Self Talk Communication Skills


In the world of goal setting and habit changes, there are two things that are critical when it comes to the wording of your definition.

First off, you have to be incredibly specific.

Ambiguous concepts or vague language are only going to make it difficult to adhere to the best timelines for the things that you want to accomplish. This is one of the biggest criteria in the SMART method of goal setting, which you are probably pretty familiar with.

To expand on this, though, we need to be able to understand the result of using different forms of vocabulary when it comes to defining our goals. This is the concept of positive versus negative language and your words are intimately related to the idea of specificity.

We are going to take a look at two people who are, for the most part, very similar in social standing, means, ability, and talent. For this example, those two people are almost identical in the resources that they are able to use to reach their goals. Both of them have the same goal of running the Boston Marathon and finishing the race in less than four hours. They both come up with their goal.

Person number one says, “I want to complete the Boston Marathon in less than four hours this year.” 

Person number two says, “I will finish the Marathon this year and I will complete the race in the less than four hours.”

With everything else being completely equal between these two people, who do you believe is going to succeed in reaching their goals?

To figure this out, you have to look at the phrasing and specific language of their goal.

Positive language affirms the statement, is bolder, and is stronger.

Negative language leaves room for doubt, is weaker, and provides an excuse if things don’t go as planned.

The first person uses negative language by saying that they desire or want to reach a goal. They have already shown that they have their own doubts about the attainability of their goal, simply by phrasing as such.

The second person has created a firm stance in that they believe they will reach their goal.

They did not give themselves an alternative and they made a concrete decision that their actions have to create.

You have to be very careful about how you phrase your goals and fully realize that the power of words will determine your mindset.

For us humans, it is perfectly natural to experience doubts when it comes to making big important decisions in our life or choosing to tackle a big problem. Any goal that is truly meaningful is going to scare the crap out of you. That’s why it is important to take some time to think about the internal language that you use on a daily basis. Negative language is a pretty common thing when it comes to how we talk to ourselves.

You have to rewire your brain so that you think positively and begin to take a firmer stance on all of your decisions when it comes to reaching your goals. Not only is it important that you define your goals using positive language, but it is also just as important that you reinforce this positivity within your daily internal dialogue.

Whenever you start to think about your goal, or if you are faced with making a big decision, make sure that you pay very close attention to that voice you have in the back of your mind. What is the main type of language that you tend to use with yourself? If you find that it is mainly negative, then you need to take the time to rephrase those negative statements into something that is positive.

There are four main types of negative self-talk.

First you have blaming yourself. When there are times when you need to take responsibility, excessively blaming yourself isn’t productive. In fact, it is closely linked to depression. Be on the lookout for thoughts like, “it’s all my fault” or “I ruined everything.”

The second is looking for bad news. It’s easy to look at the bad things, even if nine good things happened and only one bad thing happened. Dwelling on those bad things keeps you stuck in the dark place. You need to step back and get yourself a more realistic and balanced outlook.

The third is unhappy guessing. While you don’t know what tomorrow is going to be like, you could find yourself predicting doom and gloom. If you start imagining that you are going to fall on your face during your presentation, this could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. You need to do like you did with the bad news, think about how the presentation could go well.

The last one is being exaggeratedly negative. This is where you tell yourself that a little thing that may have been slightly bad was completely terrible and a disaster. The more negatively you think something is, the worse it is going to feel.

Once you have spotted your negative self-talk, you can replace it with something true. If you find yourself saying, “I am never going to save enough money for that house,” you can change that and say, “I can come up with a clear plan to save money so that I can afford that house.”

When you change those overly negative thoughts with thoughts that are more realistic, you will be inspired to take positive action.


Change Your Habits in 30 Days By Tony Sanders 


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