One of the biggest setbacks for many people is their internal dialog. This internal dialog can be called self-talk. Self-talk introduces itself in many ways. For example, as you think about your life right now, you might remember times when you wanted to do things and, suddenly, you heard a voice inside you asking, “Why do you want to do that?” or saying, “You can’t do that,” or, “If you do that, this will happen.” Those statements are examples of self-talk.
There are two types of self-talk: positive and negative. The first is your power source and your motivator, the great champion in you, The Hero—Dr. Success! The second depletes your power and paralyzes you, and it is your worst enemy. We will call it The Thief—Dr. Failure. This negative self-talk constantly says, “You can’t do anything. You will fail.” Now, The Hero, your success partner, your power source, always says, “You can do this; you can do this; you can do this!” The thief always counters with “Oh, no, you can’t do that, and here are millions of reasons.”
Now, I must be honest and let you know that I am no different from anyone else. The same challenges you face, I face, too, and just recently, I had to face the effects of negative thoughts. My mother has had Lupus for a while, and my father had been struggling with back pain. Negative thoughts were happy to add her two cents to the already difficult situation. As an only child, family is significant to me. I personally felt their pain as though it were mine and desperately wanted to help, but I couldn’t.
With all that, I still had to face the daily struggle of being an entrepreneur and constantly having to produce. When you own your own business, you are everything from the janitor to the CEO, and it can be very stressful. You don’t even know sometimes where the next paycheck is coming from. In the midst of this, my parents, one of my sources of strength, were not as healthy or as happy as I wanted them to be. Negative thoughts started to say, “You’re taking on too much.” “Where is your next client?” “How are you going to write another book?” and other deflating comments. As I faced these problems, I worked on a positive dialogue, saying to myself, “Think this way; let’s do this; this is what needs to happen.” However, reality happened in the meantime. After all, life still occurs in the midst of positive thinking, often standing in the way of positive self-talk.
I started to listen to negative thoughts. These thoughts led me to believe that I did not feel well mentally or physically. I allowed negative thoughts to take my mind somewhere I knew it didn’t need to go. As my mind started to follow the downhill path, thinking positively became more difficult. Once you start to let your mind go downhill, your negative thoughts pick up momentum, pulling you down even further. Although I found my thoughts falling downhill, I reminded myself where my strength comes from; I looked at the situation as an opportunity to get back to my roots, to dig deep inside, and find the courage to climb uphill again. By doing this, even a discouraging, worrisome situation was turned into a positive experience.