The Importance of Self Talk

In this article I would like to address the concept of positive thinking. Athletes I work with report that changing the way in which they talk to themselves has a dramatic way of improving performance. Have you ever felt things were going great and then just suddenly reversed? The average person self-talks an average of between 150 and 300 words a minute. That comes out to somewhere between 45,000 to 51,000 thoughts a day. Much of what we say to ourselves is neutral but depending on our life experience, some of it can be quite negative. There has been research which shows that there is a distinct shift in the voltage gradient around the energy field of our bodies depending on whether you are thinking positively or negatively. Every single cell in your body is like a miniature magnet – it is bipolar. With 75 trillion cells we have a fairly large bio-magnetic envelope. There is an actual energy field effect in our bodies. If you think negative thoughts you will completely reverse and de-charge your energy field. For the athlete, this translates into a loss of energy, concentration and performance. We need to not only make a conscious effort to positively self-talk (i.e., “I am winner”, “nothing will bother me”, “have fun”), but we need to be aware of our negative self talk patterns (i.e., “I’m a loser”). A technique called thought stopping is where we say "stop” to ourselves and follow it with positive talk. On a team this is critical because you can take your teammates down with you. Some good advice to your teammate is to tell them to think positive. I talked in previous articles about how I train athletes to hypnotize themselves so that their systematic positive self-talk is encoded and imprinted more deeply in the mind. No matter how you do it, you will see the difference when you pay attention to your self-talk. Until next time, think positive.