I want to tell you the truth about positive self-talk and show you how to get started with it.
What is self-talk?
Self-talk is the inner dialogue that runs all the time, that inner voice, sometimes positive, sometimes negative.
We all talk to ourselves.
I used to be skeptic of self-talk until I realized how many world class athletes use positive self-talk as part of the overall preparation ritual, in particular, right before events.
I started using it, and I believe so highly in the efficacy that I’ve taught it for more than 30 years.
More importantly, you can tell what someone truly believes in by what they share with those that they love. For example, I have provided my children self talk scripts over and over again. I have made them CD’s and mp3’s. I have practiced positive affirmations with them repeatedly.
When I had only been dating my wife Kristin for maybe 2 months, I made a whole stack of notecards for her with positive affirmations on them.
Does it feel a little hokey to do positive self-talk?
But the option is to leave your inner dialogue, which is going to happen one way another, to chance. And you don’t want to do that.
Affirmation vs Self-talk
Affirmation is something that is more intentional.
Self-talk is automatic, and can be either positive or negative.
“An affirmation is a perfect expression of faith”
Question: “If you had full faith in God, or your abilities, or that a particular event was going to turn out favorably for you, how would you speak to yourself?”
Your self talk will be either random, or intentional. Positive or negative.
Self-talk either supports your goals, or conflicts and inhibits them.
If you are consciously wanting to reach a goal, but unconsciously, there is this voice that is telling you, you can’t do it…This causes you to be double-minded, and when you are double-minded you are unstable, and certainly not optimal.
I want you to be consistent and congruent.
In fact, I want your prayers, thoughts, words, and behaviors to all be in sync.
Now, we are never going to be perfect with this, but we can work at it and get better and better indefinitely.
In todays session I want to encourage you to revisit the power and benefits of positive self-talk.
Benefits of intentional, positive self-talk:
The most important benefit of positive self-talk is that it has a displacement value.
In other words, when you’re saying something positive and encouraging, you are displacing something negative or mediocre that may have otherwise been occupying space in your mind.
So when I’m saying:
“I fell healthy, I feel happy, I feel terrific.”
Maybe I do, maybe I don’t.
But by saying that I am giving my brain an instruction for what I want it to help me create.
More importantly, I’m displacing any negative thought that may be lingering in my mind.
Back when I was still playing baseball I would talk to myself in a positive way before I got up to bat.
“See the ball, see the ball, see the ball, I can do it, I can do it, I can do it”
This is not some magic pill. But when I am saying these constructive things, the negative thoughts don’t have any place to disrupt my thinking.
Because you are intentionally filling your mind with the right thoughts, you become very sensitive to circumstances, to other thought impulses, to what other people are saying.
You become highly sensitized to as to whether or not your thought life is supportive of the goals you want to reach, whether, for example, what you’re watching in the evening is moving you toward your goal or away from your goal.
The more that you are affirming who you want to become and what you want to achieve, the more sensitive you become to your own self talk and whether or not it is alignment with who you want to become.
This creates another benefit, which is an accountability mechanism.
If you’re constantly affirming what you want and you’re not behaving in a manor consistent with that intention, you will “call yourself out.” This “self-coaching” is very powerful and productive.
Because you have this built-in accountability mechanism, it minimizes drift.
Drift, as I’ve observed over the decades, is the main reason people get off track.
They don’t just fall off track all at once. They drift just a little bit at a time.
A little bit, A little bit. A little bit.
That’s how people get off track in any area in life. It’s very seldom abrupt. Its drift, drift, drift.
With positive self talk, there is a protective stop, a firewall, that prevents you from getting too far off track without realizing it.
When you use positive self-talk, your confidence is boosted.
The more you are using positive self talk intentionally, the less you will be distracted by negative unintentional thoughts that weaken your confidence.
You will no longer be dependent on others building you up, and you will have a defense for those who bring you down.
Positive self-talk takes time to help your performance. It is like planting a seed. Most people who’ve practiced positive self-talk give up too soon, before the seeds begin to grow.
How to screw up your self talk. (Don’t do this!)
1. Be reactive and just let it happen. This takes no effort at all. You let your circumstances determine what thoughts you think…being on mental autopilot.
2. Thinking that positive self talk is a quick fix. It is a fix, but it is not a quick fix. You have to plan’t the seeds and be confidently patient, like you would in planting a garden or sticking with your diet.
It is estimated that we think 50,000 thoughts a day. How many of those thoughts are congruent with the person you intend to become? The purpose of self talk is to increase that number, day by day by day.
3. Neglecting to align your behavior with your self-talk and affirmation. We want your self-talk to be a support mechanism for your goal achievement. You can’t just sit on the couch and practice positive self-talk and reach your goals. Not going to happen like that.
How to get started with self-talk
Focus. Pick a particular goal.
Maybe it’s a relationship goal, fitness goal, or financial goal.
Write it as specifically and clearly as you can with a deadline.
Draft 10 supporting statements.
These 10 statements are your affirmations or positive self-talk statements.
Put them on a notecard so that you can flip through them throughout the day.
Use the PEPP formula.
For example, if you had a goal to get lean, you might think and repeat to yourself:
“I am lean and strong”
“I eat the right amount for perfect fitness”
“I drink my bodyweight in ounces”
“I have great self-discipline”
“I exercise daily”
Put one affirmation per notecard.
Review it and flip through the notecards as frequently as possible.
-Self talk is a tool, not a magic wand.
-Repetition and emotion produce results.
-Work on one area of your life at a time, then spread this practice to another area of your life.
-Make intentional self-talk part of your daily success discipline.
Remember my job is to help you reach the right goals faster, because….
Your Success Blesses Others!