“Life is a conversation. Interestingly, the most influential person we talk with all day is ourself, and what we tell ourself has a direct bearing on our behavior, our performance, and our influence on others. In fact, a good case can be made that our self-talk creates our reality. “After I wrote this as the opening of my book, I became more acutely aware of my own-self talk and that my decisions are based on how I talk to myself. Of course, my self-talk is determined by what I think. Chances are that when I think that I will trip down the stairs, without even realizing it, I have programmed my brain. In contrast, when I think in positive terms, such as how fortunate I am, my brain prompts a chemical reaction that prompt good feelings.

I am now constantly aware of how many things start with my own self-talk, rather than from outside sources.

The same applies to everyone. The vast amount of what we do starts with our choices, and the choices we make are influenced our self-talk.

Once you become acutely aware of this process—that your thinking and communications with others starts with what you tell ourself—your effectiveness will immediately increase. The reason is that any influence of others begins with ourselves. As the super successful salesperson knows, the first sale needs to be to oneself.

If you want to influence people, be positive, not negative. And that means your own self-talk needs to be in positive terms—not in negative self-talk.