“It’s what you say to yourself, about yourself, when you are by yourself that is the most important.” This quote from Brad Sugars, Founder and CEO of ActionCOACH and the world’s #1 Business Coach in the world most recent DriveTime video session on Facebook reminded my about how we can turn that ‘voice’ in our heads, into an amplifier of success. The self-affirmations and the commentary running as the soundtrack of your life can be powerful catalysts for the success you reach.
As negative talk is a silent destructive force to self-development, positive self-talk can go a long way to build up confidence, strength, and skills.
We are bombarded every day with other’s opinion about ourselves. Often, we internalize and replay those ‘tapes’ until they become part of us, that our internal voice begins to mimic and repeat them. “You aren’t good at numbers” or “You don’t communicate very well” or “You are focused”, these phrases from supervisors or co-workers can permeate even the strongest of minds and begin to tear down the positive membrane of your psyche. As we develop as children, we carry the criticism or the admissions of our parents, family, and siblings. Often, they become self-fulfilling prophecies. “You are the black sheep of the family”, “You aren’t as smart as your sister” or “You’ll never amount to anything unless you apply yourself”, ring in our ears and become part of the fabric of who we become.
“Positive self-talk is not self-deception. It is not mentally looking at circumstances with eyes that see only what you want to see” (Jantz, 2016).
“So, it’s important that you don’t always believe what you think”, says Sugars in his video. Regardless of whether the notion is positive or negative, ask yourself what you want to be. Turn the tables on the tape and position the thought as a statement of who you are becoming or want to become. Working on your own progress and development is key to actual self-determination.
Tracking your progress forward is more important than focusing on what you have been told or thought in the past. If there is positive motion and traction forward, your life is improving. You are improving.
To keep improving, you must keep learning. You must keep working on yourself daily. With some cases, it is a physical exercise to banish the negative voice and replace with positive self-talk. It’s worth the effort because experts and scientists have found a causal link between health and wellness and positive self-talk. It reduces stress and anxiety. Less stress helps with sleep patterns, and which increases stamina and productivity.
But changing your internal monologue can be difficult, and takes practice. Positive self-talk doesn’t happen overnight and you may struggle with the old habits creeping back in, that’s human. It is a discipline you must develop to ensure you keep yourself listening to the ‘best’ voice in your head above all others.
“Learning positive self-talk is not the same as donning rose-colored glasses. It boils down to treating and speaking to yourself with love, grace, compassion, and kindness—and seeing the whole picture versus only focusing on your faults. It doesn’t have to be overly cheerful, either. Taking a more balanced self-talk approach can be very beneficial if the positive self-talk doesn’t resonate” (Estrada, 2020).
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