Positive Self-Talk – Jason Yule
Self-talk is an interesting topic. Quite simply, self-talk is this idea of what you say to yourself, either out-loud or in your head. Self-talk can be positive, meaning you are building yourself up and increasing your mental worth, or self-talk can be negative, telling yourself you aren’t good enough or you aren’t worthy of something. What is cool is that, when harnessed properly, self-talk can be incredibly beneficial in any endeavor, or even in life as a whole.
When it comes to self-talk, there are generally 3 types of people. Some see self-talk as strange or goofy. Most don’t really see it at all, meaning they aren’t aware this is actually a thing. And finally, some of us see it as vitally important. I fall into the third camp, those who see it as vitally important, so today I want to explain to you why that is.
Let’s start with the first group of people – the ones who think it is goofy, or maybe even phony. I’ll agree with you that talking to yourself is definitely odd. Most have never consciously done it, and in modern society we go as far to make slights about talking to yourself. Loony bin, anyone? But it’s just that – odd. Just like the first time you rode a bike was odd, the first time you drove a car, the first time you played a sport. Like anything else, self-talk feels unnatural at first. But boy can it be powerful once you understand it. And here’s the thing: everyone already does it, they just don’t realize it.
That brings us to our second group of people, those who aren’t even aware of self-talk and what it is. Even if you belong to the first group, I’ll still include you in this group because you are still performing a version of self-talk, you just don’t realize it. Like I said before, EVERYONE performs self-talk. Even if you aren’t deliberately speaking to yourself out loud, you still have that little voice inside of your head. It’s that one that is probably telling you that you can’t do something. Don’t go to the gym, you don’t fit in there. Don’t go to the gym, you aren’t strong enough. Don’t go on a diet, you don’t have the willpower to succeed. That is all negative self-talk that you might not even realize you have control over.
Here’s the cool part, and what I happen to love about self-talk: you do have control over it. You can change that little voice in the back of your head to push you forward instead of hold you back. All you have to do is make a conscious effort to talk to yourself. Sure it will feel weird at first, and you might not even believe what you are saying to yourself, but that’s ok. As they say, fake it until you make it. And you will make it. The magical part is that if you CONSISTENTLY talk to yourself, telling yourself the same thing over and over, you will eventually begin to believe it. MMA fighter Connor McGreggor is the most famous example of this – even when he was broke and had never had a professional fight, he still told himself he was the best ever.
So why does self-talk work? This is just my personal opinion, but I believe it works because when you tell yourself something over and over, consistently, it’s always on your mind. When something is always on your mind, you are more conscious of it, you think about it more and you figure out how to make it true. Was Connor McGreggor the best ever before he was a professional? No he wasn’t, but by telling himself he was he figured out what he had to do to become the best ever. If you consistently tell yourself you are a fit or healthy person, or that you are a determined and hardworking, you’ll figure out what it means to be those things. Then all you have to do is do them.
What are some things that consistently show up in your self-talk, either positive or negative? Let’s get a healthy discussion going!