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The Power of Self Talk

If it’s meant to be; it’s up to me.

That is probably the most famous quote by Terri Gullick. You’ve probably heard it hundreds of times, but do you really understand the meaning of that quote? To put it simply, if something has to go exactly as planned, in the end you have to make it happen. Mind you, this does not mean you have to do it yourself but you have to control the direction of your plan’s implementation.

Setting Goals and Achieving Them

Most people will approach the plan by establishing processes, allocating resources, putting in place measurable benchmarks as well as defining the success of the plan. However, not many do psychological preparation to achieve the target. A large majority of people are merely executives. They feel that the things they have to do in order to achieve something are merely tasks.

People who are passionate about the plan they are implementing are leaders. Leaders not only have to lead others, but also themselves in order to achieve something of significance. They believe that what they are doing will change their lives and the lives of others. That is the difference between executives and leaders.

Leaders often have little problem convincing others of their plans. However, sometimes even the best leaders have doubts of themselves. This can, and often will, limit the chances or degree of success that a leader can achieve. It is well documented throughout history that a great leader’s greatest enemy is often his or herself.

Regardless of how capable others say you are, you can only achieve your objectives if you believe in yourself. Without self-confidence, success will be harder to achieve or not as complete as you’ve planned it to be.

Overview of Self Talk

One of the ways you can use to improve self-confidence is by using a method called self talk. If you think this literally means talking to yourself, you’re right. However, many underestimate the power of words you say to yourself. There are two kinds of self talk:

  • Positive Self Talk
  • Negative Self Talk

Self talk can be a useful tool, yet, it can also be the reason to your downfall. It all depends on what type of self talk you engage yourself in. Positive self talk lifts you up, motivates and drives you to achieve your goals. Negative self talk, on the other hand, can make you feel down, demotivated and brings you that much closer to depression.

Probably you’re reading this and saying to yourself, “This Azmeen guy is going through one of those business and management mumbo-jumbo again!”. Well, this article can be that. It also can be one of those life-changing lessons that you wished you’ve known earlier. For me, it was the latter.

You Are What You Say You Are

Have you ever been in a situation when failure is not an option. It must succeed and nothing less than that is acceptable. I’m sure that when faced with such situation, you keep on telling yourself, “I must not screw this up!”.

Chances are you will put in a lot of effort to steer yourself towards success. Your mind and body will be pushed to the limit (and probably beyond). And more often than not, you will succeed. The degree of success may vary though, again, depending on the degree of effort you’ve put into the endeavour.

Whether you believe it or not, a significant amount of that success can be attributed to the self talk you’ve given yourself. It’s definitely a powerful tool to motivate and consequentially makes you very much focused on the goal you’ve set.

Taking It A Step Further: Turbocharged Positive Self Talk

Most highly driven individuals will not be happy to just succeed. They want to excel. They want to set standards, and a very high one at that. More importantly, they’re not out there to make others happy. They want to make themselves happy. And their happiness is not easily achievable for mere mortals.

These individuals engage in self-talk too. Whether they admit it (or realise it) or not is another issue, but believe me, they do! However, they type of self talk they engage themselves in is not the same as others. Often, it is along the lines of, “By October 23rd, I will make sure this project produces a net profit of at least RM2 million and be engraved in the minds of everyone here even beyond their retirement!”. I call this Turbocharged Positive Self Talk.

Notice the differences between the average positive self talk and the turborcharged positive self talk? Yes? Are you sure you’ve picked up all the differences?

Anatomy of a Turbocharged Positive Self Talk

There are a few notable differences between an average self talk and a turbocharged one. They are as follows:

  • Active engagement of success instead of passive failure avoidance.
  • Defines the outcome of goal achievement.
  • Defines a timeline or deadline to achieve the goal.
  • Uses past tense. It’s as if the objective has already been achieved.

These key ingredients are what really sets turbocharged self talk apart from the average self talk. They help tune your brain to understand the goal and the implications of achieving it. More importantly, it gives positive motivation by defining the goal and the benefits gained from achieving it.

Also worth noting is that turbocharged positive self talk clearly defines when the goal should be achieved. Open ended goals will never be achieved. The importance of setting a deadline can never be over-emphasised. Asked any organisational expert and they will tell you that goals must be clearly defined not only by achievement definition but also in a time sensitive manner.

Start Engaging Yourself in Turbocharged Self Talk Today

Everyone has things he/she needs to accomplish on an almost daily basis. So, there’s definitely ample opportunity for you to start practicing turbocharged self talk. Start by defining a specific goal you must achieve today. Identify when you have to achieve it. Characterise the picture of successfully completing this goal.

Envision yourself in this picture of success. Repeat this turbocharged self talk in your mind consistently, and when you have the privacy, say it out loud! Make it your mantra of the day.

The mind is a powerful tool. Most people just don’t realise how different their lives can be when they engage in turbocharged positive self talk. Don’t you ever wished you can escape mediocrity and be categorised as a top performer?

Now that you’ve discovered a useful weapon to achive this; What’s stopping you?

3 responses to “The Power of Self Talk”.

  1. abhishek Says:

    or it might mean that you outsource your work and make it happen 😉

  2. HTNet Says:

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  3. Ahuli Pitt Says:

    When I was working with troubled youth a few years ago, I was given the priviledge of attending a two day workshop on suicide prevention. The main thing I learned was to get said person talking and being a good listener—–reading between the lines, so to speak, as to what the person was Really saying.

    The Anatomy of Depression