Stop It With The Negative Self Talk!

We all know that other people's words can have a drastic impact on us. So many people have had confidence issues and have not followed their passions due to somebody telling them they can't, that they're not good enough, they are ugly, selfish or whatever else. Whether the person saying these things were a teacher, parent, friend or enemy it sticks with us. Right?

But do you know who's words will have the most impact on you? Yourself.

Do you ever find yourself thinking 'I'm never going to get anywhere?', 'I'm so stupid' or 'I look disgusting!'

If you have, answer this.

Would you talk to your best friend like that? Hopefully not, so why would you talk to yourself like that? It's not cool, it's not helpful and the outcome is likely to be stress, lack of motivation, anxiety or even depression.

Your own self talk has a huge impact on you, how you feel and the actions you take.

Your subconscious mind does not know the difference between what is imagined and what is real. Any thought or visual image you create, you are programming into your subconscious which then stores them and organises them. The predominant ones become your beliefs.

But here's the crazy part... Our brains are given millions of pieces of stimuli a second to process and it can not process them all. The reticular activation system sets in to literally filter out the rest of the information that it can't process, but how does it decide which pieces of information to filter out? It'll filter in whatever is in line with your beliefs. It wants to prove you right. This is why two people can have completely different accounts of the same scenario, and this is how your self talk shapes your reality.

If you tell yourself 'I'm not getting anywhere' your subconscious will look for evidence of this being true, while filtering out the evidence of it not being true. You will then be unlikely to spot opportunities, accept help given to you and to take the actions that you need that will actually get you moving forwards again. You will stop looking for solutions but convince yourself that they don't exist. The same goes if you tell yourself 'I'm too fat' or 'I can't relax in front of the camera' or anything else.

When I used to work as a personal trainer, I would NEVER tell clients when I was increasing their load/times/reps. I noticed that when I did they would tell themselves 'this is going to be harder' and would really find it difficult where if I said nothing, they would carry on as if nothing had changed.

I used to tell myself 'I can't do anything technical' so I switched off every time someone tried to teach me anything and would just pass it on to someone else... Until I told myself that I can do the tech stuff if I just concentrate and then guess what? All of the sudden, these things I'd been telling myself I couldn't do were so simple. Instead of limiting my thinking, I began to look for solutions!

Our thoughts create your beliefs which in turn control our perceptions and our actions.

Now do you see how destructive negative self talk can actually be?

Let's twist this now!

Can you imagine if you could take control of your thoughts and therefore this programming in your brain? Where would your limits be then? Could you become unstoppable if you were to filter in the opportunities, support, resources and people you need to help you make your goals a reality and to filter out the things that do not support you?

Be mindful of your thoughts and ask yourself if they are helpful and would you say this to your best friend? If not, consciously turn them around and keep repeating a more helpful statement instead.

'I'm too fat' could become 'I'm on my way to becoming fitter and healthier.'

'I'm not getting anywhere could become 'I've hit a slow point but by persevering things will pick up again soon'.

'I'm so stupid' could become 'I'm only human and I learn from my mistakes'.

Do you see the difference this can make? It takes a lot of practice to begin with but eventually it will become habit.

I challenge you to do this consistently for the next week and to record the difference it's made to your mood, your motivation and your results.

You weren't born to be ordinary... You were born to shine!

Eirian Cohen

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.