“six-pack” follow up – dang if it doesn’t work like it should!

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!

About Tim Gary

I live in Reno, NV with my wife Careen, and the ever so talented kitty named Milo. Programmer by trade, web surfer and learner for fun, I have a ton of interests, and you'll hear about each of them in time!

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11 Responses to “six-pack” follow up – dang if it doesn’t work like it should!

  1. Rod@online creative writing course February 26, 2009 at 11:40 pm #

    I’m not too sure about this “law of attraction” stuff, but there is definitely something in positive self-encouragement. I find it quite amazing that such a simple (yet also hard) thing can make such a difference, but I see it all the time in sports on TV, and also in my own life. Flicking that mental switch is key both to how you perceive yourself, and how others perceive you, and to progressing towards your goals.

  2. Marie Torres February 18, 2009 at 1:13 am #

    Efforts to think positive is very easy….
    kinda, efforts to put in positive is very hard…! I liked such “six-pack” follow ups…! SO just to follow..! its important even been slowly but surely, practicing all of the facets of the clutch, brake and accelerator come together and allow you to drive. Maybe not skillfully at first, but with practice this will come. 🙂

    marie torres

  3. emma @ Think Horses January 27, 2009 at 3:35 am #

    Tim you nailed everything on the head when you said “My positive encouragement and thoughts attracted positive results.” Not only do positive thoughts attract positive results, but they cause everyone around you to be more positive.

    For me since I changed my attitude on life I have seen huge results and a lot more beauty in the world.

  4. Scotti@Lesbians Are People Too December 20, 2008 at 11:31 pm #

    It’s so true, thinking the worst is easy. It’s thinking positively that’s hard. But, it’s well worth the effort. Thanks for the post.

  5. Jimmy@Watch 90210 October 27, 2008 at 2:05 pm #

    The fear of failure definitely holds people back. When i’m helping people out i let them know that everyone fails at something in life. You just have to learn from your mistakes and take the time to improve. By succeeding in something you once failed at, it really boosts your self-esteem.

  6. Kent August 5, 2008 at 1:10 am #

    Tim you got that right! Life is a continuous process of learning. It’s on the subject of how you seek for more ideas even if one way or another you’ll end having the wrong idea. What delays a person success is not his weakness but his fear of failure. Like playing volleyball you should start as a beginner first to actually become successful in that game.

  7. Tim Gary May 19, 2008 at 8:59 pm #

    Hi Jeannette,

    Thank you for visiting.

    Very good point, to practice on “easy” (aka: not life and death) stuff first. It appears that’s what I’ve been doing, both with volleyball, and “bad drivers” recently.

    I can tell you that it’s much much easier to do, and more importantly, to get *immediate* feedback on, when it’s something simple. The more feedback I have in simple areas, the more confidence I have in the “bigger” more important areas.

    Since I like analogies, it’s much like learning to drive (a stick shift) vehicle. At first, it can seem really hard. There are so many things to think about, and your mind plays tricks with you. Slowly but surely, practicing all of the facets of the clutch, brake and accelerator come together and allow you to drive. Maybe not skillfully at first, but with practice this too will come.

    An even better analogy would be learning a musical instrument. If you’ve ever picked up a guitar and tried to play it, you know what I mean! There are so many nuances in technique, and it’s doubled if you want to write your own music–which is completely different than “just” playing other people’s music.

    There are so many facets to our love and financial lives, that it can feel like an insurmountable task to get a handle on. When we work on “how we work on things”, and consciously practice–and adjust course based on results, it can’t help but make things easier in *everything* we do, big and small.

    Just subscribed to your blog. I love it!

    Take it easy,

  8. Anthony@Blog Me The Money May 19, 2008 at 2:52 pm #

    Thank you for your submission to the Weekend Quick Picks at Blog Me The Money

  9. Jeannette Maw May 19, 2008 at 2:23 pm #

    Tim, I love that you used volleyball to practice this valuable tool on! Most of my clients jump right in and do it on their love life, financial life, etc. – but playing with the self talk in an area of life that doesn’t feel so “life or death” – I think is powerful.

    Great post! Love your style! Keep it comin’!


  10. Strategic Thinking May 14, 2008 at 12:33 pm #

    I am glad to hear you played better. I am going to try implementing a few things in my life. The hard part for me is I know what I need to do, but don’t have the discipline to take action. Thanks for the update.

  11. Good job!

    Kicking yourself when something has gone wrong is so easy to do.

    Keep the lesson, not the failure.