The most important Conversation: the one you have with yourself

When I was young I ran with the wrong crowd. A job transfer for my dad allowed me to narrowly miss being sent to a military academy for behavior issues. Throughout High School I struggled trying to get excited and stay out of trouble. But it was in college where things changed.

Bud Gordon, a part-time teacher at Normandale Community College, sparked the change. He required us to read personal development books or the highest grade we would receive would be a C. If you earned the points for an A, you needed to read two personal development books.

I had the points for an A but only read one book and that book changed my life. It was “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David Schwartz. This is where I learned about the other critical communication, our self-talk.

We have something like 50,000 – 70,000 thoughts per day. And thoughts are the way we communicate with ourselves. If those words do not support us, we can literally make ourselves sick. As a young man I often heard how I was not a good enough athlete (ball player). And I wasn’t. I did not like playing ball. Oh, I tried baseball, basketball and football. Yet the “not good enough” message was contagious. Until I learned that I could change my world by changing my self-talk.

I learned:
• That I could walk across the room and ask the pretty girl out. And get a date!
• That I could plant confident thoughts in my head about a job interview and score the job while still going to school when    they  were looking for a graduate.
• That visualizing success would lead to trophies.
• That the internal dialog prior to a conversation is as important as the conversation.

Here are some tips to help you increase confidence and performance by improving your internal dialog.
1. Become aware of what you are saying in a situation. When you hear, “I can’t” or “I’ll try,” change it to “I will.” I had a spiritual teacher one time that called this re-languaging. Hearing one’s self say something that was not empowering and in the moment re-stating it from a more empowering frame.
2. Positive Affirmations – saying repeatedly that you can do it. Mohamed Ali was a master at this. His “I am the greatest” supported his status as the greatest of his time. My experience is that affirmations require the related emotion. If you are just saying I am the greatest without the enthusiasm, well, they are not quite as powerful. And when you get excited and your body feels excited, your mind will get excited. This is a little of the fake it until you make it.
3. Set aside time to mindfully direct your self-talk. Your subconscious will run it most of the day. If you can set aside a few minutes a day to re-program your thoughts and words by changing the conversation you have with yourself, look out world you are on the way.

If you would like to learn more about the power of your communication to impact your performance, lets connect john@johngies.com

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