Did you know that you constantly talk to yourself? You do!
Right this minute you are talking to yourself. This talk, called self-talk is like a play-by-play sports announcer that’s evaluating and criticizing everything you do.
While you might think, “This isn’t me”, I guarantee you that this automatic self-talk is happening in your head, day and night. It’s also at the root of almost everything you do.
Here’s the thing, if your zombie self-talk was optimistic and positive, that would be absolutely wonderful. Unfortunately, that’s just not the way we’re wired.
The Truth About Self-Talk
Studies show that we humans have a tendency to pay more attention to the negative than positive things in our lives. As a result, much, if not most, of the self-talk that comes out of your zombie mind is negative.
The real problem is this negative self-talk can and will block your path to success.
Like most people, you’re constantly using language with yourself that you would never use with your children, your friends, your spouse or even your worst adversaries!
Your zombie mind is saying things like “you’re not good enough”, “you’re not smart enough” or “you don’t deserve this.” It keeps telling you these, and other negative things over and over and over again.
After a while, these negative thoughts become programmed into your mind and hijack your thinking.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can harness the power of your zombie mind. You can choose to take charge of that never-ending stream of unconscious, negative self-talk and turn it into a positive, optimistic force you can use success.
The way you tame your inner zombie is using what I call Five R Process: recognize, record, remind, replace and repeat.
Here’s how you use the 5 R’s:
First, you must become aware of those thoughts and then capture them. That’s the recognize.
To be aware of your zombie mind’s thoughts, you have to be able to recognize them in the moment as they come up. You need to pay attention and listen to what your inner zombie is telling you.
When a negative thought comes up, recognize it and then, do the second step, record it on a notepad or on your smartphone. You don’t have to do anything with it right now, just be aware of it.
The third step is to put these thoughts and feelings into a self-talk journal. A journal gives you a place to record and review what you’ve discovered. As you review these thoughts, ask yourself, “When did this thought come up?”
Was it a certain time of day, after a conversation with a certain person, or after doing a certain task?”
How often do you have this thought? Does it come up regularly?
Being aware of your triggers will help you prepare for them in the future.
The forth step is to replace the disempowering thought with an optimist one. You do this by reminding yourself of past achievements and successes.
For example, let’s use, “you’re not smart enough”.
Instead of letting this thought take over, search for the many times in your life where you’ve been able to learn something that seemed hard to you in the beginning. Maybe you learned how to use a spreadsheet to keep track of your projects at work.
You can remind yourself by saying, “When I started, I didn’t know anything about spreadsheets, now I’m the one everybody in the office comes to for advice.”
Now give yourself a replacement phrase, “My brain is flexible and can learn anything I set my mind to. I am smart and capable.”
Now that you’ve gone through the first four steps, you use the fifth step, repeat, to make your optimistic thought your habitual one.
In the future, when the thought, “you’re not smart enough” comes up, repeat your replacement phrase out loud. You’ll do this in combination with the final part of the convergence triad, your state, which we’ll talk about in another video.
You don’t have to let your inner zombie hijack your life. Use the Five R process to take back your automatic thinking and create the life of your dreams.
About the author:
Wil Dieck is a writer, speaker, researcher, college professor and master martial arts instructor. He studies and teaches people from all walks of life how to use simple psychological techniques to develop high performance habits.
Wil’s most recent works includes the highly ranked Amazon Kindle book, Secrets of the Black Belt Mindset, Turing Simple Habits into Extraordinary Success, Modern Mindfulness, A Beginners Guide on How to Find Peace and Happiness in a Busy World and Ordinary People, Extraordinary Life: the Convergence of Mind, Body and Spirit.
In addition to his work as a researcher, writer, and speaker, Wil is a professor of psychology and business at San Diego University of Integrated Studies.
Wil runs a peak performance coaching practice in San Diego, California. Additionally, he regularly works with people who are suffering from stress and anxiety using meditation, hypnotherapy and NLP.