Sunday, January 25, 2009
The Power of Self-Talk
Self-talk is the conversation that man has with himself. It is the internal feedback that he conveys to himself based on his thoughts and feelings about his appearance, intellect, emotions, health, morals, and actions. Your perception is your reality. It shapes every decision that you make and everything that you do. It can help you to move your mountains or cause you to trip on speed bumps. Mary Kay Ash said that, "If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you're right." It is possible to convince yourself that you cannot do something before you even try once. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." Simply put, you are what you think.
The human being is the highest life form on earth. He has free will. He can do whatever he wants to do. Birds fly, lay eggs, and migrate with the seasons. Bees pollinate flowers and make honey. Dogs bury bones, scratch fleas, and chase cars. Every other creature is born knowing its purpose. Each has innate instincts that govern how it will live and survive. Free will can be both a blessing and a curse if one's thinking is negative. Having the ability to define who you are is pointless if you place more energy into the power of "can't" than you place into the power of "can".
Where does all of negativity come from? FEAR. It comes from the fear of failure and the fear of rejection and the fear of losing. It also comes from the fear of success and the fear of acceptance and the fear of winning. It comes from the fear of change. It comes from the fear of the unknown. I read recently a quote that said, "Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of." The bad things in our lives that we have grown accustomed to like excessive debt, obesity, poor health, unhealthy relationships, underpaying/unsatisfying jobs, and unresolved feelings are comfortable. We know how they affect us. We know that they are not good for us. We don't like how they make us feel about ourselves, but yet we hold on to them because they are familiar and predictable. They don't require any change in our behavior or interruption in our daily routines. Overcoming the negative self-talk that arises from fear requires us to challenge it. Positivity and negativity are powerful forces in our lives. To remove one and replace it with the other requires work and courage. We must accept the challenge to change.
If you have never kept a journal in your life, I suggest that you get into the habit of examining your thoughts on paper. Write down your honest opinions, thoughts, values, and feelings about the events that occur daily in your life over the next 30 days. Focus on one aspect of your life that you want to change and/or improve and detail your thoughts. On day 31, re-read your journal. Pay close attention to the words that you use to describe people and events including yourself. You will discover patterns in your behavior and begin to recognize the content of your self-talk. When you know better, you will do better. You may discover the true reason why you are sabotaging your opportunity to have a great life. You may decide to make a change in your life. You might start to appreciate the power that you have to win. You might realize that you deserve to be happy and successful. You might start living again... Now would that be so bad?
Be good to yourself. More next time...