Hearing a voice inside your head does not mean you are crazy- it means that you are normal. It is called your internal monologue. Aristotle referred to it as your “inner speech.” Dr. Stephen Gislason points out in his book Neuroscience Notes, that this human faculty of self-reflection is one of the most important, yet least recognized features of the human mind.
Many successful individuals utilize the power of self-talk to achieve their goals. It is very true: as powerful as any advice from others may be, your own inner voice can quickly overrule any encouragement. Just think of the last time you experienced the “Impostor Syndrome,” that voice that told you that you were not good enough. The reason your inner voice is so powerful is because it is the safest and most believable voice you know- it is after all, the voice you have known all your life!
The mega-successful Tony Robbins shares about how crucial self-talk is for his own success. In his method which he refers to as“Incantations,” he repeats to himself on his slow jogs,
“I now command my subconscious mind to direct me in helping as many people as possible, by giving me the strength, the humor, the brevity, whatever it takes to show these people, to get these people to change their life now!”
Self-talk is a catalyst for success. Whatever your career goal is, begin to tap into your greatest resource- your inner voice.
Implement these 7 forms of self-talk today:
1. The Teacher.
The instructional self-talk where you are walking through a learning process step by step. It is easy to gain instruction from a manual, a book, or from a teacher, but strengthen the learning process with some real-time commentary to yourself. Break down the information into chunks, do not just walk through them, but talk through them!
2. The Motivator.
Do not be so hard on yourself when you make mistakes. It is so easy to begin to call yourself “stupid” or an “idiot.” Instead, reflect on where you went wrong and pick yourself up with this motivator inner voice. Remember, success is a journey just as much as a destination. Overcome that voice of doubt.
3. The Parent.
The voice of discipline. Whenever you find yourself procrastinating and being lazy, bring in a voice of self-discipline. Even imagine yourself as your own parent expressing disappointment. Drive yourself to do better. Learn to say “No” to yourself.
4. The Friend.
Work hard and play hard. Take time to stop and smell the roses and be a friend to yourself. Give yourself a gift of some chocolate after your hard work. Boost your own self-esteem. Pat yourself on the back.
5. The Challenger.
Careful of falling into that plateau and never improving. Challenge yourself to keep setting the bar higher and take on the self-talk of a competitor with yourself. Many bodybuilders will use this form of self-talk to crank out those extra sets on the bench press.
6. The Devil’s Advocate.
It is easy to become dogmatic and blind to your own beliefs. The reality is that we are always biased toward what we believe; we do not always know what is best for us. Stretch that narrow thinking and potentially open doors to better resolutions by arguing with yourself from another perspective. Your way may not be the best way, but paradoxically, your other self may have the answer.
7. The Future Self.
Everyone has a vision of where they would like to be. The goal that you are heading toward. Take on that persona and talk to yourself as if you have already achieved your goal. Step completely outside of yourself and talk about yourself in second and third person- “Wow, Sarah is an incredibly successful woman.”
Now that you have these different angles and approaches to successful self-talk, a practical and helpful way to implement this into your life is to write down a phrase for each form of self-talk. One for the teacher, one for the motivator, etc. Memorize your positive phrases. Remember, everyone talks to themselves. But becoming increasingly aware of your own self-scripts and making sure you are filtering out any negatives will be a game-changer!