We talk to ourselves A LOT! Most of the time it stays solely between our ears. But think about it a bit. Have you ever caught yourself saying: “oh that was stupid of me”, or “oh that person will never be interested in me”, or “I’m not good enough to do that”?
No? Then you’re either not a human, have complete mastery over your life, or just haven’t *noticed* it, yet.
It’s okay – that’s not the point I am trying to make. I want to bring up that there is something out there that is a much better choice to make for those who chose to do it to the best of their want and ability. It’s called:
Call it whatever works best for you so long as we shall choose to be “mo bettah” to ourselves soon, yeah!?!
I’ll call it self-talk.
What Self-Talk Is And Is Not
Basically, you record a script of sentences that have something to do with how you want to improve in life or to be better prepared for challenges that creep up. For instance, I have a Self-Talk script on general “Life Mastery” that covers being resourceful, friendly, open, fun-loving, and a whole bunch of other good stuff.
Make a list of things you want to improve in your life, things you want to do better, or things you want to be prepared for.
No, this isn’t some “daily affirmations” style “dog gone it, I’m special and people like me” kind of stuff. This is based off of psychological techniques used for the past couple of centuries. The science has come far and we understand a whole lot more about ourselves now – might as well use it, right?
If done properly, you can really start re-writing those ingrained neural pathways that are hindering you from seeing that there are other options out there. It’s all about having more options, more choices, more chances to do what works best for you.
Putting Your Ideas Into A Self-Talk Script
Now, the way the words are put together matter a great deal. I’ll be making some of these types of videos and audio downloads in the future, but if you choose to make your own there a few things to keep in mind. Did you check out the video on Life Mastery?
Make sure you use (1) positive and (2) goal-oriented language. Your unconscious mind doesn’t understand “don’t do this” directly. It has to understand the “do this” part before it can apply the “don’t” part. So if the “do this” part is bad… well… let me try something with you.
Do NOT think of a purple cow right now.
Any interesting pictures pop up in your head? :) You have to think of the purple cow 1st before you can NOT think of it. That’s just the way we work.
Now back to making your own sentences. Instead of saying “I will not get angry in traffic any more” you should say something like “You choose to remain calm in traffic.”
Another example? Change “I won’t be shy in public” to “You will confidently interact with people in public.”
I don’t know if you noticed but I changed the above sentences to 2nd person narrative language. It makes it sound a lot better when you’re listening to the script. It’s a matter of “being given suggestions” vs. “listening about someone else psyching themselves up”.
Now when you’re working on a general topic to cover, try and come up with at least 3 different ways to say it. Change the words up a bit, come at it from different angels, and try to capture as many aspects of it as you can. Make it as believable as you can, too, without imposing too many restrictions on yourself. You want to enjoy it and NOT criticize at the same time.
I recommend using the free windows sound recorder or free audacity program to record you saying it and play it back later – it makes it so much easier to do.
Start Your Self-Talk Program and Start Winning!
Whatever you decide to do soon, keep at it every night for at least 3 weeks… like 10 minutes before sleeping. Just put it on your phone or ipod or burn it to a CD and go to town on it. If you’re feeling fancy, then you can put some soothing music in the background to calm you down. I recommend some of Kevin MacLeod’s royalty free and soothing tracks.
One of the most important steps is to relax, calm down, and prepare your mind for being open to these useful suggestions BEFORE you begin the Self-Talk script. It will not work if you’re constantly refuting everything that’s being said. You have to turn off the critic in your head, or temporarily calm the critical faculty (that ‘filter’ that tries to keep you in the real world), and really let the suggestions sink in. Looking for examples? The 1st 1 minute of the “Life Mastery” video is a good example and this entire “Deep Relaxation” video is excellent.
I’ve also got my version available in MP3 format for 99¢.
I’ve included a (free) bonus Life-Balance exercise MP3, too.
Anyway – give it a go and let your dreamy mind roll around with it all night. :) Oh and only be as surprised as you can be when things mysteriously seem to work a little differently sometime in the new future.
I’ll be doing some of these from time to time to help and be an example. Have fun out there and move it up a notch, folks!
Have any experience with Self-Talk? Share with us!
Photo by: judacoregio