Be Inspired: The Principle of Positive Self-Talk
Sunday, January 21, 2007
I had this bad habit myself. Whenever I made a mistake, I used to blame and curse myself, and carried a feeling of guilt with me. What happens if we do this? First, our subconscious mind accepts whatever we say as true. If we say to ourselves, we are not good at doing something. Immediately our subconscious mind receives this message and records it as true; because it does not judge any statement, we make.
When I realised the way we talk or communicate to ourselves decide the quality of our life and our effectiveness, I changed my approach. I desperately wanted to break free from this never-ending cycle. So, what did I do?
When we talk to ourselves positively, we send positive feedback or message to our brain. And this reinforces our action and our experience. On the other hand, if we talk to ourselves with a negative tone, we send a negative feedback or message to our brain. And we tell our brain that we are a failure and this further reinforces and records the negative experience.
Whatever feedback we send either positive or negative is recorded in our brain. It is like a solid mark in a piece of paper. So, if it is negative it remains like a scar in our mind. And this has a massive impact on our behaviour, confidence, and self-esteem. That is the reason we doubt ourselves in doing certain things in life. We form a fear of doing something, if we have failed in the past, and record that experience as a negative one, and our internal self-talk process further strengthens it.
It is important that we pay attention on how we communicate with ourselves and get rid of the habit of sending negative signals to our brain. Sometimes it may become a real challenge for us to try to change our habits, which have formed from many years of negative reinforcement. So, how do we change and form a habit of positive self-talk?
I would like to share with you some simple ideas, which I have used in my life to cut through the never-ending cycle of negative self-talk. And let me also tell you the truth, despite my practice I still fall prey to this cycle. So, it is a constant battle. But as soon as I realise I am going the wrong way, I fiercely bounce back.
Some simple tips:
(1) From this moment, unconditionally accept that it is all right to make mistakes. We always learn through our mistakes. For example, babies learn to walk by making mistakes. There is no Failure in Life, Only Feedback, or Outcome. Remember, we always succeed. Say it to yourself, ‘We always succeed in getting a result’. Sometimes we get a result, which we did not want (we call it failure), but still it is only a result. So, whatever happens in our life is only a result or a feedback. If you do not like the result, learn from the experience, change your approach, and get a different result. If you still do not like the result, change your approach again till you get what you want.
(2) Watch carefully how you talk to yourself when you face any event in life. Remind yourself about this principle.
(3) When you realise that you are sending a negative message to your brain stop it immediately. One interesting and powerful technique is to say to yourself: STOP! STOP! STOP! Say it as loudly as possible inside your mind. After that, immediately replace it with a positive statement. For example, if you were saying to yourself, ‘I am not good at remembering names’. Immediately replace it with the positive sentence, ‘I am good at remembering names’. This process is called the self-talk interrupt process. Make sure your new sentence is a positive one, and it is in the present tense. Do not worry if the statement is not true now. When you start repeating the statement consider them as true, and act accordingly, you will soon realise that they will come out as true.
Here are few examples, please add your own statements to this list:
(a) I am a good cook
(b) I am a wonderful singer
(c) I am a good Mathematician
(d) I am a wonderful human being
(e) I am a calm and relaxed person
(f) I am enjoying every moment of my life
(4) I would also suggest that you read the following article on positive affirmations again to reinforce your belief:
(i) Your Thoughts Decide Your Destiny
(ii) Does Thoughts Decide our Destiny
posted by Debojit Chowdhury @ 5:24 AM,
- At January 21, 2007, Vancouver mermaid/Montreal photographer said...
it's a great article, thanks for sharing it. One point though, that was missed, it is equally important to surround yourself with positive people. If your close friend or spouse constantly puts you down, all the self talk in the world will not make a difference. I learned the hard way that only by ending the toxic relationship in your life, can you truly gain back your self esteem and power over yourself. Again, well written and great advice in your article.
- At January 21, 2007, Mahesha said...
I believe every bit of it. When we are in bad moods, angry or jealous, negative energy builds around us. I am a believer in Kamma and if we keep these negative energies going, our habits and every thing will follow us in our next life.
By being good and positively thinking, being nonjudgmental we build good energy and good kamma.
My experience is when I go to a quiet place and meditate; I go to a very peaceful and calm state of mind. I cannot describe it. It is more enjoyable than anything. I have learned the more I practice this the more I can become positive and nonjudgmental. If you go to http://www.bswa.org Website, I think you will be able to gather lot of information for your articles.
Listen to talks by Ajan Brahm.
- At January 22, 2007, Ciera said...
I so do this! I'm better at beating myself up than those around me. I haven't gotten to the point you're talking about, but I've gone from just calling myself an idiot when I mess up to saying, "I am such an idiot...but at least I'm a cute one." !!! :)
- At January 22, 2007, Coco said...
Thank you for your messages over the past few days. Things are rough, but they are getting better. Looking forward to talking to you soon.
- At January 26, 2007, Christina said...
My inner voice is getting much kinder all the time. I almost listen to it again. For the longest time it said the meanest things to me!
I'm trying to teach my son to have a positive inner voice. That inner voice, negative or positive, is an internalization of the life lessons we have learned from our parents and the other adults who shaped our lives when we were children. Feel like writing an article on the power of positive messages for young people? I think you've inspired me to blog about it today. Thanks, Deb!
- At January 28, 2007, Debojit Chowdhury said...
Vancouver mermaid/Montreal photographer, Mahesha, Ciera, Coco, Christina THANK YOU VERY MUCH for the encouraging comments. I am delighted that the article is useful to you. I am sure you will apply it to your day-to-day lives. Take care and God bless
- At February 05, 2007, April Decheine said...
I believe in everything you said. I am a huge believer in the movie the secret which talks a lot about what we see or believe in shall be.. I am teaching my children this logic as well!