In today’s life coaching article, I will be writing about self-talk and mental programming. Throughout our lives, we have unknowingly received countless negative programs, which are recorded in neural pathways in our brain. This is similar to the programming of a computer. These negative programs were created by negative input. Parents, friends, teachers, television passer by conversations. You name it. (Behavioral researchers have estimated that in the first 18 years of our lives alone, each of us is told no, or what we cannot do, or what won’t work, more than 148,000 times.) And it doesn’t stop there. We continue to receive the wrong kind of programming from others, and from our own old negative programming from the past – our own self-talk.
The Law of Repetition
We receive our programs through repetition. First, from others, and then through our own repeated self-talk. That’s why what others tell us most becomes what we believe about ourselves most. Each time a message is repeated, it gets rerecorded, in the brain, and becomes stronger. Unfortunately, a lot of the programs we got were the wrong programs.
How Self-Talk Works
While we’re growing up, we get “programmed,” every day in dozens of ways. Everything we hear, see, or experience in any way gets “programmed” – much like programming a computer, which means it gets recorded in our brain. Also like a computer, the part of the brain that records all of those messages doesn’t know the difference between something that is “true” about us, or something that is not. Our computer brain just records the programs as we receive as “truth” – and those are the programs that determine every choice we make.
So we grow up getting “programmed,” – in a very natural way – and a lot of the programs we got about ourselves were completely wrong: (“You can’t do this,” “You’re not good at that,” “You could never do that,” “Why would you do that, it won’t work for you,” “You’ll never be good at math,” “You’ll always be a ‘fatty’,” “How could you be that stupid?, ”Can’t you do anything right?,” “You never listen,” or “Who do you think you are, someone special?”) And there were thousands more programs, just like them, that we heard, recorded in our brain, and ended up unconsciously repeating to ourselves and, ultimately, believing as truth.
To know what our old “Self-Talk” does in our lives, all you have to do is listen to the “negative” self-talk of the people around you. You may have even heard yourself say some of these things, or you may have heard these kinds of comments almost every day from someone else: “I can’t do this!,” I’m no good at that,” “I can never remember names,” “Nothing ever works for me,” “I can never lose weight,” “It’s just no use!,” “I never get a break,” “I just can’t seem to get organized,” “Today just isn’t my day,” and on and on and on.