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Self Talk Paves the Way

Updated on February 26, 2015
"Your beliefs become your thoughts, 
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions, 
Your actions become your habits, 
Your habits become your values, 
Your values become your destiny.” - Gandhi

In another words, we are in charge of our own destiny. But how, and where does one begin? There are some who would say that you are born and raised into your beliefs. So those beliefs are already formed once you are an adult. If you are not raised to be successful, are you ultimately destined to doom?

Clarifying the meaning of words

Success is such a heavy word and can mean different things to each individual. Measuring success can be such a personal thing in each endeavor. For example, if discussing the traditional story of the Three Little Pigs, one could identify the following as success:

  • the two other pigs getting away from the wolf and not being eaten
  • the brick house not falling down
  • the three pigs never seeing the wolf again

In fact, there are examples within that story of failure leading to success. The first pig's house fell apart and he ran off to be with his other brother with the house of sticks. When the house of sticks fell apart, the two brothers ran off to be with their eldest brother in the brick house. They didn't give up simply because there house fell apart. Failure can attract success, can lead to success, and they can exist together.

Merriam Webster defines success as: (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/success)

  • the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame
  • the correct or desired result of an attempt
  • someone or something that is successful : a person or thing that succeeds

So, what is self talk? Perhaps it has been called many different names. Some may say that it is your inner critic and others may say that it is positive thinking. These only differentiate connotation of positive and negative usage; sort of a glass is half empty or half full thinking. Three important things to know about self talk is:

  1. Self talk is inevitable. We all do it and sometimes without noticing. It can be that voice putting you down, the nervous cheerleading in your head, or that internal discussion of what to eat.
  2. Self talk is the first thing you hear when you wake up and the last thing you hear when falling asleep.
  3. Self talk can be used to elevate your esteem and motivation or the exact opposite.

The most common detrimental form of self talk that we are all guilty of is worry. Does worrying about something help you succeed at it? Worry leads to anxiety which most likely prepares you to fail. Rather than worrying about it, we could recognize what our concern is, prepare a plan for it, and embrace imperfection with confidence. The most important thing is the technique of self talk.

  1. Realizing when we are being negative (criticizing, worrying, demotivating) to ourselves and reversing the conversation
  2. Accepting that failure occurs and it does not have to be the ultimate result and talking ourselves into trying again. The only failure is the lack of perseverance, or giving up.
  3. Beginning each day and ending each day with positive self talk. One must be their own biggest cheerleading in life.

"The pursuit of happiness is a matter of choice...it is a positive attitude we choose to express. It is not a gift delivered to our door each morning, nor does it come through the window. And it is certain that our circumstances are not the things that make us joyful. If we wait for them to get just right, we will never laugh again." - Charles R. Swindoll

"The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives." - William James

"You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you." - Brian Tracy

"There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative." -W. Clement Stone

"Our attitudes control our lives. Attitudes are a secret power working twenty-four hours a day, for good or bad. It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force." -Irving Berlin

Self talk is inevitable, powerful, and influential. How you use it is a choice and that will be apparent in how you live. Choose to be happy, choose to be successful, choose to be nice to yourself first. Successful self talk is achieving and maintaining a habit of speaking positively to oneself. Warning, this can lead to euphoria.





The Key:

"Learn to master the habit of strong belief in self and you will succeed." -Hasani Pettiford (http://www.hasani.com/articles/successful_beliefinself.htm)

Believe in yourself. It is important to speak affirming words to yourself. Be your own cheerleader. Fear is negative thinking. Fear leads to giving up. Think of what you can accomplish with the absence of fear. It is natural to be scared, nervous, or worry but do not allow it to be louder than your self belief. Support yourself and be a vessel of positive thinking. Tell yourself that you can do it. Choose to have a positive attitude. Choose to believe that you are going to succeed. Everyone might fail but those who keep trying succeed. Remember to embrace imperfection but more importantly that you can do it. Anyone can survive but those who choose to believe and partner that with positive self talk will thrive. You are ready and you have the tools. Choose success.



Self talk paves the way. It is the first thing you have control over and it is the most powerful thing you can use to mold your life. Find the inner happy you and never let go.

"Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, "This is the real me," and when you have found that attitude, follow it." - James Truslow Adams

We are in charge of our own destiny. We are in charge of our own attitude. We are in charge of our perceptions. We are in charge of our choices. We are ultimately in charge of how we talk to ourselves. Choose wisely


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    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Self-talk can be our friend our our enemy, depending upon how we learn to use it. Many people do not understand this concept, and feel that they are controlled, rather than in control. It is in understanding our ability to change our own thoughts, that we are able to change how we feel about ourselves and the world.

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