The Power Of Self Talk

What you say to yourself is what you will believe. You determine whether the language you use when talking to yourself is positive or negative, and your choice has a lot to do with how much success you have in life. If you call yourself a loser, tell yourself how much you hate yourself, or how fat you are, then guess what. Soon you will begin to believe those things and become those things, unless you change your self talk. Self talk is very powerful - it is the thing that can enable you to be a winner or make you feel like a big loser.

So which do you want? To be a successful achiever or someone who is always in a slump, creating depression and an unhappy life? It might not seem like that big of a deal to be down on yourself once in a while - but listen to your language. Is it really once in a while, or is it most of the time? The fact is, negative self talk can destroy your life and make it virtually impossible to have your dreams come true, while positive self talk can help you get what you want and motivate you to achieve your dreams. Positive self talk means telling yourself things like you're a winner, you're beautiful, and what a success you will be - all things you either believe now or will soon come to believe.

The positive or negative language we use absolutely determines our successes or failures, though even more importantly than what we say is how we speak to ourselves. Professional athletes are masters of positive self talk. Many of them know how to bring themselves out of a slump by changing what they say in their heads.

But what if you're not a pro athlete, or an athlete at all? What if you have developed a pattern of negative self talk? How can you get out of that cycle? The first thing you need to is recognize that you are doing it, and then do something to interrupt the negative pattern. A common strategy is to wear a rubber band around your wrist. As soon as you notice yourself beginning that negative talk pattern, pull the rubber band back and snap the hell out of your wrist. This motion will create pain while it interrupts your negative self talk. Since you want to avoid pain, if you keep snapping the band, eventually you will change your behavior and self talk to something positive, if only initially to avoid the pain.

Say you're a business person who needs to make a prospective call and you hear yourself saying, "Who wants to talk to little old me? What do I know anyway?" As soon as these negative thoughts enter your mind, snap the hell out of your wrist with that rubber band, and than rephrase the negative language with some positive self talk, like "Everyone wants to talk with me because I'm so smart" or "I know way more than anyone else out there, and I'm a super pro at talking to people." This process is called reframing because you are reframing your old negative self talk into something positive. Now that you've learned how to reframe your negative self talk, let's discuss ways you can make your positive self talk more powerful than a speeding locomotive. The tone of voice you use inside of your head is very important, because there's a big difference between hearing a pencil-pushing geek tell you to go for it or make it happen versus a big strapping giant telling you not to bother because you're going to fail anyway. So the positive self talk voice inside your head should be like the Wizard of Oz, very deep and strong, demanding you to take action and go for it.

Then, add some theme music that has a powerful, motivating beat with background singers, and even thunderbolts coming down as you move closer to achieving your goal. This powerful voice inside of you can get you to do anything and achieve everything you ever wanted, and more. You no longer are someone who can't get what they want. You are now a well-oiled machine that tells yourself you can do it and believes you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Use this self talk process when you are nervous about asking someone out, in a business meeting, or on the playing field. You can do anything and be anything when you believe you can.

You really are great, but first you've got to believe it to be it. If you constantly tell yourself you are a winner, you will believe it. But if you're still calling yourself a loser, you will most likely believe that.

You need only to believe what you say and think, not what others say or don't say about you. Speak to yourself only about how great you are, not about how bad you are, how many mistakes you make, or how you have never succeeded at anything. Believe me, you will become what you tell yourself, so if you're not hearing how great you are, then you won't feel great. Don't wait for others to tell you how great you are. Believe it yourself, first, and once others start jumping in about how great you, that will only reinforce how great you really are.

Without believing if first, and telling yourself how powerful you are, you will make it much more difficult to achieve success. So I don't care how many times you have to tell yourself you are great or a winner or sexy or beautiful or whatever you want to believe. Say it until you are blue in the face.

Say it loud and say it proud. Use a big James Brown voice to say what you want to believe. Be creative, have fun, and say it 100 more times after you have already turned blue in the face.

Remember, say it until you believe it, and then keep saying it, using a powerful voice that propels you forward. Then add a chorus or big band sounds. These creative, powerful, and motivating tactics will get you to really believe what you are telling yourself. Don't wait for others to call you great.

Do it now. Start to be amazing on your own - others will realize it once you realize it yourself. Use positive self talk to make your business, relationship, and life much happier and immeasurably more successful.

Scott White is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist located in Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information about nutrition and fitness, reach Scott at Also:

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