Using Self Talk to Improve Business Results
“I’m not very good at selling.”
“Meeting new people is hard for me.”
“I don’t enjoy following up with prospects”
“Growing my customer base is hard.”
“I don’t know how to do this.”
The average human has between 50,000 and 80,000 thoughts per day, between 35 and 55 thoughts per minute. Considering the average person only speaks about 15,000 WORDS per day, it’s pretty obvious that the vast majority of our thought processes are nonverbal… and we are talking to ourselves far more often than we talk to anyone else.
If that’s true, which it is, then it’s worth asking, What exactly are we saying to ourselves all day?
As humans, we are very good at creating stories in our minds that are simply not true. We tell ourselves what we’re good at and what we are not so good at… we tell ourselves what is easy and what is hard… we tell ourselves what we enjoy, what we dislike, what we deserve and what we expect.
Our outer world is a direct reflection of our inner thoughts — whether you think you’re good at something or not, you are usually right. If you expect something to be difficult you will rarely find it to be easy. And it’s almost impossible to enjoy a particular task when you’ve already told yourself that you won’t enjoy it at all.
We accept treatment we expect from others, which is in line with how we feel we deserve to be treated.
To put it simply, our daily lives are a self-fulfilling prophecy created by the thoughts we almost never vocalize but constantly feed our subconcious mind as fact. And if we want to change the way our world looks on the outside, it’s best to start with what we’re saying to ourselves on the inside.
When it comes to self talk there are 3 basic ways in which we talk to ourselves: positive, neutral and negative.
Neutral self talk is pretty harmless… you use these thoughts to remind yourself to turn off the curling iron before you leave the house and lock the door on your way out.
What I want to explore today is the various types of positive and negative self talk we engage in each day, and how you can consciously shift the conversation to create a more positive, impactful and purpose-filled life:
Negative Self Talk:
“I am not… ”
“I don’t know how…”
“I need to…”
“I am [too old, too young, too shy, too _________]”
“This is too hard.”
The result of negative self talk like the examples above is a lack of confidence, motivation and belief in your ability to take the actions to improve your current circumstances. When we talk in terms of fear, scarcity and excuses we create those realities in our lives, often without even realizing it.
One way to combat negative self talk is to talk in terms of SOLUTIONS rather than problems. It all starts with AWARENESS, becoming conscious of the things we’re saying to ourselves on a daily basis, and taking a moment to stop and rephrase the conversation in our head.
Take this as an example: “I need but don’t know how to find more people talk to. Growing my network is hard and I am not good at meeting new people.”
When you find yourself stuck in a negative thought pattern such as this, STOP. Analyze the conversation and turn it around:
“I can and will find out the best ways to meet more people. It’s easy to grow my network and meeting new people comes easily to me.”
Remember, whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. If you think something is hard, or you’re incapable of doing it, you are setting yourself up for a long, hard road from the beginning. Speaking in positive phrases opens up your ability to be created and find SOLUTIONS, because you’ve already told yourself that you can, you will, and it will come easily to you.
Two words I try to eliminate from my vocabulary are “should” and “need” — replace these two words with phrases like “I would like to” or “I choose to” and immediately watch your thoughts and feelings around the task switch from negative to positive.
I’m serious, it happens in an instant! I’ve been on group coaching calls where you could literally hear the person’s voice light up, “see” their shoulders lift and feel the smile on their face simply from replacing the words should or need with positive words that reflect their ability to choose. Remember, everything we do is a choice… even if you “need” to do something in order to reach a specific goal, you are CHOOSING to go after that goal! That means you are CHOOSING to engage in the task at hand, which gives the action a much more positive connotation.
Here are some positive phrases you can begin implementing in your internal dialogue now to experience immediate results:
“I can and I will…”
“I would like to…”
And simply learning to tell yourself that things are fun and come easily to you (even if you don’t FEEL that way when you initially say it) will make it true!
And when you do mess up, don’t beat yourself up! Replace “I should have done that yesterday” with “I will put that on my schedule for today”… or “I did a bad job on that project” with “I can and will improve on the work I did on that project.”
Instead of telling yourself, “I’m a procrastinator” or “I am lazy”, say “I can and will get things done on time and ahead of time.” Replace the negative thoughts with positive ones until they become truth!
So the next time you find yourself engaged in negative self talk, STOP. Analyze your conversation and turn it around to make it positive and motivating. If you find yourself repeating certain negative phrases often, write a positive version of that phrase on a notecard and read over it several times a day until that positive thought has completely replaced the negative conversation you’d been having with yourself!
The world’s most successful and happiest people consistently engage in positive self talk that builds their belief in who they are, what they are doing and why they are doing it. They expect good things to come their way, and for doors of opportunity to open before them. Their thoughts and internal conversation reflect these expectations, their actions then reflect those thoughts and the results soon follow.
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