Making Quality Statements
As I began in Part 1, our self-talk has a profound impact on our self-perception, as well as of the world around us. The things we say to and ask ourselves will shape who we become and will either hinder or allow high levels of success. Knowing this, I place a lot of attention on the statements I make to and about myself.
One thing to consider is that our subconscious can not really distinguish a statement made in jest from one spoken in truth. Thus, if you make a mistake and then utter “I’m so stupid” or drop something and announce “I’m so clumsy” your subconscious interprets this as the gospel. And because our minds will go to great lengths not to make liars out of us, we can expect more of the same behavior when we speak such negative things to ourselves.
The exciting thing about this is that by simply flipping such statements from negatives to positives, we can radically change our processing and empower our minds to make us that which we desire to be. This works in all areas of our lives.
Too often I hear people grumble things like “Mary came into the office sick today and now I know I’m going to get it,” thereby telling our minds and bodies that sickness is inevitable. Next time you think like that stop yourself before the thought can be had and instead try this: “poor Mary is sick today… thank goodness I take such great care of myself and support a healthy immune system so that I don’t have to worry about picking up all the random viruses that people carry around.” On a very deep level this will actually send a signal to your immune system to be on alert and get ready to kick some virus butt. Don’t believe me? Try it. Oh and for this one it helps a bit if you actually do eat well and take care of your body.
When my brother and I were in college my mother decided to return to college as well, to finish her degree. Because she was always a nervous tester, she decided to employ positive self-talk to get her through. On her way to take an exam she would put on the classical music station and spend the drive repeating variations of the following: “I am an A student. I study hard, and during exams I recall quickly and easily the things which I have studied.” In spite of managing 3 kids, a full-time job and part-time college course load Mom DID become an A student, and secured her degree right along with us.
CHALLENGE: I challenge you to think of the negative self-statement you make most often (you may not even be aware of it but if you ask your spouse or a close friend I bet they’ll tell you what it is!), and come up with 3 positive variations of that statement. Get your loved ones to call you out when you make the negative statement and each time you start to do it, grab one of your rehearsed positive variations. With a little practice you will be automatically speaking the positive variants and becoming that which your positive statement speaks of you.
(This post originally appeared on MFN 11/30/08. This updated version is provided because we all need reminders sometimes!)