My point in Part I of this post was simple: What we think is more important than what we do,
Our Programming is the basis of our Actions.
because ultimately what we think will effect what we do. If I think I am a loser, then I will eventually act that out in my life with self-sabotaging behavior. If I think I am competent and confident, then I will act that out by being willing to accept risks and being able to bounce back from failures.
According to psychologists, the deep programming of our mind comes from all the influences in our lives, especially when we are under age six. What if I grow up in an abusive or negative home? Am I just stuck with bad programming and therefore destined for a life of difficulty and failure? The answer is of course not, but it takes some doing to reprogram our minds.
As we get older, the best way to change our thinking is to change our self-talk. Now, I know, I know, self talk has a bad rap from Stuart Smalley on Saturday Night Live saying, “I am good enough, I am smart enough and gosh darn it, people like me!” Real self-talk is not quite that simple.
Self-talk is the way we think and speak about ourselves based on our programming. To change our programming, the most effective way is to change our self-talk. Most people’s self-talk is quite negative and debilitating, but really successful people talk to themselves differently. Successful people tend to affirm their strengths and not get caught up perseverating on their mistakes and short-comings. Successful people have a positive “can do” outlook that allows them to take risks and achieve heights that others are afraid to even try.
So, Dads let’s try a little experiment. For the next week, I want you to really focus on and record how you talk and think about yourself. Analyze the findings and take the two most negative phrases you commonly use and replace them with “I can” or “I am statements”. For instance, if you are constantly saying or thinking things like “I am so disorganized”, change it to “I am becoming more organized”. This is not a semantic trick, it is feeding your subconscious mind a different message.
I have been focusing on my self-talk for the last couple of months and I can already see differences in my outlook, level of positivity, patience and ability to withhold judgment. No question I benefit from this change in mindset, but so do my kids. I want to leave a legacy of positive, can do programming for my children.