The Incredible Power Of Your Own Self Talk
by C. James Jensen • Seattle, WA
What we say to others is not nearly as important as what we say to ourselves. We talk to ourselves all day long at the rate of 150-300 words per minute, or, over 50,000 thoughts per day. While you are reading these words you are having a simultaneous dialog with yourself about what you think of this writing while also "discussing" internally the most important items on today's "to do" list as well as other pressing matters. This thinking, or, SELFTALK occurs through the CONSCIOUS area of our mind.
What most people are unaware of is our self-talk becomes an instruction to our SUBCONSCIOUS whose duty is to carry out the "orders" from the "Boss" or the conscious area of our mind, positive or negative. The subconscious is our own personal servo-mechanism that works on our behalf 24/7. It never sleeps.
Imagine an ocean liner crossing the sea with the Captain barking out commands to the Crew. The Crew may be located in the hold of the ship, below the waterline unable to see where the ship is headed. The Captain is analogous to the conscious area of the mind. In this example, the Crew is like the subconscious area of the mind. So, as the Captain commands to the Crew, "Full speed ahead, 15 degrees north, etc.," the Crew simply responds, "Aye, Aye, Sir" and carries out its orders PRECISELY. The Crew does not care whether it runs the ship into the rocks, collides with another vessel, or, gets the ship safely to its destination.
This is a powerful analogy of the relationship between the conscious and subconscious areas of our 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 never remember names."
" My marriage is falling apart."
" I never have enough money," etc., etc..
these statements become instructions to the subconscious area of our mind whose duty is to work tirelessly to insure these "instructions" are brought into "reality." It is important to note, we don't get what we want, 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 life. We have 100's of individual self-concepts which make up our overall self-concept. We may have a high self-concept of ourselves as a skier, ie., " I am an excellent skier." Conversely, we may have a low self-concept of our self as a golfer, i.e., " I am a lousy golfer. I seldom shoot under 100!"
Our subconscious then works hard to insure our performance is consistent with our self-concept, for better or for worse.
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 as a "Republican" or a "Democrat". We were not born a "Catholic" or "Protestant." We were not born with a set of beliefs of how the world should be. However, through the data input we received from well intended parents, siblings and others important to us as small children, 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-concepts had been formed. And, they weren't formed by the words we heard from others, but, rather how we interpreted those words with our own SELF TALK.
As stated previously, it is our own self-talk which creates our self-concept(s) and there is a one to one relationship between our self-concept 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 reprograms our subconscious with "new instructions" which our subconscious immediately goes to work to fulfill.
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 is being told to do by our conscious mind.
Jim Jensen, the author of 7 KEYS To Unlock Your Full Potential, began his career as a salesman with Encyclopaedia Britannica in his senior year of college. Within seven years he had become International Sales Manager in charge of worldwide sales. At the age of 28, he became Senior Vice President and CEO of Great Books of the Western World, a division of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Today, Jim provides executive coaching, consulting, and advisory services to emerging growth and mid-size companies. He is an active member of the World Presidents' Organization, and serves on the board of directors of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Aspen University, and is Vice Chairman of American Global Health Group.