Do you ever think about how many thoughts go through our heads each day? Is it 50,000? 70,000? Whatever the number, a big percentage of those thoughts are what we tell ourselves about our world and how we are doing in it. Every day, you have a ton of opportunities to make your life better, to point your way to growth and success, to feel more fulfilled and happy.
Positive thinking through self-talk is a major reason that Navy SEALs withstand incredibly rigorous training such as staying underwater for 20 minutes as their face masks get ripped off and they nearly drown. How would anyone overcome fear and discomfort like that? The SEALS hypnotize themselves through self-talk messages such as, “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”
Positive thinking through self-talk is a small change with a big outcome.
What is Self-talk?
“But Molly, my head is not something I control. My thoughts just happen. What do you mean I can fix my thoughts?”
I get this a lot, and it’s a great starting point for tapping the power of positive thinking. Self-talk is what we tell ourselves about ourselves. You’ve either said or heard someone said, “That was so stupid of me!” or “I’m such a klutz!”
The most powerful self-talk is the dialogue inside us. Too often it’s a script that keeps us from maximizing our potential. I’m not smart, talented or attractive enough. I could never get that job. I’m not worth it. Do you recognize any of these statements?
Anytime you say something about yourself, that’s self-talk—and you decide which way it will go. Negative self-talk will keep you stuck where you are. Or you can start affirming what you are good at and program who you want to become. Think about how much stress you will avoid by no longer mentally beating yourself up! Bonus: Positive self-talk taps into good energy you may not even realize that you have.
How to Max Your Self-Talk
There are many methods of doing this. Here are three simple ways to max the power of your self-talk that you can do right now.
1. Define your best. Think about when you are at your best, or what you want your best to be. Create a picture in your mind, and make it as real as possible. What do you feel, think, say, and do? What are the words and images that come to mind? Capture these! I like to write them down. (Some research suggests that creating this from a third person perspective is even more powerful).
2. Repeat your best. To max your self-talk, a stretch of 90 days is a great commitment to make. Repeat your best scene every day by rewriting your words or images, or practicing them daily through your imagination. This can be a sentence repeated on a sticky note on your bathroom mirror or a virtual one on your screensaver. This will build a strong pathway in your brain for your best self-talk and self-image to thrive.
3. Create a Brain Spa (BS). Trade the BS of negative self-talk with the positive self-talk from your Brain Spa. This is your collection of inspirations: favorite books, articles, photographs that show your best self. You can place these in a favorite chair to read and absorb them regularly. The point is to create the best place for your best self in your head and in real time.
Your Game Changer Takeaway
Self-talk is powerful. Negative self-talk can be incredibly defeating. We are in charge of pushing this voice away and filling our airwaves with affirmation. The 50,000 thoughts (or however many) we have every day will continue to loop if we do not get intentional about reprogramming them in a way that is authentic to our best selves. Is the Brain Spa rewiring some of the BS thinking that has brought you down in the past? I would love to hear from you!
Molly Fletcher competed for Michigan State’s women’s tennis teamand is raising three daughters who play sports. She works to inspire and equip game changers to dream, live and grow fearlessly. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working with elite athletes and coaches as a sports agent, and applies them to the business world.