STOP TALKING DIRTY
It’s written that,
God gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did.
That’s what our self-talk is all about. It shouldn’t be motivational chatter but, instead, impassioned speech that pours out from the depth of your soul bringing dreams to life. Today I’m writing about, well, what you’re talking about, to yourself.
Back in 1911, Psychologists noticed that when Victorian women, who habitually wore large, feathered hats walked through doors, they ducked — even if they weren’t wearing the hat.
More recently, a study done by scientists in the Netherlands showed that, when women with anorexia walked though the lab doors, they turned their shoulders and squeezed themselves sideways, even when they had plenty of room.
Why am I sharing the information from those two scientific studies? That’s a great question. I’m glad you asked.
If you’ve read anything I’ve written or listened to my podcast, GET THE LEAD OUT, you’ll hear me quote the proverb, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he (and, yes, ladies, that goes for you too).” The way you think, all the time, has everything to do with where you are at in your life, right now and I’m not just talking about the flurry of thoughts that go through your mind day after day. I’m addressing that bucket of thinking that you carry around with you all the time.
- When you’re looking for a joke, you reach into the bucket.
- When you need to address someone because they hurt you, you reach into the bucket.
- When you speak to your husband, wife or someone you love, it comes from the bucket.
Most of us carry the same bucket around for years, never adding to or taking content away from it. We usually lock that thing up somewhere around our Junior year of High School and that, my friend, is who we are the rest of our life.
Does it have to stay that way? Of course not.
Will it stay that way? That is entirely up to you.
Here’s the thing. That bucket that we carry around is full of the thoughts we regularly use to define ourselves. In a sense, it’s not just a bucket that we carry but it’s a media player, playing back the playlist we have setup, that is our life.
Those Victorian women, wearing the big, feathery hats, they thought of themselves a certain way and so they acted out what they thought. You might argue that they weren’t thinking about anything but simply reacting based on previous experiences, when their hats hit the doorway that they were walking through… and I would agree with you. But they wore those hats which made them look bigger than they were, because they felt the need to appear a certain way based on how they thought inside.
How about the women dealing with anorexia, walking sideways through a door? There is almost never previous experience to make them ‘react’ that way. It is pure, 100% thought perception. As a man or woman thinks in their heart so are they. Lots of ladies think they are fat and so they kill themselves through slow starvation. We can talk about psychology, abuse, the needs of a person but at the end of the day no one can make those women think differently except for themselves.
That brings me to the very topic of this article, which is Self-Talk. The bucket I mentioned previously is always there and it’s contents are liquid. They can be added to and changed out at anytime and the way we do this is by our self-talk.
Some of you will know what that term means but for those that don’t, self-talk is the railway that links our conscious mind with our subconscious. It’s the conversation we have with ourselves on a regular basis that keeps on determining who we are. In order to change who were are, we have to change what we say to ourselves.
Anyone remember Jack Handey and his deep thoughts? If you ever watched SNL in the ‘90s you might have seen and heard some of his handy work. Here are a few of his quotes.
If you go parachuting, and your parachute doesn’t open, and you friends are all watching you fall, I think a funny gag would be to pretend you were swimming.
I guess I kinda lost control, because in the middle of the play I ran up and lit the evil puppet villain on fire. No, I didn’t. Just kidding. I just said that to help illustrate one of the human emotions, which is freaking out. Another emotion is greed, as when you kill someone for money, or something like that. Another emotion is generosity, as when you pay someone double what he paid for his stupid puppet.
I share these humorous, inspirational quotes to highlight an important truth about self-talk, which is, it’s not motivational thinking. Like I said earlier, self-talk is the railway that connects your conscious and subconscious mind. The train that travels along that railway are the thoughts you keep in your bucket.
But before I go on, let me take a quick rabbit trail. Did you know that Jack Handey is a real person? He isn’t just a fictitious character on SNL. He is alive today and lives in Sante Fe, New Mexico. I didn’t know that until I started doing research for this article. All I can say is huh, how about that.
Now, back to this self-talk thing. Your railway is always busy. It’s full of trains loaded with cargo. Your job, if you want to be different then you were back in High School (or for some, Middle School) is to derail some of those train cars and get new ones on the track. To put it another way, you need to get rid of some of the liquid in your bucket and put in the good stuff.
Alright! Enough of this theory crap. Let’s get down to brass tacks. What can you do right now to start changing your self-talk in a way that will change your life for the better?
Here’s three things you can start doing today to change your life forever.
- Think about one thing you really, really want to change in your life.
- Write a paragraph or three that describes who you are after that thing has been changed. Make sure to be passionate as you write this as if your life really depended on getting this done.
- Every day, as often as possible, get alone in a quiet place, close your eyes and speak your goal out loud. I can’t stress how important it is to say it out load. As you speak it out, see yourself being the person you are talking about. Get emotional here. If you can attach joy or peace or any other positive emotion to your statement, it will definitely come to pass. I will go so far to say that I guarantee it will come to pass. I know from experience.
Okay, there you. There’s some practical steps you can take to start changing who you are by changing your self-talk. Be warned. You will feel like giving up immediately. You will feel like a fool talking out loud to yourself. It will seem that all the forces of the universe are coming against you to get you to stop. You may even encounter some negative effects at first. But don’t give up. Your self-talk bucket will only change when the pain of staying the same is greater then the pain it takes to change.
Think about that for a moment. Your life will never change until the pain of staying the same is greater then the pain it takes to change. Let that sink in. Got it? Good. Now go and change your life.
Listen to GET THE LEAD OUT to get more focussed on thinking the right way.