How much of your failures and achievements have come from words used inside your head? All of us engage in a constant internal monologue called self-talk. It is part of how the brain functions. Sometimes we are conscious of the words we use, as we catch ourselves describing what we can and cannot do. At other times we are less able to perceive these thoughts. But, make no mistake our words programmed in our heads from childhood define who we are.
What we say to ourselves can create a wall that stands in our way or provide limitless possibilities to self-fulfillment. All we have to do is choose the right type of self-talk to reach our full potential.
Have you ever wondered why some people seem to always get what they want out of life, while the rest of us stand still, in awe of their accomplishments? The reason is simple, they were fortunate to have the right inner voice programmed in their heads allowing them to go after what they want without fear.
Our brain is a remarkable organ that once programmed with positive energy--in a nurturing environment--will demand of life all that it deserves. The reverse is also true. If you are constantly told words such as: “you will never amount to anything or you can’t do anything right” you will eventually view the world as a battlefield, cower in fear, and accept mediocrity.
Experts agree that most of us during the first eighteen (18) years of life have been programmed negatively. We have been told what we cannot do approximately 150,000 times. On the flip side, inspiring words of encouragement were not common. Many persons say they can recall less than 10 times that they were motivated to rise above obstacles and achieve goals. On average, a typical home is subject to this type of negative mental programming.
Sometimes our cultural upbringing unknowingly contributes to negative lifecycles. I remember as a child growing up, my siblings and I were told one of those golden virtues “children are seen but not heard”—it meant that whenever we had guests in our home, though we may show ourselves--we had to be silent. Silence meant no playing, and we had guests fairly often. Later, I grew to speak respectfully of my elders, but even now as an adult there is an unnatural disquiet and feeling of discomfort in their presence.
So, is it possible to reprogram the brain to achieve positive results? Yes! Our brain is so wondrously made that we can reprogram our monologue but it will take discipline to undo the years of negative self-talk. Dr. Shad Helmstetter, author of the book “What To Say When You Talk To Your Self, said these salient words:
“…They speak their minds, stand their ground, and defend their honor…They are the sort of people who add to the world by living in it…I have tried to figure out what it is that gives them a quality…I can only isolate one thing. They learned how to talk to themselves.”
Positive self -talk requires a simple but consistent technique. For starters, what you need to do is:
· Be aware of your self-talk; change the negative tone to a positive one
· Write down all that you want to achieve; say out loud [while alone] words of affirmation in the present tense. For example: “I am confident; I am going to speak in front of an audience and not be nervous. “
· Do all these mental exercises at least 5 – 10 times throughout each day, and more often when faced with difficult challenges
When you make an internal change by transforming your mental program, you create permanent changes. Imagine, relying on yourself to be your own cheerleader to reach your full potential. Redefine who you are, take back control of your thoughts.
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”A man is but the products of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.” Gandhi