We rarely think about how and why self-talk happens, or how it affects our life. But we all do it, and it does have positive or negative results. Some negative people are habitual pessimists while other positive ones are optimists. Most of us are somewhere in between … but every bit affects us in some way. Negative self-talk increases stress, and stress causes physical and mental problems, mistakes in judgment, poor choices, etc. Positive self-talk reduces stress, promotes resistance to illness, increases coping ability, better choices, etc.
“All we are is the result of what we have thought.” ~ Buddha
We don’t plan to talk to ourselves. It’s part of a process that just happens. Every thought is stored in your subconscious, and over time you’ve programmed your mind with a belief system about yourself, other people, and the world. Thoughts produce energy with a positive or negative vibration, and when you have thought about something, no matter how subtle, this energy produces a positive or negative response in your life.
Depending upon your thoughts and self-talk, you’re living in whatever energy vibration you’ve created. Some people who program their mind for success realize their shortcomings and their past mistakes, but don’t dwell on them. They develop abilities to work through their challenges and, for the most part, create positive outcomes in different areas in their life. They realize the goodness life offers, now and in the future.
But life is quite different for those who live with negative thinking and self-talk. They may feel regret and self-condemnation … victim, blame, and shame; or see themselves as inadequate, so usually anticipate the worst outcomes; and the future looks like more of the same. And it is.
We all fall somewhere in these categories, and use self-talk more often than we realize. When your mind wanders and you talk to yourself, maybe you forget it even happened, but your subconscious doesn’t forget. You may believe that changing your environment will change your life. But wherever you go, you take your mind with you. So re-programming your mind is the only answer to a fuller, more meaningful life.
Psychologist Dr. Shad Helmstetter, a pioneer on self-talk and a leading authority on the science of neuroplasticity and personal growth says it most precisely. Wanting to be a positive thinker isn’t enough. Making the decision to have a positive attitude isn’t enough. The human brain says: “Give me more. Give me the words. Give me the directions, the commands, the picture, the schedule, and the results you want. Then I will do it for you. Give me the words.”
“Tell the negative committee that meets inside your head to sit down and shut up.” ~Ann Bradford
1.) Re-Programming: You’ll be working on replacing the negative in your brain with the positive. So you need to know what’s in there. Each person is unique, so practice becoming familiar with what situations cause negative thinking, and make a list of them. Is it work, money, health, your own shortcomings, other people, etc, etc?
2.) Record the negative: Once you have this general list, monitor and record negative thoughts, feelings, and self-talk every day. Be as specific as possible with words, and add any other material, visual, audio, etc, that might come up.
3.) Replace with positive: Take each example on your negatives list and write a positive statement to replace it in a realistic way. Examples: Negative; I mess up everything I do. I’m just plain stupid, and I’ll never learn. Positive; I’ve done some good things in my life, and with my bright mind, I’m getting better all the time. Negative; I’m tired of going without. I guess I’ll be poor my whole life. Positive; I have all I need, and my good is now coming to me in many ways. I am grateful. Negative; I feel so tired and run down. I guess I’ll never have much energy. Positive; I am taking better care of myself, and I feel stronger each day.
Daily work: Practice vigilance each day and immediately correct any negative that comes up. Enjoy music, reading, exercise, fun people, whatever makes you smile. Use brief affirmations. And include spiritual if that’s part of your life. “I am healthy and energetic; I walk in the Light and my life is full and happy; I meet challenges with confidence,” etc.
In time, your outer world will reflect your inner re-programmed subconscious. Have fun watching your life become more positive.
Marilyn Fowler, Author of “Silent Echoes”
About “Silent Echoes”
Hang on. It’s a bumpy ride.
Silent Echoes is a memoir with psychological undertones spanning three generations. It begins with life in an orphanage and moves into the rich, sweet life of the 1920’s, through the tumultuous Stock Market crash and Great Depression years. The story recounts this historical period, and brings the national trauma to life through a vivid portrayal of one family’s personal struggle to go on as they fall from wealth to poverty and homelessness. It guides readers through this entire decade with a bone deep exploration into the family’s inner pain and desperation as their situation tests their strength to survive. Characters are portrayed with poignant care as they experience not only loss of material possessions, but of trust in a secure future, of loved ones through death and separation, losses that wound the very soul. As their story moves out of the Depression years through several wars and beyond, residual scars become apparent as they influence the character’s self-defeating choices for some years to come.
Silent Echoes follows the lives of two determined women, a mother and daughter, who are stubborn enough to get back up every time life dashes them to their knees, but with the ability to laugh through their tears, even when the sun doesn’t shine. They struggle to survive in a world that makes no sense, a world that seems stacked against them from the start. Insight into these characters is developed not with preaching, but through their response to life as they see it, revealing childhood fears and confusion hidden beneath their conscious awareness. The mother’s fear of abandonment and lack of self-worth, and the daughter’s sense of invalidation and feeling she must deal with life alone become defeating beliefs from their past. As these messages silently echo into the present, they are subtly revealed as motivators to lost opportunities, wrong turns in the road and disillusioned hearts. Every obstacle becomes a challenge to test the women’s weaknesses and strengths, to find meaning and become whole.
Silent Echoes explores life’s many seasons, some as sweet as summer’s tender touch and some as bleak as winter snow, but each with a lesson to be learned. It clearly portrays the character’s life situations as they scrounge to pay bills, assume the role of mother and father to their children, encounter stormy relationships, suffer emotional exhaustion, and deal with mother-daughter conflict and end of life issues involving elder care as the mother reaches declining years. When loss and defeat tear their hearts apart, they feel they can’t go on. But they do. They reach deep inside and find strength to rise above their plight, revealing inner ability and resourcefulness to survive, until insight brings understanding, forgiveness and beautiful freedom.
Silent Echoes’ setting takes place mostly in the southern culture of Florida, but moves through Detroit, Pennsylvania, Texas and Las Vegas on a most unstable journey that always brings the family back to their beloved south, the only place that feels like home.
Silent Echoes is a story in which readers will see themselves, feel the pain of the struggle, yet find reassurance that they are not alone and they too can survive. They will be entertained by the humorous situations that lighten the character’s burdens throughout their journey, like when the mother gives up her bra long before the Women’s Lib movement. This is a story readers will take with them and not forget.