What we say to ourselves in our heads determines our future. Those little voices determine our thoughts, feelings, dreams, moods, and how we feel about ourselves. Those voices can help us accomplish our goals or lead us to dismiss them as silly wishes that we will never achieve.
We all constantly talk to ourselves and narrate everything that’s happening to us. (Let’s remember to use our inside voices so the men in white coats don’t come to get us.) This internal monologue can help or hurt us depending on:
Whose voices are you hearing?
What are you telling yourself?
Are you controlling the voices or are the voices controlling you?
We need to be aware of our internal monologue. Then we need to take control of it.
If you notice that the voice you just heard in your head telling you that you aren’t good enough is from your mom/dad/boss/teacher who always put you down, now is the time to create a strategy to erase that voice and replace it with a positive one…
As we talked about in my last post, Think Your Way to Your Best Life, everything you do and become begins with your thoughts.
If you constantly think negative thoughts, don’t be surprised if you get negative outcomes. I’m sure you’ve seen this in your own life. When you get in a funk and start complaining about things you can quickly get in a downward spiral that is difficult to get out of.
I caught myself last night thinking: “Who am I kidding with this new book I wrote? Who’s going to buy it? How will I launch it? How will I get speaking engagements lined up? How will I get all this to work?” I got myself into quite a depressed mood.
The good news is most of us have also experienced the opposite. We’ve had something good happen, we’ve focused on it, and then we’ve gotten on a roll. We feel like we’re in the zone and everything is working out for us.
Last night I was able to realize I was self-talking my way into a mini-depression and gave myself an internal pep talk: “Hey, your book is really good – people you respect have told you so. You’re getting great endorsements from Dave Ramsey, Tom Ziglar, Dan Miller and more. You have a plan. If you go one step at a time you will accomplish all your goals. Hang in!”
If you don’t like the results you are getting in life, take a look at what you’re thinking about. What are you telling yourself in your head all day at work? What do you tell yourself when things start to go wrong, or a problem comes up? What do you tell yourself when things are going well? How do those thoughts impact the actions you take and how you feel?
Change Your Thinking to Change Your Results
The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.
Action step: Pay attention to your internal talk for a couple of days. Actually write down what you’re saying to yourself all day long. Set your smart phone timer to go off every 15 minutes. Write down exactly what you’re thinking about when the timer sounds. When you catch yourself thinking positive or negative thoughts throughout the day, jot those down as well. At the end of the day, review your notes. What did you find out about your thoughts and your self-talk?
If you’re like most people and don’t actively work at controlling it, you were probably shocked at just how negative your self-talk is.
It doesn’t take long to turn around your thoughts, your attitude, your actions, and your results. Become intentional about what you think about all day long and watch the changes that follow.
In my next blog post we’ll go over action steps to change your self-talk to help you instead of hurt you.
What do you do to focus your thoughts where you want them to take you?