The role of self-talk, that silent voice that speaks inside your head, makes a world of difference in your performance. It can be an amalgamation of a lot of voices you heard when you were younger, before you had the ability to evaluate the validity of what you heard. Untrained and uncontrolled self-talk can be very negative, criticizing and devaluing your efforts; perhaps even preventing action in the first place.
Counteracting that self-talk and creating new patterns of thinking requires replacing the old commentary with the verbalization of success-oriented thoughts. To establish this fresh habit and ingrain new voices:
- Create a list of positive affirmations, and write them down. These need to be stated actively, and as if they had already occurred. An example might be, ‘I keep my closets neat and organized,’ or ‘I attract intelligent, kind people.’ This is what creates the cognitive dissonance, the perhaps subconscious recognition that what is said is not what actually exists. This discrepancy drives personal action to make what is said match reality.
- Repeating your dream drives your actions. The repetition makes you more aware of the goal, in effect keeping it in focus so you see unpredicted ways to progress toward it, patterning the mind to see what it might have overlooked before
- Read each affirmation, picturing how it would feel if it actually were in place. In a sense, you are rehearsing this new reality so it will not feel so strange as you gradually evolve into it. For instance, if your affirmation is, ‘I feel confident and assured speaking to a large number of people,’ you might picture yourself in front of a large auditorium full of people raptly listening to you speak and applauding what you have to say. Thus, in your mind, you practice success.
- Do this exercise twice daily. Sometimes, but rarely, it only takes one event because there is an associated incident so emotionally charged that the imprint occurs with a single experience. Sometimes it may take hundreds of repetitions.
What is your affirmation?
Copyright © 2011 Sandra Kischuk and Living Beyond Limits. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sandra Kischuk and Living Beyond Limits with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.