July 28, 2003

When you speak, who is listening? This is the most important question you need to consider if you want to change or improve your life!

Certainly, words are important when you are talking with another person. My point today, though, is that they are doubly important when you are speaking to yourself. You know–those times when you think no one is listening, no one can hear you! A very important person IS listening. You.

The most important conversation you will ever have is the one you hold with yourself. And, we’re all very sneaky about it. We say things to ourselves that we would NEVER say to another person. We are too thoughtful, too polite and too concerned with keeping the other’s self-esteem intact to ever say those things our loud, aren’t we? Yet, we will say them to ourselves.

In my keynotes and seminars, I often ask my audiences to make me a promise. At first, they are tentative and unsure as to the wisdom of making any promise–especially to a person they do not know. After thirty-seconds or so, though, most folks raise their right hands and repeat these invaluable words after me: “I promise to never say anything about myself that I do not want to be true, even when I am speaking to myself in my head.”

Wow! That is a very large promise with much larger repercussions. What if you truly gave up any conversation in your head that did not reflect the person you most want to be? That might create a fair amount of dead air space in your mind at first.

Many people beat themselves up, tear themselves down and repeatedly undermine their self-esteem in a relentless way. You’ve heard people make self-effacing remarks.

“Oh, I’m so stupid.”

“There I go again. I always make that same mistake.”

“I’m just not cut out for success.”

What is the chatter in your head? If you had to record it, would it be uplifting, affirming and inspiring? If not, the good news is you can change it. And, changing it will change your life.

When I wrote my book, What You Pay Attention to Expands, I included insights and ideas on how to change your focus to change your results. It all begins with the conversation in your mind with the conversation.

Focus on what you want to create in life, not on past failures. Focus on what you like about yourself, not on your faults.

When you look at yourself in the mirror, pay attention to the parts you find attractive. Bernie Siegel related a story about a woman with multiple sclerosis who was quite overweight and wheel-chair bound. She decided to learn to love her body and daily sat naked in front of a mirror. She began with loving her eyes and loving herself through her eyes. She went on to be grateful for and appreciating other things about her body until she could honestly love and accept her body as it was from head to toe. The miracle was that she went into remission about the same time as she came to honestly love and be thankful for her body and how it served her.

Coincidence? Maybe. Each one of us would certainly be healthier if we could come to appreciate the vehicle that allows us to function in this world. Yet, we often insist on seeing our flaws in a much brighter light than our beauty, our shortcomings more clearly than our gifts. We measure ourselves by some air-brushed magazine image, or some other comparison that makes as little sense. Change that!

Take charge of the conversation in your head. Focus it to reflect your best self at all times. That does not mean that you are unaware of things you wish to improve, but that you focus on the outcomes you most want. Spend no time reinforcing the negative by giving it air-time in your head. That’s a waste of energy.

Speak well of yourself to yourself and others. It is not arrogant or conceited to speak well of yourself. Arrogance and conceit are only present when you compare yourself to others and insist on your superiority.

It may seem strange at first. Keep at it. Be your own best friend. See the good in yourself and make that the conversation in your head. Try it. Never again say anything about yourself that you don’t want to be true! Your life will change.

International speaker, coach, author & talk radio host,
Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, is an expert motivator. She gives you
the strategies and motivation to shift your results from
acceptable to EXCEPTIONAL in life and business. Subscribe to
her three free ezines at http://www.optimizelifenow.com/.