Category: Positive Self-Talk

Self-Talk and Mental Programming

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. read more

Persistence is Power

Today, I wanted to share my views on the power of persistence and how it impacts our personal success. A favorite quote of mine that really puts this power into perspective for me, is from American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He said, “The heights by great men reached and kept – Were not attained by sudden flight, – But they, while their companions slept, – Were toiling upward in the night.”

Isn’t this true? Success is for sure not an over-night experience. At least some toiling or hard work is certainly required. Look, can we succeed by trying once or twice, not getting the exact result we wanted and giving up? It’s obvious that to be successful at anything worthwhile, we need to keep working at it. However, many of us decide it’s to painful to continue putting in the necessary work. We simply fail to keep following through instead of going back to the drawing board, adjusting and trying again until we succeed. Why does this happen? Well, I certainly have some experience in this area. My list of excuses is likely too long to list so, I’ll keep the list brief:

  • There is just not ever enough time
  • I have to do this, or that
  • I am too tired right now, I will do it later

If you have ever used this type of self-talk, how did it make you feel? I know how it makes me feel – exhausted. I also know it’s almost impossible to achieve anything of importance when I’m in this exhausted physical and mental state. How can being persistent help? Also, how can we become “persistent”?

Persistence, to me, is a core personal ability we all have used at some point in our lives. We have likely used it when our backs had been against the wall and we needed to produce a result now, or else. We needed to be persistent to overcome the obstacles that stood in our way of some end goal. Once we committed to being persistent in that situation, we kept on going and did not give up until we completed what needed to be done.

Practice Persistence

How can we become better at persisting? Well, what is the goal you are trying to achieve? Why are you trying to achieve it? Who will benefit when you achieve that goal? How positively will it impact their lives and yours? Are you 100% committed to doing what it takes to achieve that goal? Do you know that oftentimes, people are so close to achieving a goal, but give up moments before they may have had a breakthrough that would have propelled them to succeed? Inventor Thomas Edison is a great example of someone who practiced the power of persistence. He worked relentlessly to create his inventions and succeeded greatly, but only after many failures. How successful would he have been if he did not persist? Quoting Edison himself, he said, “Many of life’s failures are people who didn’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” What a great truth that is. If we keep working and adjusting and get a little farther each time, we will get closer and closer to achieving our ultimate goal. However, if we don’t persist and make those last few efforts, we just won’t get there.

There is only one way to practice persistence. When you decide to accomplish something – don’t give up. Even if there is a mountain in front of you – don’t give up. You can go under, over or around that mountain. There is a way, but only if we persist. If we let that mountain stop us – well, enough said!

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