Many of us do things that we regret, often without thinking, and wonder later why we made such a silly decision, acted in such an unpleasant way or avoided something that we should have done to achieve success in our lives. This kind of behaviour is often the result of ‘programs’ which we have installed in our brains over the years, based on old doubts and fears, or what I can simply call, ‘ego conversations’. The problem is that our fears and ego conversations create short but powerful word-strings of ‘self-talk’ which are often subliminal, meaning that we are not even consciously aware of them. Self-talk points to underlying programs and are often negative or confrontational depending on whether they are linked to our doubts, fears or simply our egos.
You can recognise these programs by words such as ‘I can’t’, ‘I ought’ or ‘I have to’.
‘I can’t do this’
This statement is based on feelings of doubt, fear or low self-esteem resulting from earlier failures. What we need to understand is that failure is a necessary part of life, and they happen frequently when we are young and inexperienced. The problem is that we generalise these failures to become a ‘program’ in our minds, one which is disempowering. As you can imagine, unconsciously heeding the self-talk associated with this program sabotages your initiative and consequently your business or career.
‘People will judge me’
This is a program kept by a person who bases his or her self-image and success on the opinions of others. This is not a good place to be, as critics will always be there, and they can be off-putting for their own reasons which have nothing to do with you.
‘I have to take control of this situation’
This word-string points to a program in which one feels out of control but has a strong ego which wants to assert itself. The problem with this program is that it can make you behave in such a way that it affects your work and home relationships, as no-one wants to be ‘controlled’ by others. It could also make you irritated and angry if the other persons involved, or the situation itself, are not going your way.
‘I am a man and no-one talks to me like this’
This is unfortunately a culturally conditioned program in which you have been led to believe over the years that a ‘real man’ does not take any nonsense. As before, this self-talk is likely to lead to confrontation in your home and working relationships, both of which will affect your chances of success.
How to reprogram self-talk
This type of negative self-talk puts limits on you and can become self-destructive, sabotaging your home life as well as your career. Unhelpful programs which give rise to this type of self-talk will have to be removed and replaced with new more positive ones if you are achieve success, and this has to be done at their source, which is your subconscious mind.
The first step is to identify the negative program
This is difficult as we are not always aware of them, so we have to fool our subconscious mind into thinking that we are actually in a situation which will normally ‘cue’ our self-talk.
We have all woken up with feelings of fear during a bad dream or a nightmare, which shows that our subconscious minds cannot really tell the difference between a real-life situation and an imaginary one. So we will have to make use of this ‘loophole’ in its workings to get what we want.
The easiest way is to conjure up an imaginary scene which will fool our subconscious minds into activating our subliminal programs so that we can examine them. We all have the power to create images in our minds, this is called visualisation, and if we are successful, our subconscious minds will respond to a visualised scene as if it were real. At that time our subconscious programs will kick in, and we can write down the words of our self-talk before our subconscious minds realise what is happening.
You will have to be in a very relaxed state of mind for this to happen. Do some relaxation exercises and try to clear your mind of all thoughts. Now imagine yourself in an argument or a crisis either at home or at work, depending on where you are having the most problems. See yourself clearly in the imagined scene and try to actually feel the emotions such as anger, doubt or fear.
Now stop and ask yourself what are the first words that come into your mind while you are in this state. Write them down. This will be your self-talk from the hidden programs in your subconscious mind which normally affect how you deal with crises or situations in your home or working life.
Now stop the visualisation and examine what you have written down. You should immediately see that the self-talk is negative and possibly confrontational and will not be helpful for success in your relationships at home or at work. Nor will they be motivational in any way.
You now have to consider and weigh up the costs to your home and social life or career of keeping these unhelpful programmes and see if you are ready to make a decision to change them.
Once you have made the decision, write down new word-strings (self-talk) that counter the earlier self-talk and that you believe will be more helpful to bring about success. Once again, we will have to use subliminal mind-techniques to change these deep-seated programs and combat any feelings of low self-esteem, doubt, fear or conceit.
Arrange your new word-strings in the form of positive affirmations. Keep them short, to the point and in the first person. Affirmations are statements about yourself that are positive and uplifting, and if repeated often over a period of weeks with sincerity and emotion, are eventually accepted into your subconscious mind.
Using the earlier examples I provided, the following would be suitable affirmations:
‘I am capable and can do anything I set my mind to’
‘People love and respect me’
‘I allow others to be what they can be’
‘I am confident enough to allow for the opinion of others’
These are only a few examples and you should make your own affirmations which are more suited to your self-talk:
Repeat your new affirmations at least three times a day while looking in the mirror. Do this for at least 3 weeks. Keep reinforcing these affirmations until you feel a change in your attitude towards people or challenging situations.
Remember that positive thoughts lead to positive actions and this will increase your chances of success.