You are so lucky to have me. I have the full package. And she hasn't stood on the scale for two weeks now. I have better affirmations.

Sarah:

Is there anything else?

:

Lots of things. Journaling. You know how much I love talking about journaling. So when you're being curious about your inner chatter, ask yourself and journal, what did it say to me today? What did it stop me doing today that I actually wanted to do? Did it make me feel something I didn't want to feel? Or did it make me feel better at myself, worse than worse about myself, and just get to know what that person in your head is saying?

Sarah:

Yes, definitely. And it's also therapeutic getting stuff out of your head, isn't it? The paper as well. Time is ticking, tasman. I reckon we've got time to squeeze in two more. Have you got two more?

:

Okay, yeah. So I'll do another half. Because we talked about gratitude. Gratitude for what you have now, gratitude for what your vision of the future looks like. It will leave you less room for your chatter, for your negative chatter. So the more you're thinking about what you want from life and how you're going to get it, the less time you have talking about the nonsense.

Sarah:

Exactly. Because I could get wrapped up and compare myself to my friends, and my friends who are similar ages me, who have bought a house, they have kids and they're married, right. And my inner chatter could be like, oh, Sarah, you're behind. What's wrong with you? Why you're not growing up and stuff? Whereas you know what? I love my life now. I love what and those things will come in the future, and I'm excited for that. I don't need to put that pressure on myself. And it's the same with work as well, right? Like, enjoy what you're doing now in the progress that you've made and look forward to the future of, like, okay, I want to become a manager one day. I want to take on more responsibility. I want to write a book. I want to do more blogging. I want to do speaking. Right. Like, enjoy what you're doing now. And if you're not enjoying, that's a completely different conversation, right? But, yeah, I love that. And it goes back to my earlier point. Be more dog.

:

Yes.

Sarah:

Be more dog.

:

Yeah. And then I'm going to we've talked about mindfulness, and I want to talk a little bit about visualization. I think this is another word that puts people off. And I was thinking about it yesterday, you know, when we were kids, and we would make believe, we would dress up and pretend we were different characters, whether it's a Disney princess or a cowboy or a policeman or whatever, whatever this phrase, make believe, why can't we use it in our lives now? Why can't we make believe through visualization? Because that's what it was, isn't it? We pretended that we were these characters. That's what visualization is. You're pretending. And actually, the more you pretend that, you know what, I am on a stage and I'm at brightness EO. And I'm talking about this topic that I'm really passionate about, and I'm going to make believe today that I am that person preparing for that talk at Brighton SEO. And I'm going to walk up and down my kitchen pretending it is a stage, and all of these people in the room, like my husband, I'm just going to pretend there's loads of people there. That really helps you take that step. So I'm going to be an author. I'm going to be a best selling author, Sarah. And when I walk around the lake every morning in my Kashmira, I walk around it as this best selling author, and I pretend that all of these people around the lake have come to talk to me about the book. And I know too many it'll seem like nonsense, but you know what? It does. I'm not delusional. I know I don't own the lake. I know these people are not fans. I don't need to be locked up in some way. But it makes me feel better, and it makes me feel more inspired, and it makes me write more. And that's what you need to do to be able to write the book. You need to write more. So for me, it's working. And it's not one of these woo woo words that you have to pretend. It's not one of these weed words that has to put you off. Just pretend that you are making leaving.

Sarah:

Yes. You did it as a kid, right? It was fun. Wow. I really enjoyed this episode.

:

Thank you. Sarah.

Sarah:

You've put together a corker

:

Yes.

Sarah:

What is the key thing, one key thing you want our listeners to take away?

:

The voice in your head isn't true. And you're in control. Remember, you are the captain of your ship. Can I squeeze in one last statement, one last state? Okay. Thank you. Another thing I heard this week, you've got one life which is going to create one story and one book. What do you want that book to say? And who are you giving the pen to? I want our listeners to write that book themselves and not give the pen to that negative inner chatter person living in their heads.

Sarah:

Yeah. Not the evil queen or the evil villain. Whatever gender in the pantomime, but the fairy godmother.

:

Yeah. Or the genie.

Sarah:

Or the genie. Or the cinderella. Cinderella's buttons.

:

Yes. God's. Fairy godmother.

Sarah:

Or fairy god's, man.

:

We are God man. Goddard godfather. Godfather. Just conjures up something different, doesn't it?

Sarah:

I think we're going off on one here. All right. Thanks for listening to the SEO mindset. Thank you, Tasman, for putting together a cracking episode. I think this is very valuable. This is a weekly podcast with new episodes going live every Thursday, apart from when we have season breaks. And as a reminder, don't forget to share our episode with others. Spread the word. Get people listening to us because that helps us out. Donate via Buy Me a Coffee again, link in show notes. And I definitely recommend checking out Tazmin's revitalized course. It helps me out. So, again, check that link in the show notes. And yes, there is no commitment. Just reach out. But before we finish every episode with it, I'll do that bit again. We finish every episode with a pledge. Tazmin, what is that pledge?

:

It is I'm an SEO professional, and I prioritize mindset and personal growth, and not just for rankings, traffic and algorithms.

Sarah:

Couldn't have said it better myself. Right, thank you very much. And until now, thank you.

:

Take care.