The hard part about self-talk is that it always feels true. Even though your thoughts might obviously be biased or incorrect, you tend to assume that they’re facts. Self-talk is often skewed towards the negative, and sometimes it’s just plain wrong. That’s why it’s useful to keep an eye on the things you tell yourself, and challenge some of the negative aspects of your thinking.
Back in 2009, during the height of the recession, I was watching the financial melee play out on the various news programs. Many of them were broadcasting personal impact stories, so that listeners could get a feel for how the economic crises was affecting everyday Americans.
I’ll never forget one broadcast in particular…
The journalist was interviewing a union worker who had just been told his company was closing the factory where he worked. He would be losing his job unfortunately. Lamenting over the fact that the company’s management still had their jobs, this bit of junk speech came out of his mouth:
“This is what’s wrong with this country! All of us little guys lose our jobs and the big cats still have their jobs. The big guys need to help the little guys!”
Friends, I’m not in the prediction business, but I would bet dollars-to-donuts that this gentlemen is still, to this very day, a “little guy”.
How can I make such a bold prediction? Because that man wove his “little man” condition into his life, with his very own words.
Don’t Say Anything About Yourself That You Don’t Want To Come True
Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” And Brian Tracy said, “Never say anything about yourself that you don’t want to come true.”
Indeed, research has shown that it is our thoughts that drive our emotions, and our emotions that drive our actions. Therefore, if we want to act in a way that will bring us the most success, we have to control our emotions by learning to control our thoughts.
And how do you control your thoughts? With what you say. Let me repeat that – you control your thoughts, and therefore your life, with what you say.
While positive self-talk is one of the very best ways to improve your emotions and build your self-confidence, negative self-talk works just as effectively in the opposite direction. “I’ll never be successful.” “I’m not the type of person that can speak in front of people.” “I’m not good with money.” If these are the types of things you are telling yourself repeatedly you’re bound to actually start believing them. You begin doubting yourself and you in turn limit your actions, thus inhibiting your own success – which makes it imperative to stop saying these destructive, “junk talk” statements.
What You Say About Yourself Is True… For You
So, how does one eliminate these junk statements from your speech? By realizing that those types of statements are not an absolute truth. They are only true in the context of that person. And that’s exactly what I tell people that come to me for advice and then start bad mouthing themselves. Here’s what those conversations look like:
“I can’t save any money. Once the kids are gone and my house is paid off, maybe then I can focus on wealth building. There’s just too much going on right now!” To which I reply, “You are right. You won’t become wealthy now. That’s a truth for you, but that’s not an absolute truth. What is absolutely true is that there are many people with children and mortgages that have saved and built wealth. Therefore, your statement is only true for you.”
And like this…
“I can’t get ahead because I pay too much #$%! taxes!” To which I reply, “You are right. You won’t get ahead. That’s a truth for you, but that’s not an absolute truth. What is absolutely true is that there are many people that get ahead while also paying a lot of taxes. Therefore, your statement is only true for you.”
You see what I do here? I inoculate their “truth” with the real truth. Just like the quote, “the truth shall set you free”, the real truth can set a person free from the limiting beliefs they have about themselves.
Come Out From Behind That False Truth
Jim Rohn used to tell the story about a person seeking his advice, complaining about not being paid more by his company. “The company won’t pay a salary of $100,000!”, yelled the man. Rohn asked him if the company paid other people in the company a $100,000 salary and the man consented that they do. To which Rohn replied, “It’s not that the company won’t pay $100,000, they just won’t pay you $100,000.”
The moral of this story? This man needed to stop limiting himself with convenient “truths” that disguised the real truth – that he had not developed and demonstrated a level of value to the company that was commensurate with the higher salary he desired. Jim Rohn was effectively saying “Come out from behind that false truth. Accept the freeing benefits of the real truth and get busy becoming the person you need to be to achieve your goals.”
“Tell the negative committee that meets inside your head to sit down and shut up!” – Ann Bradford
Look, we all talk to ourselves. Know this – your voice is your life and what you say about yourself reflects you who are. Before you speak, ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary and is helpful. If the answer is no to any of these questions, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid. In its space, say something positive instead, like this – “I’m working hard towards to achieve financial freedom. My actions and positive outlook will take me there!”. And indeed it will.
Sound off in the comments section. Let me know what positive statements you make daily to ensure “junk talk” is never spoken from you.
Be free. Nothing else is worth it.
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