Self Talk 101: Why You Need To Believe In Yourself


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.

self talk

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.

Related: The Importance Of Optimism: How To Think Positive Thoughts

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.

Related: 4 Steps To Getting Rid Of Negative Thoughts

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.

Related: The Power Of Positive Thinking: 10 Ways To Transform Your Thoughts

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.”

Related: Stop Thinking These 5 Thoughts To Be A Better Person At Work

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.

Related: 4 Reasons Why You Should Stop Trying To Change People

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.


jim jensenIn his new book, Beyond the Power of Your Subconscious Mind
, 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

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  1. Thank you! I believe the benifit of positive thinking is just plain common sense, however, those of us that learned to think differently growing up (or have been exposed to a dysfunctional relationship causing us to alter our way of thinking) need to make a conscious effort for this to become our default way of thinking. Those of us having to retrain ourselves need to keep in the forefront of our minds that this is an ongoing learning process. We need to remember to recognize and accept when we have negative talk in an unexpected situation. That doesn’t mean we failed, that means we’re learning. We need to continually evaluate and enforce our new way of thinking through every new situation. That isn’t to say that this way of thinking will never come natural as I fully “expect” to achieve that!

  2. The basic concept high lighted in the article is correct but the anatomy explanation is pure bunk.

    This is a powerful metaphor of the relationship between the conscious and subconscious areas of the mind. These are not two separate minds, but, two spheres of the same mind.

    You in fact have 4 brains which are interconnected but distinctly separate, you have one mind no spheres. Please do not mix up the two terms once you get the mechanics straightened out fantastic things can be done.

    The metaphor of a captain giving orders to a “really dumb” crew is correct. Think about it in computer terms you have the equivalent of a super computer in hardware inside your skull and a completely dysfunctional set of soft ware…in fact your software contains flat out wrong wrong data and instruction sets.

    My field of expertise is the processing of pain signals to achieve extraordinary healing….here’s the basic information needed to fix most anything.

  3. hang on a minute – I didn’t get ‘what I want’ when my elder brother (fitter and much healthier than me) died in an accident last Christmas eve. Neither did I get what I ‘expected’ to get. I has been a heck of a shock and has destroyed how I ‘expected’ my life to go in the near to medium future, at the least..
    Your thesis seems to assume that the things that happen in our lives and, as a result, shape our lives, are somehow always brought into being by ourselves, and not by events and causes independent of what we ourselves do. A fundamentally self-absorbed and self-centered viewpoint. ‘You are the master of your own existence!’..Really? Sorry, mate; most of the time, for most of us, we’re not. Stuff just happens.

    • If you were raised to believe that when a loved one dies, one should feel only gratitude for having known them and should happily celebrate the life they led while they were alive, then that’s probably what you would feel. A “It was good while it lasted” attitude, “I’m so glad I got to know him”. But I bet you were raised to feel grief and loss when a loved one dies and I bet you are totally subscribed to that belief. Unless you decide to change the way you think about the death of loved ones, you will continue to feel terrible every single time one of your loved ones dies, because that is how you expect yourself to feel. That is what the article means by “you get what you expect”.

  4. I have applied this idea for my entire life, having never realised until today that someone has studied it to any degree. I have exposed it to my children who have applied it in their lives. I believe the idea has material merit unfortunately it’s kind of fatalist in its proof.
    However think of it this way, as this is something i can attest to. Merely believing you can achieve something and reaffirming this in how you discuss with yourself provides the positive approach that more often than not produces the positive outcome. To this I can attest. I discuss this with my children and they would concur if only around the positive approach and outcome link. Try it guys what have you got to lose, no one even knows you are doing it. 🙂 perfect for the not so sure 🙂

  5. This may sound like fiction but in my case it is a reality. I asked my doctor why I itch so much when I go to bed each night. He said it was my nerves and when I went to bed this is the time when I am completely relaxed. He was right. When I lay down I tell my brain that I don’t want to itch there anymore and it took a couple of weeks and sure enough it worked. I’ve done this for different reasons but little change took place, or so I thought. In a nutshell, me (my conscious) mind told my subconscious mind what to do. I didn’t know any of this until I read my email info on this. Try it!!!

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