I don’t know about you, but I know that sooner or later the majority of people develop two voices in their heads. Positive and negative self-talk.
The one who says he can and the one who says he can’t.
The voice which gets stronger tends to rule our results in life.
This statement is not a fact nor a rule. It is an absolute law!
In the book I am studying for a while now, the author says that a person gets to know himself truly, once he meets his “other self”.
I use to be a genuinely positive person who had a healthy, positive self-talk.
All up to the moment of great crisis which pulled me on the other side of the river where worry, fear, and doubt live.
As a result of negative self-talk, my life went downwards rapidly.
It took me some time to analyze what happened and to determine where was a problem, or problems.
I discovered that what you hold in your mind, in other words, on what you focus on all day will bring you the physical equivalent of your thinking.
We become what we think about.
If you focus on misery, your life will become misery. If you focus on happiness, your life will become a happy one. If you keep your focus on wealth, you will have wealth in your life.
After time spent in battle with my mind, I managed to win and get back on the other side of the river.
Back on the positive stream. Finally!
However, the fight left me some valuable knowledge with me which I am obligated to share.
Within this post, I will give my best to project my experience and knowledge about how to switch your mind from negative thoughts and to develop confident and positive self-talk again.
“What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind.”
What is Self Talk?
Self-talk is your inner conversation.
However, in more details: self-talk is an inner dialogue between your conscious thoughts and subconscious beliefs. Conscious thoughts speak in words while subconscious answers in a language of feeling or emotions.
Very few people on this planet are entirely aware of their self-talk. Those who can understand the language of their subconscious mind can make use of it to develop positive beliefs which will work in their favor.
An example of the masters of self-talk.
The best athletes in the word are the best not because they have more talent than the next guy. They are the best because they mastered their inner conversation. They know how to shut off the self-critic and self-doubt. Moreover, they know how to turn it into power which becomes visible in their results.
Everyone can learn this!
First and foremost, understand for now that our thoughts are in a direct relationship with how we feel.
We can talk ourselves back up!
However, your emotional state has the last word. It decides whether you are going to win or fail.
Confident self-talk brings the emotion of faith in your abilities, which ultimately brings success after taking the action.
Negative self-talk brings fear, worry, and self-doubt, and therefore, as the result of action (if there will be any) brings failure.
All of those emotions can be brought to life, or eliminated by understanding and application of the method of self-talk.
What Causes Negative Self Talk?
We are negative thinkers by our heritage. The emotions of worry, doubt, and fear are a part of every human being. These states of mind are in our DNA.
When you get into a habit of doubting your abilities about a specific situation, eventually, you will form a negative belief within your subconscious mind.
If you try to do it anyway, your negative belief will stop you from taking action.
For example, someone may have developed a negative belief that he can’t be successful in life. The situation in which he lives in, which is poverty, conditioned him to believe that to be the truth.
If by any chance he starts to think “Well…maybe…why not me?”, because of his subconscious conditioning, the negative beliefs will answer back in a feeling of self-doubt, fear, or worry.
This kind of thinking happens unconsciously. In most of the cases, people are not aware of this self-sabotage.
For some time, the guy may try to fight this. But eventually, if he doesn’t know how to overcome, he will lose the fight. Therefore, he will lose a chance to succeed.
So the answer to what causes negative self-talk is obvious. It is our own way of thinking.
Someone might say no, it is society or the circumstances, or it is the environment, and so on.
However, those are just outer suggestions, the one who is in control of your self-talk, is you.
The one who decides is you.
The one who has the willpower to restrain your thoughts and think of anything you want is you.
Examples of negative self-talk:
- Heightened self-doubt; “I can’t do it. I am not good enough.” He/she is better than me.”
- Constant worry about what might happen
- Repeating memories of negative past
- Limited beliefs based on conditions from the past
- Focusing on the negative all the time; expecting the worst
- Fear of criticism; being a victim of society
- Fear of failure
Difference Between Positive and Negative Self Talk
Most of us are unaware of our inner conversation, but the fact is it is always there. Sometimes it is confident and quiet, and sometimes it can be loud and fearful.
The difference is obvious to everyone who has experienced a negative self-talk.
Examples of positive self-talk:
- High level of self-confidence based on experience
- Repetition of success in life
- Treating failure as a way to grow
- Sharp focus on future goals
- Living in the moment and not in the past
- Expecting the best and accepting whatever comes
To paint you a better picture I will tell you a story that comes from the book of late Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of the Positive Thinking.
He was known as the father of positive thinking, and one of the happiest people ever lived. His books are filled with many examples of good people who had bad luck, but they managed, with his help, to get back in life.
In one of his stories, he mentions an example of a man who came to him completely broken. The man told the doctor how he is finished. He told him he had lost everything he has and he doesn’t know how to continue with his life.
Dr. Peale asked him “Are you sure you have lost everything?”
The man replied “Yes doctor. I am destroyed. I don’t have anything left…”
The doctor looked at him, then told him to sit by his desk. He took a pen and paper and start to ask “broken” man these questions:
“Ok.” -said the doctor “Let’s see. Is your wife still with you?”
The man said “Well, yes, she is. She is a wonderful woman, and she will always be here.”
The doctor wrote it down.
Next question he asked him “How about your children? Got any?”
“Yes.” the man replied, “I have three, and they are wonderful as well.”
The doctor wrote it down and went on and asked another one: “Got any friends?”
“Well, yes.” he said, “I really have some fine friends, and they too are always here.”
The doctor wrote it down and continued the interrogation with a few more questions.
“How about your integrity? Have you done anything wrong?” asked the doctor again.
“My integrity is alright,” he replied, “I have always tried to do the right thing, and my conscience is clear.”
“How about your health,” said the doctor.
“My health is all right,” he answered.
The doctor finished the questioning and said: “Now, let’s see the list of assets we have figured out.”
“A wonderful wife, beautiful children, good friends, nothing to be ashamed of, and good health.”
The doctor went on and said, ” Take a look at that. I guess you have a quite a total of assets left. I thought you told me everything had been swept away?”
The man grinned ashamedly. “I guess I didn’t think of those things. I never thoughts of it that way. Perhaps things aren’t soo bad at all. Maybe I can start all over again if I can get some confidence.”
Well, he got it, and he did start all over again. But he did so only when he changed his viewpoint, his mental attitude and self-talk.
With a little help from Dr. Norman V. Peale, the man managed to defeat his negative self-talk and shift it back on to a positive one.
How to Develop Positive Self-Talk in 5 Steps
Any negative belief can be turned into confidence.
These four steps are a simple step-by-step guide which I designed based on my experience with some of my most deeply embedded negative beliefs.
I have learned from experience that we can take the control ower our self-talk, and by a supreme effort, we can turn it into our most valuable asset.
At the end of the day, the only thing we can truly control is our thoughts, feelings, and actions. In other words, we can only control ourselves.
Everything else is going to happen by itself.
1.) Dig out the negative self-belief or beliefs
To defeat the enemy, we have first to know his name.
Your first task is to identify what negative beliefs are causing you the problem. It may be many beliefs. However it may be, an in-depth analysis of your personality should be made.
Think about your fear and trace it back to its origins.
I will give you an example of negative beliefs that were holding me back so you can use them as a starting point for your analysis.
I was afraid to start my own business. The reason was apparent; I never had a business of my own.
When the idea first came to my mind, the doubts were strong, “What if I fail?; What do I know about business?; What will people say?; I don’t have money.; I don’t have time.”
I thought that a person like me, someone without education, experience, money, connections, knowledge, has zero chance to succeed.
All these questions were reinforcing my limited belief about my abilities to run my own business. I was causing myself to worry about it. I was expecting failure instead of focusing on success.
However, at least I knew where to start.
2.) Understand the law of opposites
The law of opposites dictates merely that everything in this world has its polar opposite, everything is dual.
There is left and right, up and down, light and dark, hot and cold, male and female, happiness and sadness, success and failure, positive belief and negative belief.
The opposites are just two different expressions of the same thing.
When you, for example, start your own business, you have two opposites of the same act from which you have to chose one on which you will focus.
The thing is,
On what we tend to focus most of our time, we are going to attract into our life.
In other words,
If you keep focusing on every single reason why you can’t do or have certain things, you will get into a cycle of repeating those negative thoughts which will eventually become firmly planted in your subconscious mind in the form of belief.
If you try to fight it within your mind but you don’t know how you will reopen the same old conversation between you and your negative belief.
This way you are going to attract, by the law, more of the same.
However, if you shift your focus on the opposite of “I can’t.”, which is “I can.”, you will attract more knowledge about how you can until you will develop a positive belief.
It just takes a shift of focus, a lot of effort, and time for change to happen.
Now when you know what is holding you back, you know what is the opposite of your negative belief, the next two steps will help you to make a shift in your self-talk.
3.) Use positive affirmations to stimulate a new belief or beliefs
As mentioned already, by our nature we tend to think negative first.
Then, we will make, if ever, the shift of focus on the positive side.
A very few people do this with full conscious attention. They have mastered the art of positive self-talk.
To start shifting your focus the best thing you can do is to write down a couple of affirmations.
Affirmations are scientifically proven to help the brain to trigger the release of happy hormones. They have the power to pull you out from that negative talk you will get into from time to time.
Your brain responds to stimulation, and it will force you to take action if adequately stimulated.
Affirmations are one of the best auto-suggestive techniques which you can apply to rewire your brain to stimulate and develop positive self-talk.
Here are a few examples of positive affirmations:
- I am happy, healthy, and wealthy
- I am confident, powerful, and reliable.
- I am in charge of my life
- I am full of faith in my success
- I am happy and grateful for all I have in life
- I am a master of my thoughts, feelings, and actions
- I am full of positive energy
- I am brilliant and smart
- I can do all things; nothing is impossible
- I can overcome everything that comes to my way
- I handle my life with joy and ease
You can be creative as much as you want while writing down your affirmations. Nothing is off limits as long as they are in a positive tone.
Take a look at the video from the top once again and you will see how creative NFL players are when using affirmations to boost their confidence.
4.) Visualize success within your imagination
Our imagination is where it all happens!
With the power of your imagination, you can see your self, in your mind’s eye, as a happy, healthy, and prosperous person.
Moreover, your mind doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what is imaginary. The mind will always try to seek a way to bring your imagination to life.
The statement is not just a statement. No… It is an absolute law!
Understand that every belief, positive or negative, has to pass through imagination before it has been allowed entrance to your subconscious mind.
The beliefs are created by mixing emotion with thought and imagination.
Most of the time we let negative stuff to enter our imagination without our knowledge. Then we think about it some more, we emotionalize it with fear, and we allowed it to grow until it has control over us.
This time, you are going to use your imagination with the intention to originate, because you are creative being, a new, better version of yourself.
Imagination has to be stimulated. In step number three, you have a few very powerful affirmations with which you can fire it up.
The objective is to shut off the flow of negative thoughts which are causing or reaffirming the negative self-talk.
You can do this very successfully by stimulating your mind to produce positive thoughts (affirmation) which will chase out the negative belief from your subconscious mind and replace it with a positive one.
One key point before approaching the next step.
Do not force it to happen!
Force only negates the process.
Understand that you are taking advantage of a natural process to create a new belief so take your time, be persistent and patient, and ultimately you will master your self-talk.
5.) Confront the fear; break the terror barrier
At this point, you should know a lot more about what it is that is causing negative self-talk, how the law of opposites works, how the power of affirmations and visualization can help you to originate positive self-talk.
Now, all of this is going to be worthless unless you don’t go outside and face the situation which is causing the negative self-talk.
The action is the most powerful message that our mind can receive.
The terror barrier comes when you start to believe in a positive outcome, you make a move, but the old belief is still active and backs you away from doing it.
There is one key in the whole process.
Remember the word, carve it in your brain until it becomes a part of you.
The quantity of your persistence, or lack of it, will show you how much faith you have.
If you want to develop positive self-talk, you can find more information about it, you can read until the day you die, you can recite affirmations as much as you want, visualize until your brain bleed.
If you don’t persist in action, you will never win.
The action is what brings attraction. By unbreakable law, you will attract whatever you think, in the exact way how you feel about it, and in the proportion of action you make.
The more action you take in the whole process of repeating and affirming your new belief, the better and faster the results will be.
Do not force it. Stay calm and cheerful and it will happen by itself. It must because it is a LAW.
What are the Benefits of Positive Self-Talk?
By practicing positive self-talk, you can experience significant improvements in your life. Both mental and physical.
In my opinion, the highest benefit of positive thinking is awareness of the fact that YOU are in the control of your life, not the world or someone else.
There will be many more benefits along the way which you can discover one by one by yourself.
Some of them are:
- Higher awareness of your abilities
- Self-control in any situation
- Positive attitude regarding life
- Increase in self-confidence
- Ability to do more than usually
- Reduced stress, or even eliminated
- Overcoming worry, fear, self-doubt
- Improved physical condition
- Reduced mental and heart disease risk
It is You vs. You
In the end, your biggest enemy is the one you see when you look at the mirror.
Other people may cause you to think negative or feel bad. However, the final decision lies within your mind.
I have noticed that from time to time we all get into a cycle of negative experience. Worry comes slowly, and through the back door, so it takes time to notice it.
The fives steps can be a mighty way to find the enemy and beat it with his weapons.
If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below, and I will be more than happy to help you out.
All the best,