In my relatively recent article “Have you been six-packed by your thinking” I talked about how your self talk could be hurting your chances of success–and even attract more of what you don’t want.
It seems simple. It seems obvious. We might say “yeah, that’s true”, but unless we start actually experimenting with, and changing things that aren’t working, we’ll keep getting the results we have programmed ourselves for.
So, it’s been a couple of weeks since the volleyball realization that my self-comments may be keeping me from playing better. What happens when I purposely change those thought patterns?
This past weekend, I played volleyball for the first time since that post (3 weeks). Knowing that my self talk is probably a habit worth changing, I caught myself every time I was about to make a critical remark about my play (and boy, I could’ve made a few comments). Instead, I chose to move on, and tell myself that I will do better next time, and that I’d learn something about this specific experience.
Sure as ____ (well, you know)… The next time, I *did* play better. I passed, hit, or served better. I improved 1000% over that previous dud of a play. Better yet, I acknowledged it, and congratulated myself on how I’d improved. As the games progressed, this became a self fulfilling mechanism where I’d continue to play better and better. Instead of a downward spiral of self defeating talk, I’d progressed upward in a self promoting whirlwind.
It was most obvious.
It was clear in how I played, how I felt about my play, and the outcome.
My positive encouragement and thoughts attracted positive results. I have no doubt that the outcome of these games would have been different if I’d continued my negative attention.
How does this relate to success in other areas? Well, first you must identify things that bring up your own negative self talk. They could be anything. It’s easiest to pick obvious areas so that you can better observe your progress, like my volleyball example. Later, you can move to more ingrained and meaningful situations such product creation, blog posting, etc… Choosing something simple first will allow you to observe the dramatic change that will occur, and really “get” the results. This will prime you for the bigger and more important projects at hand.
What methods will you use to change your self talk? Please share!