How do you talk to yourself? The impact of your words

How do you talk to yourself? The impact of your words

Blanca E. Santana U. – February 17, 2015

Although we are not aware, we talk to ourselves all the time, this conversation can approach us or move us away from our goals, it all depends on WHAT and HOW you talk to yourself.


To understand more about the impact of your words, let’s do an exercise; can you answer the next question? Answer fast: A man can marry his widow’s sister?… If you answered yes, you are incorrect. A man can not marry his widow’s sister; if she is his widow it means he’s dead.

Now answer another question, do you realize what you said yourself during and after the exercise? Things like “If she’s her sister then …” “Mmm… A man’s widow…” “That´s right! I´m so silly, he is dead”. That inner voice that accompanies you all the time, and when I say all the time, it means all the time, is known as self-talk.

Self-talk is that conversation with yourself that we do it all the time, since you wake up and say to yourself “Please! 5 more minutes” until you say “I should sleep; I have to get up early tomorrow”. The way you talk to yourself completely influences the way you perceive the world, additionally it determines your chances and performance. How do you think is the life of the people that all the time say to themselves “This is not for me” “I can´t do it” “I´ll never achieve it” “It’s very difficult”?; is possibly the kind of people whom surrenders quickly and rarely achieves their goals, and even most probably they not even try to achieve their goals. Furthermore, how do you imagine the life of the people that think like “I’ll do it” “I’ll try my hardest” “I will not give up”? I assure you that those people have multiple achievements and satisfactions accumulated through their lives.

A negative self-talk creates negative emotions and in turn these emotions will close possibilities, affecting your results. What do I mean?, imagine that you want to learn to play the guitar, when you are learning is common and natural to make mistakes, but it depends on what you tell yourself about your mistakes that will determine whether you will succeed or not, if while you are practicing, your inner dialogue is “I failed” “I can´t” “It’s very difficult” this will provoke you negative emotions such as anger, rage and sadness, therefore your actions will lead you to frustration and to give up; that situation will trigger you new thoughts like “I’m a fool” “I never learn anything”, these thoughts and actions will prevent you to work hard and to practice more, confirming the negative thoughts and creating a vicious circle. This can be applied to any area of our lives, when you are making a presentation, closing a sale, getting a job or educating a child.

The next question is: How do you talk to yourself? How it impact in your results?

Furthermore, a positive self-talk creates expansive emotions. I mean those emotions that expand our possibilities, such as joy; when we say ourselves positive dialogues like “I have all the abilities required” “That sale is mine” “I am an excellent candidate for the position” we generated us a state of motivation, which in turn generates energy and creativity to undertake actions aimed at achieving our objectives.

Now how can we expand our chances and improve our results? We need to review our self-talk and see what we tell ourselves, identify negative thoughts and transform them to positive thoughts, for that, I´ll share you some simple tips:

  1. Listen your inner conversation. First, become aware of what you tell yourself, this way you can identify the kind of conversations you hold yourself.
  2. Identify your negative self-talk. Be very careful with your thoughts and detect moments when you’re saying yourself negative or discouraging messages.
  3. Replace the negative thoughts by positive thoughts. When you detect yourself telling you negative things, replace them immediately with positive messages that will generate you expansive emotions.
  4. Do it all the time. With recurrence, you will become more aware of your inner dialogue and soon you could use it as a tool for your accomplishments.
  5. Trust yourself. You have everything to achieve your goals and the things you don’t have you can learn it!