What is Your "Self Talk" Saying to You?

Self Talk is that never ending stream of talk your brain generates that you never verbalize. Self talk is you talking to yourself. Self talk is non-stop, even when you are sleeping. Stop right now and take a moment to recognize just what your self talk is saying right now.

Self Talk is how your brain works things out. Your brain is talking things out with yourself looking for solutions. I believe in Self Talk. I believe that negative Self Talk will easily lead to failure. It may be more difficult for positive Self Talk to lead to success. But I know for sure that failure is inevitable if you have the least bit of negative Self Talk coming out of your brain.

I don’t believe that insincere positive Self Talk will lead to success. But I do believe that honest Self Talk can help you achieve more. Instead of saying to yourself “I’m a failure” or “I can’t do anything right”, how about catching yourself and saying something like “that didn’t work out the way I wanted but I think I can do better next time if I only (fill in the blank)”.

Self Talk is continuous, even when you are sleeping. Sleep is the great eraser as Jack Trout and Al Ries say. It is during sleep that your brain tries to sort out all of the problems of the day.

But it is the morning Self Talk that is so critical. Consider this poem by the famous Indian dramatist, Kalidasa:

Salutation To The Dawn

Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course Lie all the verities and realities of your existence:    

The bliss of growth
The glory of action

The splendor of beauty,

For yesterday is but a dream And tomorrow is only a vision,
But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day!

Such is the salutation to the dawn.

A good Self Talk is at the heart of virtually all motivational training. Earl Nightingale first said in The Strangest Secret, “You become what you think about.” His teachings were about how to focus on those things in life that you truly want. Write them down. Think about them in focused thought throughout the day. His point was that as you meditated on these thoughts of your true desires, you would find ways to accomplish your dreams.

Willis H. Carrier, founder of the Carrier Corporation, makers of the Carrier air conditioner suffered a major setback as a young engineer. A manufacturing process his company thought would work, failed to perform as promised. Carrier was stunned by his failure. He became ill, couldn’t sleep and it affected his work. Until one day, his Self Talk took over and he decided worry would accomplish nothing. He overcame worry by first honestly and fearlessly determining what could be the worst thing that could possibly happen if he were to fail. Then he determined that if he did fail, he would accept it. Then from that time forward he calmly devoted his time and energy trying to improve upon the worst which he had already accepted could happen.

As I was growing up, if I was worried about something, my mother would often say to me “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”. So one day I looked it up in the Bible. It comes from Matthew 6:34. The New American Standard Bible’s parallel translation is: “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

So what is your Self Talk telling you? Is your Self Talk telling you that there is nothing you can do about your present situation? Is it the economy’s fault? Is it your company’s fault? Is your Self Talk telling you that things would be better if only so and so would do such and such? That is not honest Self Talk. My friend Mark Sullivan lives by a simple credo, “The only things that are going to happen are the things I make happen.”

Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Little Red Book of Sales puts it this way: “If your company doesn’t offer training – train your self!” That’s the sprit of a positive Self Talk.

The power to move successfully forward lies within each of us if we can only get our Self Talk under control and pointed in the right direction. It takes brutal honesty to acknowledge that perhaps your strengths aren’t as strong as you would like but your weakness may not be as weak as you think either.

Start doing something about the things you can influence. Move forward in an organized manner and watch your dreams come true.

Remember, it is never too late to become the person you deserve to be.

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