The Power of Positive Self-Talk
By Brian Tracy
Perhaps the most powerful influence on your attitude and personality
is what you say to yourself, and believe. It is not what happens to
you, but how you respond internally to what happens to you, that
determines your thoughts and feelings and, ultimately, your actions.
By controlling your inner dialogue, or “self-talk,” you can begin to
assert control over every other dimension of your life.
self-talk – the
words that you use to describe what is happening to you, and to
discuss how you feel about external events – determines
the quality and tone of your emotional life. When you see things
positively and constructively and look for the good in each
situation and each person, you have a tendency to remain naturally
positive and optimistic. Since the quality of your life is
determined by how you feel, moment to moment, one of your most
important goals should be to use every psychological technique
available to keep yourself thinking about what you want and to keep
your mind off of what you don’t want, or what you fear.
are continually faced with challenges and difficulties, with
problems and disappointments, with temporary setbacks and defeats.
They are an unavoidable and inevitable part of being human. But, as
you draw upon your resources to respond effectively to each
challenge, you grow and become a stronger and better person. In
fact, without those setbacks, you could not have learned what you
needed to know and developed the qualities of your character to
where they are today.
of your ability to succeed comes from the way you deal with life.
One of the characteristics of superior men and women is that they
recognize the inevitability of temporary disappointments and
defeats, and they accept them as a normal and natural part of life.
They do everything possible to avoid problems, but when problems
come, superior people learn from them, rise above the, and continue
onward in the direction of their dreams.
is a natural tendency in all of us to react emotionally when our
expectations are frustrated in any way. When something we wanted
and hoped for fails to materialize, we feel a temporary sense of
disappointment and unhappiness. We feel disillusioned. We react as
though we have been punched in the “emotional solar plexus”.
optimistic person, however, soon moves beyond this disappointment.
He responds quickly to the adverse event and interprets it as being
temporary, specific and external to himself. The optimist takes full
control of his inner dialogue and counters the negative feelings by
immediately reframing the event so that it appear positive in some
your conscious mind can hold only one thought at a time, either
positive or negative, if you deliberately choose a positive thought
to dwell upon, you keep your mind optimistic and your emotions
positive. Since your thoughts and feelings determine your actions,
you will tend to be a more constructive person, and you will move
much more rapidly toward the goals that you have chosen.
comes down to the way you talk to yourself on a regular basis. In
our courses of problem solving and decisions making, we encourage
people to respond to problems by changing their language from
negative to positive. Instead of using the word problem, we
encourage people to use the word situation. You see, a
problem is something that you deal with. The event is the same. It’s
the way you interpret the event to yourself that makes it sound and
appear completely different.
The hallmark of the fully
mature, fully functioning, self-actualizing personality is the
ability to be objective and unemotional when caught up in the
inevitable storms of daily life. The superior person has the ability
to continue talking to himself in a positive and optimistic way,
keeping his mind calm, clear and completely under control. The
mature personality is more relaxed and aware and capable of
interpreting events more realistically and less emotionally than is
the immature personality. As a result, the mature person exerts a
far greater sense of control and influence over his environment, and
is far less likely to be angry, upset, or distracted.
starting point in the process of becoming a highly effective person
is to monitor and control your self-talk every minute of the day.
Keep your thoughts and your words positive and consistent with your
goals, and keep your mind focused on what you want to do and the
person you want to be. Here are five ideas you can use to help
you to be a more positive and optimistic person:
resolve in advance that no matter what happens, you will not allow
it to get you down. You will respond in a constructive way. You will
take a deep breath, relax and look for whatever good the situation
may contain. When you make this decision in advance, you mentally
prepare yourself so that you are not knocked off balance when things
go wrong, as they inevitably will.
neutralize any negative thoughts or emotions by speaking to yourself
positively all the time. Say things like, “I feel healthy! I feel
happy! I feel terrific!” As you go about your job, say to yourself,
I like myself, and I love my work!” Say things like, “Today is a
great day; it’s wonderful to be alive!” According to the law of
expression, whatever is expressed is impressed. Whatever you say to
yourself or others is impressed deeply into your subconscious mind
and is likely to become a permanent part of your personality.
look upon the inevitable setbacks that you face as being temporary,
specific and external. View the negative situations as a single
event that is not connected to other potential events and that is
caused largely by external factors over which you can have little
control. Simply refuse to see the event as being in any way
permanent, pervasive or indicative of personal incompetence of
remember that it is impossible to learn and grow and become a
successful person without adversity and difficulties. You must
contend with and rise above them in order to become a better person.
Welcome each difficulty by saying, “That’s good!” and then look into
the situation to find the good in it.
keep your thoughts on your goals and dreams, on the person you are
working toward becoming. When things go wrong temporarily, respond
by saying to yourself, “I believe in the perfect outcome of every
situation in my life.” Resolve to be cheerful and pleasant, and
resist every temptation toward negativity and disappointment. View a
disappointment as an opportunity to grow stronger, and about it to
yourself and others in a positive and optimistic way.
you practice positive self-talk, and keep your words and your mental
pictures consistent with your goals and dreams, there is nothing
that can stop you from being the success you are meant to be.
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