"People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily."
– Ziz Ziglar
In our current state of Lockdown it's most important that we master the art of continuous positive self-talk. When we can master this art we then have the ability to provide ourselves with a never ending stream of self-motivation. According to Gregory L. Jantz Ph.D:
“Our internal dialogue, or personal commentary, frames our reactions to life and its circumstances. One of the ways to recognize, promote, and sustain optimism, hope, and joy is to intentionally fill our thoughts with positive self-talk”
Just as we are continuously constructing images in our heads, we are also constantly talking to ourselves in our heads. Some of us even do it out loud. And my guess is that our self communication is not always positive, especially with what's going in the world right now. This pandemic has had a devastating effect, and most if not all of us have been sent into a daily spin of anxiety and grief which is being fueled by our daily news feeds.
What you may not realise is that the things that we say to ourselves influence our behavior and attitudes a great deal. And when you speak to yourself about yourself, it is particularly significant, because whatever you say becomes part of your perception of yourself.
These self-descriptions then become your reality, because they are a form of what we might call self-programming. For example, suppose you often say to yourself something like 'I am just no good at remembering names'. Do you realise that this operates as a self-instruction? That is, each time you say that to yourself (or out loud to someone else about yourself) your brain receives it like a computer receiving a line of code. Your brain hears it as 'do not be good at remembering names', and your will follow these exact instructions to the letter. You then begin to get worse at remembering names.
Imagine that your self-talk is like the constant flow of electricity to your house. It is a power supply that has the ability to fuel anything it is connected to. You decide what you want to connect the power source to. So, electricity has the ability to power a hairdryer, a TV, a kettle, a car or even a weapon of mass destruction – and so does your self-talk. Most of us spend very little time analysing and making sure that our thoughts are positive and it is very easy to become swept away on a surge of negative self-talk at crucial times in our lives. If we train ourselves to be aware of what our thought patterns are and the quality of our self-talk vocabulary, we will be more likely to live a happier life.
Spin an uplifting story that runs like a movie script. Some visualization will be helpful. You build on a story with a positive outline. The longer you can tell this story to yourself the better. It is also best if you can make this story one about having all your goals achieved.
My top 5 tips for cultivating positive self-talk
1. Start each morning with 3 relevant affirmations. You can substitute shorter affirmations for the longer scripts as mentioned above.
2. It is important to recognise and then tell yourself over and over again that any challenges you may have faced in the past have made you stronger and wiser and therefore have equipped you to deal with upcoming challenges in a more positive way. This is the perfect attitude to adapt to situations like our current pandemic, or something which now sounds trivial by comparison like public speaking, job interviews and even dating.
3. If a particular situation has not gone your way in the past – just say to yourself 'I am much better than that outcome', and you will get it right the next time.
4. Be very careful who you listen to – sometimes we can leave ourselves open to taking on other people’s negative opinions about us. This can have devastating effects on our self-esteem and ability to succeed in both the long and short term.
5. Please remember that rubbish in = rubbish out. Our PPL (personal performance levels) are directly linked to our Beliefs and our beliefs are fuelled by our PST (positive self-talk).
To learn more about the key to achieving your best year, click here.