Success Depends On Our Self Talk

What we tell ourselves about ourselves – our self talk, will create success – or not. Our success depends so much on the messages we constantly send ourselves. We can be our best friends – or we can be our own worst enemies. Each of us is capable of affirming ourselves – or of sabotaging our own belief in ourselves. And the difference between constructive self criticism and destructive criticism is so small – yet the difference in effect is huge!.

A personal example of destructive self talk:

I was just finishing a 5 mile walk at a 4 mph rate. I realized I was telling myself that what I had just done wasn’t much of an exercise – that I should have pushed harder – gone to the gym – hiked in the hills – lifted weights – done abs – done something other than what I had done. I was telling myself that a 5 mile walk at 4 mph in 100 degree heat on city streets wasn’t enough. I was telling myself that what I had done was not good enough.

Wow! A five mile walk at a good rate on a day when exercising in any form was a push because of conditions and other commitments. And then to end it with a dose of self criticism for not doing something different or better.. Self sabotage at its best – or worst!

Then I realized – I do that a lot. I minimize my accomplishments and think of them as less than what I should or could be doing.

Do you ever do that?

Destructive self talk – the habit of thought of negative messages – that we should do more, that what we’ve done isn’t that great, that compared to others we don’t measure up, has the long term effect of creating in our minds a feeling of not being able, not being worthy. And we do it to ourselves!

Take a look at your own self talk – see if it builds you up – or tears you down. If you find that you minimize what you do; that you feel you should have done something else; then work on getting that kind of self talk out of your system.

The good news is that that kind of self talk simply isn’t true. The better news is that we can change it. The best news is we can start to change it today! It’s not easy – many people have been doing it for so long that it seems a natural thing to do. It isn’t.

How to start?

First become aware that you’re doing it. And then work to replace those messages you have gotten into the habit of giving yourself with messages that affirm and make you feel good about yourself

Two steps you can take today:

Become pro active in your self criticism. Ask yourself what you can do better, different or more of the next time. Take what you have learned and apply it to your future – rather than mourning your past. It’s a subtle shift, but what you are doing is shifting from negative self criticism – looking at what has already happened and not liking it, to the “I am capable and worthy and here’s what I have to do to make it happen the next time ” It’s subtle – but it’s so powerful!

Create messages you can give yourself that are positive and proactive. The only way to get rid of a bad habit is to replace it with a good one.

What are some of the messages you can give yourself every day that are absolutely true and positive?

Here are some questions to ask yourself to get those positive messages flowing:

What makes you so special? You are, you know. Remind yourself – you are unique – there is not a single person in this world exactly like you.

What are your special contributions? How can you best use them?

How can you best use your blend of experiences, education, skills, interests and aptitudes today?

What you do you do well – and to whom is it important?

What can I apply to today that I learned from yesterday?

Then tell yourself:

Something great can happen today – I can make it happen

I am not only worthy of achieving what I want – I am able to achieve it.

This isn’t a magic formula – no silver bullets here. But if you persist, you will begin to know and benefit from using the past to influence the present and future. Rather than spending time on what could have been you will be in what will be – what a difference!