3 Ways to Control Self Talk

Every man is what he is, because of the dominating thoughts which he permits to occupy his mind.
— Napoleon Hill

We all do it. We talk to ourselves. I used to love the movie “Look who’s Talking” that had the internal thoughts of a baby throughout the entire movie. I thought it was hilarious. Self talk is a lot like that. And guess what? We all do it… almost all the time.

Sometimes I will do something fun with my wife and give her my ‘train of thought’. This is always funny because we can go from talking about the weather to me blurting out that l’ve always wanted to build a yurt… yes it goes that far! I will then walk her through my self talk from the weather to yurts so she can see how I got there.

Self talk slips into tons of situations every day. Picture this. You are standing in the line to get coffee and you realize there is a new drink on the menu. Now you order the same thing every time you come, but this morning it causes you to pause. You have a small conversation with yourself that might look like this:

“No need to look because I always get the same thing”

“But should I branch out and try new things”

“My wife says I don’t try new things”

“I should get it just to tell her I did”

“Is that spiteful of me?”

“Do others think I’m spiteful.”

“Have I ever spited them… is that word?”

And on and on it goes. You then go and order your coffee like any other day. Now this one is harmless. But let’s look at a different one.

You are about to give a key presentation as a leader. Right before you take the attention of people you know and respect you realize your boss is staring a hole into your head and he doesn’t have a fun expression on his face.

“Wow he looks upset”

“Why is he staring at me”

“Does he think I will bomb this?”

“Will I lose my job if I bomb this?”

“Josh got let go last year after giving that presentation and he was great”

“I have never been that good at speaking”

"I think i’m going to be sick”

This one feels a little closer to reality. Let’s look at 3 ways to help control your self talk.

  1. Affirmations

    • Affirmations are just sets of phrases that you read in the morning when you wake up to help train your mind. I personally use an edited version of one of Hal Elrod’s affirmations found here. The goal here is consistency. Through repetition and consistency it will slowly help transform your subconscious thoughts.

  2. Awareness

    • Awareness is simply the ability to have a firm knowledge of who, what, where, and why you are were you are in any situation. When you take time in the moment to be aware of your thoughts and what they are saying you begin to take control of your self talk.

  3. Journaling

    • Sometimes our thoughts need to come out. To be give words to how you feel or what you are going through is very powerful. There is sound research that journaling positive thoughts before you go to sleep at night will help you get a better nights sleep.

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