A prime goal of my approach is to increase people’s positive self-talk. I believe in the importance of positive self-talk so much that I’ve devoted pages to this topic in each of my books.
Researchers have acknowledged that in order to know yourself, you have to talk to yourself. They have studied children’s private speech for decades, but only recently have researchers focused on self-talk in adults. We use inner speech or self-talk for all sorts of things. We depend on it to solve problems, read and write, motivate ourselves, plan for the future, learn from our mistakes, learn language, and help regulate emotions.
Beyond helping people regulate their behavior in the present moment, positive self-talk is essential for learning … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Many people struggle with self-acceptance. In other words, too many people are searching for acceptance outside of themselves when they haven’t yet learned to accept themselves. Self-acceptance means being okay with WHO you are. It means being kind to yourself even when you make mistakes, fail, or do something that you later regret. When you practice self-acceptance, you reduce your stress level greatly.
Self-acceptance is a close relative to self-esteem. It is difficult to have one without the other, and, if you have one, you will tend to have the other. There may be many reasons why people have low self-acceptance, but most fall into one or more the following areas:
- A desire to be perfect
- A focus on imperfections
… >>> READ MORE >>> →
Did you know that positive thoughts are the key to stress management? It’s true! Your mindset affects your stress level. In other words, what you think—whether positive or negative—will trigger certain emotions, which will then either invoke stress or reduce it. Your mind is a powerful tool in your stress management arsenal.
I was brought up on the principle my mother instilled in me: “If you can’t say anything nice about a person, then don’t say anything at all.” She knew the value of positive thoughts!
I extended this admonition to refer to my own self-talk. As such, I continually said to myself, “If I can’t say something nice to myself about myself, then don’t say anything at all—unless I … >>> READ MORE >>> →
You will notice that when you smile at someone, the “imitation response” that neuroscientists have discovered prompts a natural tendency for the other person to smile back. This phenomenon indicates that the face is an enormously rich source of information about emotion. In fact, your face is not just a signal of what is going on in your mind; in a certain sense, it IS what is going on in your mind.
The expression on your face is sufficient to create a marked change in the autonomic nervous system. You can prove this to yourself by thinking of a sad thought. With that thought still in your mind, look up at the ceiling and smile. Then try to keep that … >>> READ MORE >>> →
If you reflect on your self-talk, you will conclude that your thoughts often involve past experiences or future visions. However, what you are choosing to do in the present is often done nonconsciously.
Taking action is a current activity—not a past or future one. In addition, action requires more than thought. For example, if there are three frogs on a lily pond and one decides to jump, you may conclude—in error—that there would be two frogs left. However, deciding to jump is not the same as jumping. In this situation, three frogs would still be left.
More than thinking about the past or the future, it is taking action in the present that leads to responsible behavior.… >>> READ MORE >>> →
To change behavior of a young person, a positive approach always beats a negative approach. The way to accomplish this is to treat the youngster as if the person were already what you want the person to become. Perhaps Johann Wolfgang von Goethe articulated it best when he wrote,
If you treat someone as he is, he will stay as he is.
But if you treat him as if he were what he could and ought to be,
he will become what he could and ought to be.
If you have a daughter who is shy, rather than sending messages of her difficulties, treat her as if she were verbal, popular, and socially confident. This does not mean not to … >>> READ MORE >>> →
How one views a situation has a significant effect on how one understands the situation. Our viewpoints are determined by our experiences and our thinking. This explains how different people can view the same discipline problem differently. We see through different lenses.
I attempted to explain this in the opening paragraph of my education book. Here is the opening paragraph:
“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 writing this, I became more acutely aware of my … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Regardless of the situation, the stimulus, or the impulse, people choose their responses. To do otherwise would be to operate from compulsion. This is the beauty of being human. Unlike animals, we humans need not succumb to our reflexes or emotions.
Furthermore, the less we succumb, the less we are driven by tyrannical obsessions. Therefore, one of our most important tasks as parents is to teach and model choice-response thinking—that even young people can be in control of their choices.
So as not to fall back on previous habits and approaches, it is necessary to become aware of our options. You can do this very simply by teaching your child a procedure. Have the youngsters say, … >>> READ MORE >>> →
We’ve all read books about the power of being positive, and we’ve probably listened to a few speakers expound on the topic. Why, then, are many people still so negative, both at home and at work? Perhaps people have been so focused on why they need to be positive rather than on how to do it. To help put positivity in perspective, here are a few strategies for practicing it that will affect all areas of your life.
1. Check your perception.
Do you perceive that people in your life are deliberately acting irresponsibly or pushing your buttons, or do you view the behavior as the person’s best attempt to solve a frustration? Your perception directs how you will react… >>> READ MORE >>> →
“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 … >>> READ MORE >>> →