We all talk to ourselves. Sometimes the self-talk is verbal and sometimes non-verbal. Non-verbal self talk are thoughts that pop into our minds from time to time and usually follow immediately after something happens such as a conversation, action, event etc. Verbal and non-verbal self-talk act as mini computer apps that infiltrate our subconscious (limbic system and brain stem) and program our minds a certain way. Self-talk can be positive or negative. Examples: “Why do I always say stupid things?” or “I always give great advice.”
This programming can strengthen or change our beliefs. Daily habits are directed by our beliefs. Habits are patterns of behavior. This behavior can be constructive or destructive. We have the capacity to consciously control and alter all verbal and non-verbal self-talk.
How to re-program your beliefs by changing your self-talk:
- Evaluate all verbal and non-verbal self-talk that occurs for one week. Maintain a log book and write down all self-talk that occurs for one week.
- Use a highlighter and highlight all negative self-talk that occurs during that week.
- In week two make an effort to catch yourself engaged in negative self-talk.
- Say “cancel” every time you catch yourself engaged in negative self-talk.
- Replace the negative self-talk immediately with positive self-talk to counter the negative programming.
- The positive self-talk must be in the present tense and represent a future state. This will be uncomfortable because you will be programming a lie. The subconscious cannot distinguish between the truth and a lie but the conscious (neocortex) can. The conscious will challenge the positive self-talk lie and will attempt to correct it by recalling from memory (our beliefs) previously programmed negative self-talk. Keep canceling the negative self-talk and replacing it with positive self-talk.
- Continue this process until the new positive self-talk re-programming begins to alter your beliefs. This can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days. Emotions accelerate your self-talk re-programming. When positive self-talk is coupled with strong emotion the re-programming takes hold much quicker.
- Once you change your beliefs, your behavior (your daily habits) will automatically change. Habits are directed by our beliefs.