What are you talking about?

29 07 2012

Positive self-talk is a tool that athletes use to achieve their best in competition and as I’ve been watching and listening to athletes’  interviews – winners and losers – at the Olympics, I have been reminded how important it is, not just to elite athletes, but to all of us.

Self-talk is the talk that goes on in our heads, a kind of running commentary on life.  It’s often just background noise, happening so automatically that we’re hardly aware of it. However, if self-talk is going to make a positive impact, it seems to me that I need to take four steps:

1.  Notice the things I say to myself during the day – identify what’s on my self-talk playlist.  (Take the poll and see what’s on your playlist)

2.  Is it negative or positive – is my playlist on an unhelpful “repeat” loop?

  • if it is positive – hurrah!  Keep repeating.
  • if it is negative – could I switch to” shuffle”?  What about asking – is there a more positive way I could view my situation? Am I keeping things in perspective? Is there someone I could talk to rather than spending energy going round the loop (and going loopy in the process!)?

3.  Encourage positive self-talk – this may be hard, especially if I’ve been on “repeat” for a long time, but having a few “favourites” stored up        can be a great help

4.  Take lessons from the cat!

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