Self Talk – What do you say to yourself?

What to SayWe recently concluded a series of presentations made by individual staff members at the weekly staff meetings in my office.  I participated in this process as well, and the topic I chose was “self talk”.  In the presentation I referenced a book that I had read long ago, but opened again recently thinking it would be a good source for content in my presentation and the name of the book is Self Talk – What to say when you talk to yourself, by Shad Helmstetter (no, I did not pick that book because my last name is in his last name).

Most of us never give this a second thought – but that is just the point, we are giving ourselves lots of thoughts all the time and they are in the form of messages, or self talk, that are either thought or spoken.  If you take a little time to evaluate you may just come to understand that these “comments” are critically important.

We are likely to hear 148,000 “no’s” in the first 18 years of our lives – if we grew up in fairly average, reasonably positive homes.  Studies show that as much as 77% of what you tell yourself may be working against you.

External solutions are temporary – the right self talk can lead to positive, permanent behavior change, because you control ALL of the messages – silent, spoken or written – that your brain receives.  Self talk is actually based on scientific research on how the brain receives and accepts information.  If you want to make a change and make it stick, you have to do it the way the brain works.  With self talk you can construct word-for-word programming that changes the conditioning of the subconscious mind – the control center of the brain.  Specific vocabulary can be used by anyone, at any time, to replace negative programming with positive directions.

Author, researcher, and lecturer Shad Helmstetter states that he does not believe in motivation.  In one lecture he heard a speaker say that motivation is like eating Chinese food – an hour later you are hungry again.  American author, salesperson, and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said that motivation is like bathing – you need a little of it every day.  Former Blue Angel Dennis Waitley is one of the most sought after keynote speakers and productivity consultants in the world today and says that the most important meetings you’ll ever attend are the meetings you have with yourself.

So just how do you internalize something that will last longer than external motivation?  I would challenge you to try the following exercise.  Find a quiet place, sit down, and read this out loud to yourself:

I am an exceptional human being.  My incredible belief in myself turns my goals into reality.  I have the power to live my dreams.  I believe in them like I believe in myself.  And that belief is so strong that there is nothing that diminishes my undefeatable spirit.

Close your eyes and think it again.

If that lifts you in any way (and it should) you owe it to yourself to try an entire self talk script.  Go buy the book – we can all use a little more positive in our lives!

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One Comment on “Self Talk – What do you say to yourself?”


  1. […] bottom line here is that whether we are parenting our children, or listening to the self talk in our own heads, the greatest challenges in life are there for us to learn, grow and work towards […]


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