What we say to others is not nearly as important as what we say to ourselves.
All day, every day, our minds are flooded with thoughts that direct us to leading the lives that we live.
What we tell ourselves determines our successes…and our failures.
If you want to make an improvement in any aspect of your life, it’s essential to always start by changing your self talk if you want to succeed.
How? Well, when there’s a will, there’s a way.
What is it?
We talk to ourselves at the rate of 150-300 words a minute, or nearly 50,000 thoughts per day.
While you are reading these words, you are having a simultaneous dialog about what you think of this writing while also being distracted by the most important items on today’s “to do” list, as well as other pressing matters.
This internal thinking, or self talk, occurs through the conscious area of our mind.
What most people are unaware of is our self talk becomes instructions to our subconscious, whose duty is to carry out the “orders” given to it by the conscious area of our mind. The subconscious is our own personal servo-mechanism that works on our behalf 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
How does it work?
Imagine an ocean liner crossing the sea, with the captain of the ship barking our commands to the crew. The crew, however, is located in the hold of the ship, below the water line, unable to see where the ship is going.
The captain is the conscious area to the mind. In this example, the crew is like the subconscious.
So when the captain commands to the crew, “Full speed ahead, 15 degrees to the North,” the crew simple responds, “aye aye, sir” and carries out its orders precisely.
The crew does not care if it runs the ship into the rocks, collides with another vessel, or gets the ship safely to its destination. It is totally non-judgmental and does not question “the boss.”
This is a powerful metaphor of the relationship between the conscious and subconscious areas of the mind. These are not two separate minds, but rather, two spheres of the same mind.
So, what we say to ourselves or how we may describe ourselves to others occurs through the conscious level of thought. If we are repeatedly saying…
“I can’t do this.”
“My marriage is falling apart.”
“I never seem to have enough money.”
…then these become “instructions” to the subconscious, whose duty it is to work tirelessly to ensure these “instructions” are brought into reality.
It doesn’t question whether these are “good” or “bad” instructions (for us). It simply carries out what we have instructed it to do.
Why does it matter?
It’s important to note that we don’t get what we want in life. We get what we expect, unless what we want and what we expect are the same.
It is also important for us to realize that our self concept is created by our own self talk, and it is our self concept that determines our level of performance in any area of our lives.
We have hundreds of individual self concepts. For example may have a high self concept of ourself in social situations, e.g. “I am an excellent conversationalist.” Conversely, we may have a low self concept professionally, e.g. “I am never going to get promoted. There are so many people who perform better than me.”
Our subconscious then works hard to ensure our performance is consistent with our self concept, whatever that may be–for better or for worse.
Change your life…by changing your thoughts.
We did not come into the world with a belief, an attitude, or an opinion about anything. We were a completely empty vessel.
We were not born a Democrat or a Republican. We were not born a Catholic or a Protestant. We weren’t born with a set of beliefs about how the world should be.
As children, through the data input we received from our well-intended parents, siblings, and other role models, we began to form some concepts about who we were, areas that we seemed to excel in, and areas where we simply came up short.
By the time we reached six years of age, many of our early self concept) had been formed. And they weren’t formed by the words we heard from others, but how we interpreted those words with our own self talk.
It is our self talk that creates our self concept, and there is a one-to-one relationship between our self concept(s) and our level of performance.
If we want to improve our level of performance or effectiveness in any area of our life, we need to improve our self concept. We improve our self concept by deliberately creating new language that describes our new desired result. Through repetition our revised self talk provides new instructions to our subconscious, which immediately goes to work to fulfill these “new orders”.
The subconscious is totally non-judgmental. It does not argue what is right or wrong, or what may be best for us. It simply works to effect what it has been told by the conscious area of the mind.
If you want to change your life, start by changing the way you talk to yourself. I bet you’ll be amazed by the results.
, author C. James Jensen provides the reader in great detail the relationship between these two areas of the mind along with step by step procedures to make the positive changes in our lives that we desire.
Photo by martinak15