One of the surest ways to limit yourself is to keep up a constant buzz of negative self-talk, reminding you of your failures, your losses, your mistakes, and all the reasons why you make them. This has the same effect as punching holes in a bucket, and trying to carry water with it.
It drains you, leaving your energy and enthusiasm low, which makes your efforts to succeed weaker and less effective.
Self-talk is extremely potent, because all levels of your consciousness are involved. Your conscious mind chooses the words, but your subconscious provides the inspiration and ideas which are presented from your unconscious connection with Unity. In other words, when you engage in self-talk, your Whole Self is listening.
It’s easy to say “Stop the negative self-talk…” but that alone is an effort of will, which is a function of your energy and enthusiasm… which then requires that you take care of the negative influence of poor self-talk to make your will effective, and you get into a loop, and fall into the trap of positivity. So, how do we get around this little circular trap?
One simple method is to turn the conversation into one of desire and passion. No, not the kind you read in a romance novel… I’m talking about your Desires, and your Passions… the things you really want! Self-talk is a way to organize your thoughts, and put them to words. Words have power, especially when they are particularly meaningful… and what could be more meaningful to you than your own words about what you really want?
Putting your desires and passions into words gives them more weight, and makes them more real. Until we put them clearly into words, they are just ideas and thoughts, which are potent. But when we put them into words, they are given form. Perhaps this is why people are encouraged to pray (or cast) in words, as if having a conversation with the divine… because in essence, that’s what this Self-Talk exercise is. Since the divine isn’t separate from us, a conversation with the self IS a conversation with the divine.
Once you have put your desires into words, you may find yourself challenged with more questions. This is what has happened with me. The other questions are also simple, but simple need not imply easy. They take some effort to clearly answer. The first of these is ‘Why?’ Why do you want what you want? And the last is ‘What are you willing to do to have that?’
These questions impose focus on your desires. Why do you want what you want? Can you put that into words… and when you do, does it change your mind about what you want? You’ll know if your Why would potentially harm others, or isn’t in your own best interest. It will just feel wrong, and your subconscious will recoil from it.
Then the last question. “What are you willing to do to have that?” We would all like to just snap our fingers or wiggle our nose to get what we want to appear before us. Unfortunately, I have yet to find such a spell. Most things worth having require effort. So the question really comes down to ‘how valuable is this to you? Are you willing to do what is required to achieve that?’
Again, if you feel some part of you recoil at the cost of such a goal, then perhaps you don’t want it as much as you thought.
I’m reminded of a story about a master and his student who were out fishing. The master started a conversation, asking his student what he wanted to achieve in his life. The student went on and on about the great success he hoped to achieve, and how wonderful it would be when he finally reached his lofty goals. The master asked, “What would you do to get that?”
The student replied, “Whatever I had to, I suppose.”
The master nodded and said, “Would you really like to know how to achieve all that you want?”
The student immediately replied, “Yes! Please!”
“Very well.” He said. “Get in the water, and I’ll explain.”
Without hesitation, the student jumped in and waited.
“Now, take a deep breath, go under water, and stay there as long as you can.” The master held up a watch and said, “Go!”
Under the student went, and after a minute or so, came back up.
The master said, “Not bad. 63 seconds. Now… let me see you do 90 seconds, and then I’ll tell you the secret.”
Again the student went under, determined to stay the full 90 seconds… but when he tried to surface again, he felt a hand on his head. He assumed the master was encouraging him, that maybe it hadn’t been 90 seconds yet, so he held on longer. When he tried to surface again, there was still that hand holding him down. He pushed up, but wasn’t able to touch the bottom, and had no leverage. He tried to wrestle the hand away, swatted at it, clawed, wrenched and struggled as desperately as he could. Blackness started to take him, and in desperation he dove down deeper and surface on the other side of the boat where he finally was able to breathe.
“What are you doing?” he gasped. “I almost drowned!”
“Yes, you did.” The master agreed. “So why did you swim to the other side of the boat?”
“I had to!” He yelled. “You wouldn’t let me up!”
“Why didn’t you just stay there and wait for me to let you up?”
“I couldn’t wait any longer. I was drowning!”
“So… would you like the secret now?” The master leaned in close and said quietly. “When you want your success as much as you wanted air… you’ll have it. When you can’t wait any longer, and need it desperately… you’ll have it. When you’re willing to risk more, try harder, even when you’ve run out of breath… you’ll have it.”
What do you want?
What are you willing to do to have that?
Answer carefully. Your whole self is listening.
Tell us in the comments about how you engage with self-talk. Have you tried to speak to your Self out loud? How has it influenced you achieving and obtaining your goals?