The Power Of Self-Talk - Part 3
Why are some people who had nothing able to succeed beyond imagination? And what about those people, who had everything in life going for them, end up screwing it all up? The answer, very simply, is the self-talk that they infused their lives with. The proper imaging allows people who are not any smarter or stronger than anyone else, to build successful businesses, earn degrees, become leaders in their fields, and win competitions. So by using their imagery as self-talk, they are able to succeed well above what their environment would seem to allow.
Probably one of the most visible individuals who used self-talk was a gentleman by the name of Cassius Clay. You may know him better by the name of Muhammad Ali. Born in 1942, he was raised during racially charged times. His parents were poor and he did poorly in school. He actually took up boxing as a young boy at the age of 10 to learn how to better protect himself. But he came to love boxing, even though his coach never considered him to be very good. Things took a turn for young Cassius at the age of 12. After winning a three round, three-minute fight, he was quoted as saying "I'll be the greatest fighter of all times!" If you followed his career, you would always hear him tell you how great he was. He certainly lived up to his self-expectation. He spoke himself into greatness.
Then there is the infamous Sean 'Puffy' Combs, later known as P. Diddy, and now, I don't have the slightest idea what he's calling himself. Anyway, Sean grew up in a very dangerous section of Harlem. His father was killed at the age of three. He grew up living among gangs and drug dealers. Because he was considered the man of the house, he felt compelled to help out with finances. Instead of turning to the route of making easy money by dealing drugs like many of his peers, he instead sold newspapers. He even lied at one point about his age and developed other identities so he could assume other territories and sell more papers. In his own words, Sean says "I didn't know exactly what I was going to do, but I saw myself making it. Initiative is the key. Somebody who wants to be somebody is going to work as hard as they can to fulfill that dream." Sean says he "saw" himself making it. He used positive self-talk to pull himself out of an environment that should have turned him into a drug dealer and used his talents in music to gain fame.
I still think he doesn't have the talent of my big toe, but I digress....
Another good example is Tyrone Burton. At the age of 9, his family was pretty much on continuous public assistance. He often times found himself moving from one homeless shelter to another. Not only that, but his father was seldom around because he was in jail. Later he landed the lead role in the TV series The Parent Hood. He would agree that his environment could have dragged him down. "When you're livin' in the streets, you're forced to be closed-minded because you only see the bad stuff." But then he counters that with "you've gotta get into something positive and go after what you love to do." What made Tyrone Burton turn his life around? He tells about one day when he was just hanging in the hood and a drug dealer acquaintance put a gun to his head and robbed him. He realized he could have been killed. It made him take a look at his life and make a decision that he needed to make some changes and get out of there. He used the negative environment to seek positive changes. It wasn't easy. Whenever he went in for an audition, he would tell himself "I can do this, I can succeed." From ghetto to Hollywood, he talked himself into it.