How Positive Self-Talk Actually Works
How Positive Self-Talk Actually Works
Self-talk is a way for you to get positive new programs wired into your brain. Your brain records every message you give it. The part of the brain that records those messages doesn’t know the different between something that is TRUE, and something that is FALSE. Same goes for Positive or negative, bad or good, your brain just records it and then ACTS on it. Any message you send to your brain repeatedly (by reading, speaking, or listening) gets wired in, and your brain acts on it as though its TRUE…whether or not it is true to begin with.
All of our self-talk, conscious or unconscious, is helping to wire our brains.
I remember year ago when I really wanted to quit swearing. I didn’t do it a lot and I didn’t do it with my everyday conversation, but when I got frustrated, it would come out. I began the process of creating a new neuro pathway in my brain so when I would swear, I replaced it the words, “Jiminy Christmas.” I began the process of replacing cursing and profanity with “Jiminy Christmas.” My kids thought it was hilarious every time they heard me say it. And you know what it worked, by repetition and making an intended choice by focus, I was able to create a larger and stronger neuro pathway to help me form that habit and response.
Giving your brain the right self-talk messages physically wires your brain with positive, new neuro- pathways that in time become the new you but with better programs. Your daily success is based on the number of positive neuro pathways you wire into your brain. This is being referred to as Neuroplasticity. This is your brains ability to continually change and reorganize itself, both physically and functionally. The most important rule of neuroplasticity for rewiring the brain is REPETITION.
If you repeat something over and over to yourself, your subconscious mind will eventually begin to accept it as fact. When something has been accepted as truth by your subconscious mind, it will work overtime to transform the idea into physical reality.
Researchers have learned that in your brain, when you stop using an old program, you stop sending fuel to that program’s neuro pathway. You stop feeding it and in time your brain will delete it. This is known in the Neuroscience field as “pruning.” The brain will get rid of neuro-pathways you’re no longer using to make way for new pathways to form. The new program, new self-talk, with enough repetition, will become stronger than the old, negative, previous neuro pathway. That’s exactly what I did with my profanity and swearing, I pruned the old program and replaced it with the “Jiminy Christmas” program.
Here are some Basic Rules for you when it comes to Rewiring Your Brain:
1. Mindfulness = Being aware of being aware. The beginning of any change in our lives begins with being aware and taking notice. Being aware of what you were not before.
2. Choice = You have to make a conscious decision and choose to make new neuro pathways and get rid of the old, it’s up to you.
3. Intention = It will need to be a major focus and priority for you in your life. You will have to exercise all your attention on creating the new pathway and deleting the old.
4. Focus = This is where the principle of controlled attention comes into play.
5. Repetition = You just have to keep repeating the words you want to create a new neuro-pathway for. For example, anytime I saw anything out of the ordinary or something different, like driving in traffic, or somebody doing something, I would say to myself, “Jiminy Christmas.” After a while I was repeating several times daily, became my new program over time of how I reacted to things that would happen to me, either I would say it to myself or out loud.
6. Emotion and visualization = For anything to become a new habit or new neuro-pathway, the more you put emotion and can actually visualize yourself saying those things and then visualizing their affects on you and your surroundings, this helps to build those pathways faster and stronger.
7. Belief = You have to be in 100% no matter what and you have to believe in yourself that you can do this and that it is the best thing for you in your life.
Your attitude about what’s happening, how you feel about anything, is never up to what’s happening around you. What tells you how you feel about what’s happening is up to you and the attitude you choose! Your attitude is up to you!
Challenge for you today: Find something in your life you need to replace and create a new neuro-pathway for and then follow the basic rules above.
More examples of Positive Self-Talk for you to practice with:
“Today I make sure I am focused. When I have something that needs to done or accomplished, I put into practice the success principle of controlled attention. I focus all my energy and attention on one thing at a time. Because I have laser beam focus, I stay on task, I see what needs to be done and I get it done!”
“It’s not what has happened in my past that matters anymore, its how I move beyond it that counts. It’s not about what I have had to endure or be challenged with, its what I make a choice to do next that has the potential to create the incredible life I have before me.”
“If it’s to be, it’s up to me. I let nothing or no one take my goals and dreams away from me. I hold the key that opens the door to my own unlimited future. I see it, I claim it, the future is mine. What I do with it is up to me.”
Good luck with the Positive Self-Talk and enjoy the Monthly Wisdom Program this coming month. If you want more information on self talk check out the following book: “What To Say When You Talk To Your Self” by Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D