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Book Review: What To Say When You Talk to Yourself

Updated on July 3, 2013

Book Review

What to Say When You Talk To Yourself

By Dr Shad Helmstetter


Okay, so some people might think this strange at first, but I promise you won’t by the time I am finished telling you about this book that changed my life. It is fantastic!

He, being Dr. Shad Helmstetter, began making motivational tapes. And he wrote several books: The Self-Talk Solution, Choices and of course What to Say When You Talk to Yourself.

The main lesson Dr. Helmstetter learned after his 20 years of research and study, is that “how successful you will be at anything is inexorably tied to the words and beliefs about yourself stored in your subconscious mind.”

Helmstetter goes on to explain that your brain will do what you tell it the most. Our brain is our own personal computer. It is solely programmed by us in what we say when we do talk to ourselves. And we all do.

He says what all the self-help literature tells you do to succeed and what one ingredient is missing.

Dr. Helmstetter shows how easily we are pre-programmed and how to overcome that.

He discusses the Self-Managing Sequence which is like a road map to success (in any area of your life).

There are five levels of Self-Talk:

1. Negative acceptance

2. Recognition and need to change

3. Decision to change

4. The Better You!

5. Universal Affirmations

He shows how positive thinking does not and cannot work if you don’t Self-Talk the WORDS.

Dr. Helmstetter discusses hypnosis vs. self-talk.

First a little background. Dr. Helmstetter was the first person to record how to lose weight on tape. He came upon this idea purely by accident.

Dr. Helmstetter went to the doctor and was informed that he had to lose weight or else. He made his motivational cards and placed them all over his bathroom and read them aloud each morning. After a while he decided to record all of the affirmations and sayings he had written down. He listened to them in the bathroom every morning when he was getting ready.

In ten and one half weeks, he lost 58 pounds and his wife, who could care less about the tape, lost 25 pounds!

What to Say When You Talk to Yourself, is a 255 page paper back that is easy to read and will prove how easy it is to change your life.

In my personal life, I had much to turn around and tons of self-talk to change from negative to positive. At first I thought it would not work. I was wrong.

I determined to put this book and its principles to the ultimate test.

I had, at the time, envisioned myself as a motivational speaker who traveled the United States and helped people. I realized that since taking a bus is not so reliable from coast to coast, that I needed to overcome my fear of flying, in order to be a speaker full time.

I was terriffied to even step onto an airplane when it was simply a tour, and not moving. This, I felt was a good challenge for the Book’s validity

I studied this book and understood the 5 levels of self-talk forwards and backwards.

First, I made the attempt to make my reservation (to the shortest distance from my hometown). I made several attempts before I could even speak to the Airline Representative. The first time I did that, I said “wrong number” and hung up. My insides were shaking.

Finally, I made the call and the reservation. When I hung up, standing next to my desk at work, my knees buckled. Thankfully, my chair was close enough for me to catch onto and sit. I realized that I had bought a non-refundable ticket and had to go. (I did not make enough money to throw away $100.

I wrote out my cards and then recorded a tape in my own voice and played them daily. This was six months before my trip was scheduled to take place.

It took me about four months to become comfortable with the idea that I was going to become an airline passenger. The day before my departure I packed with calm still hands, no trepidation.

The day of the flight I loaded the car and was smiling and singing along with the radio, and found the perfect parking space at the airport.

I bought a book.

I had worn a skirt and was standing in line boarding the plane when the line stopped. I had one foot in the plane and one on the ramp when a strong wind blew up my skirt. Immediately my negative talk tried to take over. I was determined and said out loud “I am going to Chicago and I am going to enjoy this trip. I am blessed to be flying.”

Yes, the passengers close to me did a double take, but the line started moving and I boarded with complete confidence.

I found the perfect seat, which I had researched about. I popped gum and offered it to my fellow passengers who were close to me. My seat was facing another row of seats, in the middle of the plane. I smiled at the other passengers and we chatted all the way to Chicago; departed and I was quite happy with myself.

On the returning flight my Self-Talk took another blow. Things were going along great and since it was evening, most passengers were napping (the flight is only 45 minutes long.

I had studied this carefully and decided that I was well versed in being a passenger on an airplane Suddenly, the plane began to lurch and my Self-Talk took over “Okay this airline has never had an accident. Who’s to say this is not the first.” I was clinging white knuckled to my chair arms. My eyes were closed and tears were streaming down my face.

I felt a tap, tap, tap on my knee and opened my eyes to a very kindly white-haired gentleman who softly said, “Its turbulence and it is perfectly normal. You are safe.”

TURBULANCE! Of course I was safe. I reminded myself to study that once I got home. I took a deep breath and told myself that this was a wonderful plane and I would be safely on the ground in fifteen minutes.

I have flown many times since this first flight. Never has my negative self talk taken over again. This book changed my life. I have used it any time I find myself thinking just one tiny little negative thought. It works.

This book is in libraries, so you do not have to buy it. However if you choose to purchase it you can obtain it on for $7.99, at this website..

Yes, What to Say When You Talk to Yourself" has indeed changed my life.

It is small, inexpensive and a wonderful tool to enhance your life and make it better, no matter how good it already is.

I sent a copy to my 25 year old grandson and he is already applying the principles. Plus - he gave it to his Dad to read, he was so impressed.

If books had a rating from 1 - 5, one being the worst and 5 being the best, this book would rate 5 stars for excellence.

Go ahead, do yourself a favor - get the book and read it. (It won't help you if you don't read it, now will it?)

Happy Days to One and All


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