In this unit we deal with our inner powers, self-esteem, potential, soul values and building basic trust in life and ourselves. In Positive Self-Empowerment (PSE) we are learning and applying a technique that helps us building personal power and at the same time develop relationships that are harmonious and mutually beneficial (win-win). In Positive Self-Talk (PST) we are looking at acting behind the mask, focusing inside and finding more constructive ways of dealing with our daily self-talk.
On this Page
—Step 1: Recognize your need for power
—Step 2: Empower yourself
—Step 3: Make the new script work
I Positive Self-Talk (PST)
—Step 1: Learn to listen to yourself
—Step 2: Get motivated to modify your inner script
—Step 3: Implement new positive self-talk
Positive Self-Empowerment (PSE)
Positive Self-Empowering (PSE) is a simple tool to achieve all those goals step by step. There must always be a first step, and sometimes it’s the most difficult one. The first step in PSE is:
Recognize your need for power.
The question why we need power may seem provocative, and at the same time simplistic. Power often is associated only with its negative aspect, as a way to dominate others. The reason is perhaps that most people do not know how to handle their personal power in a true and rightful way. What contributes to this confusion is the mass media that display power almost always as negative, abusive and destructive.
Yet when we observe what happens during the absence of power, in a state that we call state of disempowerment, we find that it is exactly disempowerment, and not power, that drives to abuse, and that it is the absence of power that leads to chaotic behavior. When we feel strong and powerful, we feel good—and we are good. It is really as simple as that.
Today, the concept of personal power has become fashionable in the training world, in management, in business. It is widely recognized that we need personal power not only as leaders but in our quality as simple human beings who want to be respected in what we are and at the same time relate to others in a way to share that power we have so as to reach the ultimate goal of synergetic relationships.
Synergistic relationships are characterized by the fact that everybody involved feels powerful and that there are no power struggles. Synergy is probably an abbreviation of synthetic energy which means something like combined or fusioned energy. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines:
syn•er•gism n : interaction of discrete agencies (as industrial firms), agents (as drugs), or conditions such that the total effect is greater than the sum of the individual effects — syn•er•gist n — syn•er•gis•tic adj — syn•er•gis•ti•cal•ly adv
© 1995 Zane Publishing, Inc. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary © 1994 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.
The condition for synergy is that we individually recognize our need for power and, based on this insight, honor the other’s need for power. The reason why many people refuse power is that they refuse responsibility. They refuse to lead their own destiny. They refuse to reign over their own kingdom.
Give yourself your power back! Even if we work together on it, it’s you yourself who will give you more power, not me. I can’t empower you if you block me, if you don’t participate in the process. I can only show you some ways how you can avoid disempowering yourself and how you can gain your power back. This is because I went through the same process, down and up, and therefore I may be able to share it with you. Otherwise I couldn’t. It’s not teaching something. There is nothing to teach in human skill training, because there is nothing to learn. I’m not a seminar teacher, and I refuse to be one if others want to put me into this role. It wouldn’t be honest from my part. Therefore it’s true that I speak of sharing experience with you. That’s all I can do.
The second step in PSE is to
Empower yourself instead of disempowering others.
The problem most of us have is that we consciously or unconsciously profit from or feed on the power of others. It means that we absorb from their energy in order to have more energy ourselves. For most people this is an entirely unconscious process. However, once we are clear about our own personal power, we tend to have greater awareness of the power of others.
To give an example: Instead of making somebody down by feeding on this person’s vital energy, I can look to tend to my own garden first. If the mistake was really with the other, I can take a chance to empower that person to a point that he or she will assume responsibility and thus do something about the mistake. And at the same time I can use the opportunity to signal that person that I am supportive and caring. The result will be that our relationship will greatly improve. There will be more synergy between us, more understanding and more openness. There will be greater trust.
PSE creates positive reality in transforming our thought structures. Many of us are driven by negative inner programs which have been built in early childhood. These programs drive us unconsciously and if they are negative, they bring about frustration and unsatisfying or even hurting life experiences. This is because these inner programs are composed of thought patterns and emotional patterns that, since they are repetitive, hold us within a vicious circle of frustrating life experiences which in turn seem to justify or to confirm our negative worldview.
Positive reality and success, happiness and fulfillment are not a chance; they are programmed! However, the will and intention alone to change our inner program or script are not enough. This is so because much of our inner program is unconscious. It means that we are not aware of it and have the impression that all comes from outside to us. Therefore, the first thing to do, if we really want change, is to accept that we are not driven by outside forces, nor other human beings, but uniquely by ourselves. It means to deeply apologize for our mistake to project our inner failures onto others and to admit that we are the only makers of our destiny.
It really means that we have to forgive others and ourselves, and this regularly, just like something we do naturally, like an attitude. Ostrander & Schroeder write in their newest edition of Superlearning 2000® that for them personally to get on in their lives, forgiving others was essential. If we want revenge we take it first on ourselves, wherefore these authors recommend living well is the best revenge.
Source: Sheila & Nancy Ostrander / Lynn Schroeder, Superlearning 2000, New York: Delacorte Press, 1994, pp. 173, 174.
With this conscious attitude we are open to access our inner program if we use relaxation or meditation or some form of spontaneous art in order to get more connected to our subconscious mind. In the relaxed state then, we give to ourselves positive suggestions which deeply penetrate into our subconscious mind, and so much the more when we repeat this procedure several times per day over a certain period of time.
The third step in PSE is to
Make your new script work.
How to implement new inner scripts, how to change our programs, how to positively influence our attitude?
The following brain-chart may give you a clearer conception of how our brain is organized. You can see that the two brain hemispheres carry out different tasks and are organized in a different way :
- delta waves 0.5 – 4 Hz
- theta waves 4 – 7 Hz
- alpha waves 7 – 14 Hz
- beta waves 14 – 30 Hz
We reach our full creative potential only when we imply both our brain hemispheres equally in our thought processes. This means that thinking needs to be coordinated in the way that we profit from the specialties of each brain hemisphere by combining them into one whole integrated thought process that is based on the harmonious functioning of the full brain.
Not only learning but all our creative potential is greatly enhanced from the moment we use the full brain and not only one brain hemisphere. With our brain hemispheres it’s a bit like with the potentialities of two persons. We cannot say that one plus one equals two when we talk of two people brainstorming for new solutions. We all know that in this case we have a multiplication factor built in the cooperation of these two people. That is why we can say that in terms of human potential, one plus one can result in millions. The same potentiality is true for results achieved by coordinating our brain hemispheres.
Now, how can PSE affect positively our reality? Well, relaxation puts our brain into the so-called alpha-state, a state of higher receptivity, which equally brings about a higher coordination of our two brain hemispheres.
In PSE you
- Stretch out comfortably (in armchairs, or lying down on the floor);
- Listen with headphones to specially composed music;
- Go through seven phases into deep relaxation;
- Get acquainted with positive suggestions or prayers;
- Learn to give positive suggestions to yourself;
- Learn ways to change your inner script.
Relaxation is done with music because music has the special advantage to impact easily on brain coordination. But it can be done with physical exercises, too. In my experience, it is just the fact that PSE works without any effort which makes it so powerful and attractive. Not that most people are lazy. The reason is that in general all what enhances the mental is more efficient if it is devoid of effort. Learning by playing and the amazing learning successes it books (for example in Japan) is one of the proofs for this observation. Learning is more efficient, much more effective when it is pleasurable and effortless. This brought me to the conclusion that our brain dislikes effort and likes comfort! A funny insight. An insight also that shows why traditional school systems must fail and ever failed!
Observing the lives of geniuses also shows that they disliked hard and ineffective learning (many of them dropped out of school), yet learned x times easier and quicker than the average people. Why? Because they developed individual learning techniques which combined learning and pleasure, so that they could derive pleasure from learning. To do this, the first thing is having a motivation for learning. It means that the stuff we want to learn must really interest us. Nobody can derive pleasure from learning something that they consider irrelevant or uninteresting. So the first step in effective learning is finding out what we are really interested in, what is our field of interest, where is our talent.
When we practice PSE we receive, directly or after a while, flashes of insight or we take spontaneous initiatives which show us what we are really interested in. It often happens that participants say they knew already since a long time that they wanted to do or to realize this and that, yet that they did not think it was that important to them or that it was really something they should deepen or follow through in order to realize it seriously and/or professionally. Intuitively we know everything about ourselves, yet often we do not regard intuitions as a serious source of insight and knowledge. Our culture and educational system do not favor this source of knowledge and even destroy it more or less.
One powerful positive suggestion concerning our learning motivation and ability is for example:
Learning is always easy and enjoyable for me.
For teachers (who are also learning-teachers, persons who should be able to build up learning motivation and skills in the pupil), the corresponding formula would be:
Teaching is always easy and enjoyable for me.
The enthusiastic teacher, the one who teaches with joy because he derives pleasure from teaching, transmits automatically the message that the learning process is a joyful and pleasurable one, even without directly teaching learning skills. What are learning skills for?
No learning skill can transmit to the student the pleasure learning can provide, no learning technique can build the inner motivation for learning. A technique is a technique, nothing more and nothing less, a tool. Yet techniques do not generally affect our inner attitudes, our motivation, our mental attitude. I do not talk now about mind-techniques, of course. When I talk about techniques, I am talking about what you are used to call skills. I talk about techniques like a piano technique, a technique to typewrite, a management technique, a technique to drive a car or to do mathematical calculations, and so on.
For most of us learning is an experience directly linked to techniques, to the learning of techniques. Yet learning is not at its origin a matter of techniques. Learning is not skill-related, but talent-related. It simply is absorbing knowledge. And there are many forms of knowledge other than techniques. My theory is even that learning motivation evaporates if we concentrate exclusively on learning skills. Let me give an example of what I am talking about, an example out of the musical world:
When Svjatoslav Richter, the famous pianist, and the young pianist Andreij Gavrilov were performing together in Mesley, France, Richter was interviewed by Johannes Schaaf, a German filmmaker. Richter was asked about his career and pointed out that earlier in his life he wanted to become a painter. He said that his parents were both musicians yet never pushed him to do the same. So he painted most of the time instead of practicing piano and later went to the Odessa conservatory to work as an opera repetitor. He was all but a pianist. Only at age 18 did he join master classes with Neuhaus and started his career as a pianist. Then Richter was talking about Gavrilov whose life had been entirely different. Pushed by his parents to perform piano at the tender age of three, Andreij’s youth passed almost without play, under the pressure of perfect musical performance. Richter said Gavrilov developed certainly a marvelous technique, yet the pressure could have destroyed the boy if he did not love music so much.
What I want to say is that art and a technique are not the same. Gavrilov was pushed to develop a technique, pianistic perfection, yet nobody had ever to push him to become an artist, a musician. His musicality was simply there. Richter’s argument was that the frenetic pursuit of technique and perfection can drive us out of our mind and become a danger to our health and wellbeing, yet that the love for the thing we pursue can on the other hand balance out this danger. Richter’s own life proves this truth.
In PSE we rather avoid extremes and do not overstretch the body. If we appeal to our inner wisdom and develop confidence that this wisdom always guides us in the right speed, we will progress sound and safe, and not to the detriment of some part of us, be it body or mind, that we have overstretched or abused in our striving for perfection.
Especially people who want to achieve high, who have high goals, who think big, are inclined to sacrifice at times some of their resources, because they think this sacrifice helped them to surpass themselves and to go beyond their limits. Afterwards they find out that truly nothing can be achieved on a long-term basis if we pursue it from outside of our center and not from within our true being.
Practicing PSE, we develop natural confidence into our inner wisdom and its guidance, and we avoid overstretching ourselves.
There are basic suggestions that open up our inner potential. Once we are in deep relaxation and our mind is relaxed and receptive, we affirm:
Every day, in all respects and in all areas of my life,
I feel better and better.
This simple suggestion, developed by Dr. Coué in France, effectuates miracles. Dr. Coué was one of the first pioneers of suggestive healing. In his hospital in Nancy, France, he let his patients repeat this powerful mantra while they were in relaxation or doing some repetitive activity such as sewing or embroidering.
This basic mantra can be varied, for example for self-acceptance:
Every day, in all respects and in all areas of my life,
I approve more of myself.
In fact, many people have a problem to accept themselves.
What happens when we constantly put others higher than ourselves because we do not entirely approve of ourselves? We continuously try to conform to what others expect from us or rather what we believe they expect from us. As a result, we are out of our center and cannot realize our full potential. In addition, we feel overstretched and unhappy. The stress to comply with others’ needs can affect one’s health and even cause heart disease.
A suggestion to counteract this, would be:
Every day more, I realize my full potential from my own center,
for my best and the best of all beings.
When I got acquainted with positive thought, years ago, reading one of Dr. Joseph Murphy’s books (The Power of Your Subconscious Mind), I was especially moved by Murphy’s stressing the necessity to formulate our needs in a way to bring good for all beings, yet to realize them in the first place for ourselves.
I was at this time deeply involved with searching truth by studying the different religions, trying out various forms of meditation and self-improvement. And it was after reading Dr. Murphy that I was reflecting about my general mental attitude.
I found that strangely enough I constantly sacrificed myself for the benefit of others while deep down in my heart I was not really in favor of myself nor did I really accept myself as I was. This was my point of departure. In fact, I had encountered situations before that time that everybody except me would consider as very unfortunate or unlucky and friends asked me why I was not more vigilant with certain things? Some of my friends said that I let other people walk over my feet and that I did nothing to defend my positions in relationships and socially. That I was fatalistic and too passive.
Then I started with Dr. Murphy’s scientific prayer system and a few months later I heard from a growing number of persons, including my psychiatrist that I had completely changed. I myself was not so much aware of it, besides the simple fact that I felt better in my skin, without criticizing myself all the time, without feeling guilty for this and that all the time, and so on. Well-meaning friends also revealed me that before this fundamental change, I had always tried to justify myself for this and that at a point to apologize for my very existence.
The concept of personal power was at this time still unknown to me. Only a little later, when I entered psychotherapy, I heard from the psychiatrist that I had a problem with my ego and lacked personal power since I thought of power as something dangerous, negative and abusive.
My psychiatrist, an expert in Erickson hypnotherapy empowered me in a very subtle way, using light hypnosis and a very special form of dialogue which made me aware of all the points I had to work on. I myself began then with the inner dialogue as a technique to get in touch with my inner entities, a work that I did on my own which was however actively encouraged by my psychiatrist. Also did he fully approve of Dr. Murphy’s prayer therapy which I carried out simultaneously to the work we did together. It appeared that this form of self-empowerment supported the therapy, to an extent which amazed and surprised my psychiatrist. He said he had never seen somebody changing so quickly, and so entirely.
Later I wrote an article about what I called the prayer therapy which was something like the parent of my present PSE system. This system is, as you may see now, something developed out of practice and not theory, something that has proved its right of existence already.
The major difference between Dr. Murphy’s approach and PSE is the integration of professional relaxation into the suggestive therapy. The further step then was to combine this relaxation with a special kind of music that coordinates the brain and makes us still more receptive to the suggestions we receive in the relaxed state or which we repeat to ourselves.
During my psychotherapy I read many publications about visualization and its use in various therapeutic settings. I studied sophrology and saw that it made active use of visualization to achieve peak performance for sport champions all over the world. Thus I got the idea to integrate visualization into the self-empowerment system I had developed and continued to practice for my own benefit. I noted that the practice of positive thought is greatly enhanced by visualization. It is very powerful to imagine that what we want to achieve is already ours. However, not everybody is good in visualization. Many of us must learn it, and part of the training is of course supporting participants with practical advice and help to build up step by step their inner view, their imagination. Actually, the first step in practicing positive thinking could be the establishment of a wish collection, a paper which simply lists what we desire to have or achieve, and then visualizing every item of the list, like in a film, as if it was already fully realized in our life. Music, relaxation, visualization and suggestions proved to work together as a powerful synergistic toolset to entirely change my mindset and to free me from self-imposed mental and emotional barriers.
PSE as a result of my own transformation became a tool for success techniques and the foundation of the human skill training I developed later on. From the feedback I received upon my work, and as a fruit of many encounters with general managers, human resource directors and executives in different countries of the Asia-Pacific region, I developed a feeling for the importance of offering a training which actively enhances self-confidence, trust, teambuilding capacities and creative intelligence, as well as the willingness to assume responsibility.
Self-confidence is the basis of true optimism. It is faith in ourselves, our singularity. In the word self-confidence is contained self and confidence: confidence in the self. The self, Ramana Maharshi teaches, is our Higher Instance, the I-AM force in us. Fairy tales, myths and religions teach that we should exclusively rely upon the guidance that we receive from this higher direction that we use to call God or otherwise. If we put it into spiritual terms or simply evaluate it under a scientific perspective, it remains the same truth. Without believing in ourselves and without accepting ourselves at the beginning of all work on our potential, we can’t achieve anything. Many programs for self-development oversee or belittle the importance of these two basic elements. Which makes that these trainings do not really go to the root of the problem and that their effectiveness remains limited.
PSE goes beyond those limitations and affects the person and the mask of the personality as a whole. It entirely changes our inner program, our mindset and our general attitude toward life, ourselves and others.
Positive Self-Talk (PST)
Many people want to get into self-healing today and are searching for some tools to change inner scripts. We’ve got the tools, quite a bit of them, but we’ve to apply them to get them working in our lives. It’s not just enough to have them written down in thick books that we store in our library.
What is it then that keeps many people away from practicing let’s say NLP or another sophisticated method to change inner scripting? I guess it simply is that many of these methods are complex and need to be thoroughly learned and understood before they can be applied. This means sitting down and reading, perhaps five hundred pages of a method before actually putting it to practice. And of course, there’s always a bit of the author’s own making, character and individuality that goes with it. In one word: there’s a time problem around. And it seems that most people who at all would want to spend time on self-improvement are not the kind to sit around at home and doing nothing, but rather busy people who have many priorities on their schedule. Therefore the need for a method that is not intellectual but practical and that can be flexibly adapted to everybody’s needs and preferences is so high.
This little guide shows you in little steps that each won’t take more than about 15 minutes of your precious time how to develop:
- A positive inner script;
- A genuinely positive and creative self-talk;
- A personality that is flexible, strong and confident;
- A smart way of dealing with emotional conflicts or stress.
Positive Self-Talk (PST) is a simple tool to achieve all those goals step by step. There must always be a first step, and sometimes it’s the most difficult one. The first step in PST is:
Learn to listen to yourself.
We all engage in self-talk. Actually self-talk is something natural and healthy. Our personalities are composed of different entities or energies. The more we are creative or want to be creative, the more we have or should have multiple facets in our character or mind set. We are not just one person. The word person in fact comes from the old Greek word persona which means mask. Our personalities are the masks we wear to adopt different roles and carry them through in life. Nobody seems to have only one role in life. We are naturally multiple actors on multiple stages, playing the partner, the child, the parent, the adult or the employer/employee and other roles at every moment.
As long as we are engaged in a role, we can’t listen to the whole of our being, to the person behind the masks. We may be able to listen to the actor, the person, the shell but not to the director, the nucleus, the flame or creative inner self. This creative inner self is our true and undivided being. PST helps us to reach it.
You can practice the first step by:
- listening to the actor
- listening to the director
I would like to give you complete freedom as to what you find more appropriate to begin with. There are people who just want to know right on the spot and sit down, leave their shells and get centered. I would call them the inside-outs. There are others who prefer to begin on the shell level and work from there down inside. These are outside-ins. Only you can know to which group you belong.
It can be said that the first group, the outside-ins, are more left-brain oriented whereas the second group, the inside-outs, are more right-brain oriented.
How to determine what kind of person I am?
There are certain signs or indications in our way of being, our behavior and our usual way of thinking about life and the world that are hints on this matter.
- are rather gregarious
- tend to act before they think
- tackle problems rather rationally and deductively
- tend to be bold or overreact in stress situations
- imitate if lacking new ideas
- are rather solitary
- tend to think before they act
- tackle problems rather intuitively and inductively
- tend to hide or make depression in stress situations
- create if lacking new ideas
These two groups are just schemes and since life is not to be grasped with schemes, this is only indicative and not definite. We tend to have characteristics of both groups. However, most people show in their overall behavior or life style a slight or pronounced tendency for the characteristics of one of the two groups.
The second step in PST is to
Get motivated to change the basic script.
5 min. every day
Why is it important that we first set our motivation before we begin with influencing and changing our self talk? This step is often overlooked. Most approaches that offer quick fixes are so much involved with the method that they forget the motives behind it. However, effective learning is impossible without having clarity about our motives to learn.
Learning is first of all a function of the motivation to learn. If this basic motivation is lacking, the best method, however genial, will not make us masters of the stuff to be learned. A simple example: How many of us know a family where a child or even all the children are forced to play a musical instrument like the piano or the cello? And how many of us know that the motives for those children to learn musical instruments are non-existent. Simply because the true motive for the children to learn to play music is the parents’ wish to have musical children.
Sometimes, children are musically gifted and develop by themselves a motivation to learn a musical instrument. However, in those cases the child will usually take the initiative to get lessons or at least an instrument, and not the parent. Naturally, the motive to learn must come from the learner! It is an inner expression, something very deep and related to our soul, our character or even, if you want, our virtue or karma. If it is forced upon, it’s useless. Because in terms of character building there is no outside-in. Character building must begin inside and work towards the outside and not vice versa. What those good-meaning parents want in fact is to build their children’s character. However, they try to apply outside-in methods and therefore they will create obstinacy rather than virtue in their children.
How then to motivate myself?
There are three points to observe:
- Take an ultimate decision to change your self-image;
- Write down on a list all reasons that motivate you for change;
- Work out a schedule for putting this decision into practice.
Example of an Ultimate Decision
I hereby decide ultimately that I am going to change my inner script, my basic attitude and the reflection of this inner attitude in the outside world. I know that my self-image is made up over the years with all kinds of experiences. I am fully aware of this fact and I know that my life is not dependent on outside circumstances but solely on my own state of mind, my belief system and my overall perception of life.
Keeping all this in mind, I hereby take the firm will and intention to build a mindset that fully supports the realization of my personal power and original talents through worthwhile contributions to the whole of mankind and the universe. This mindset also strongly enhances my prosperity, and this in a way that others equally benefit from my inner and outer riches.
Sample Reasons-for-Change List
Before you sit down to write your list, please try to connect to your inner self, cut yourself off from the outside world for a moment, perhaps looking for a quiet spot in your house or wherever you are and centering in yourself. Just sit back and take some deep breaths, close your eyes and feel that your energy centers peacefully in your heart. You will experience that with this simple method your body tension suddenly releases and you may feel tired, heavy and calm. There is usually a feeling of hot energy flowing into your heart. You may perceive this right on or later, even some time after the relaxation. Just enjoy this quiet state of mind without searching for something. If thought comes let it pass, if emotions come up let them flow through you naturally. Don’t interfere in them.
An idea may flush up during the relaxation or later on. Don’t let it pass unnoticed, but immediately catch pen and paper and write it down, even if it’s vague or seems trivial. Often we judge trivial inner perceptions simply because we have not fully developed our sixth sense and our rational mind tends to make down those intuitions which are extremely helpful and valuable. Give yourself five minutes of your precious time for this centering exercise each and every day. This alone can cause miracles or positive change!
MY REASONS FOR CHANGE
Instead of making a living I want to lead a prosperous life in which material riches are the natural outflow of my inherent talents and strengths.
Instead of hiding myself behind invisible screens I want to act in public in order to contribute in a positive way to projects and endeavors that enhance life quality, beauty, love and peace on earth.
Instead of aspiring to small or mid-sized goals, I now aspire the highest goals and ideas I can think of. I know that I can only achieve what I have envisioned. Therefore my vision is now broad and I feel enthusiastic about the perspective that I from now on attract lots of riches, beauty, positive values, love and power into my life. All what I achieve and all what I stand for is in accordance with universal laws and destined to contribute to the common good of all living.
The third step in PST is to
Take action to implement new positive self-talk.
5 min. every day
Once we have developed awareness of our self-talk and see that it is somehow negative and thus detrimental to our growth and natural desire for high achievement, we are in a very favorable position. Why? You may say that it’s not enough to sit back and wait when you have discovered a basic bug in your life or your way to think. You may want to do something about it, and massively. However, believe it or not, the very fact that you’ve got that awareness makes that things change by themselves. It’s our subconscious mind that greatly helps us to make the necessary changes.
Why then, you may rightly ask, did this inner mind not act before my getting aware of the problem? The answer is that it did. However, as long as you refuse to build positive awareness, your subconscious mind’s action frame is limited. It will constantly try to lead you to that awareness, through circumstances, through books that you suddenly find in bookstores, through people you meet, through new activities you discover that did not seem of interest for you before…
The breakthrough is possible by combining your subconscious and your conscious minds’ acting in synch. It’s this basic synergy that is so powerful and helps you to overcome the most obstinate of limitations.
There are basically three important rules to influence positively our negative self-talk. The first rule is a negative, a not-to, the other two are positive or do’s:
Don’t interfere in your self-talk, don’t judge, don’t punish
Put behind every negative thought immediately a positive thought
Build a positive-thought pool
RULE ONE : Watch what’s going on inside the box
It’s very important that from the beginning you develop a correct attitude in dealing with yourself. You can’t expect yourself becoming a leader as long as you treat yourself like a slave! If you want to get royalties out of your life, treat yourself royally! This means first of all that you do not fight against yourself nor punish yourself nor build in your life a system of punishment and reward. This latter may be good for training dogs but it’s against human dignity. It eventually will damage your self-esteem. I know that many quick-fix kind of approaches to self-improvement use similar techniques. They may get quick results but those results vanish shortly after, or are even counterproductive. Because they may build up in you even more blind spots than you had before you engaged in such kind of activity. In all the matters of human evolution and in building up attitudes quick fixes simply won’t work!
What happens if you don’t respect the first rule? You will create war within yourself and with yourself, inner conflict that will get to a point to impede you from experiencing peace of mind. And without basic peace of mind, no change in character, habits or attitude can be expected. Peace of mind is an absolute pre-condition for any kind of evolution we want to achieve. This is why, for example, the religious scriptures, from whatever religion, are so seriously emphasizing the importance to create peace in ourselves and around ourselves. Peace of mind is essential for getting connected to our deep down reservoir of wisdom and energy and the guidance we receive from the invisible world. The more we experience peace, the more our life will gain significance and our circle of influence broaden.
Respecting yourself means to accept yourself in the first place! It also means to passively acknowledge the status quo of your life, not out of a quietist or even fatalist position, but as a simple starting point. Because if you refuse to acknowledge the present, with all what this means, you can’t move into the future. You’ll be stuck in the past. We all have the choice to move forward or backward on the scale of time. Nobody forces you to choose evolution if you decide for regression. However life rather tends to favor evolution. It’s in the way the energy moves. Therefore it’s actually much easier to live on ways that favor evolution than to retrograde back in the past or to be stuck to a stagnant present. Nowadays, we live in a strong field of regression, especially in the countries that are the most advanced in evolution. That’s part of life’s paradoxical nature. Where there is lots of light there is lots of shadow. We can choose to walk in light or in darkness. Recognizing that there is both light in shadow and shadow in light (as there is yang in yin and yin in yang), we can make a conscious decision as to our main paradigms.
Our negative self-talk is not something to be fired away, dismissed or killed. Please forget all those categories you pick up in the media almost every minute. Life is not maintained and enhanced by killing. And virtue not by killing vice. As long as we think that we have to eradicate ‘bad weeds’ in order to breed good ones, we act counter to the very principles of life. Because a bad weed is ‘bad’ only in the sense that it grows in the wrong place. Moss that grows among roses is considered a bad weed. But what about a rose growing in an acre of potatoes? It’s very relative what is bad and good, it depends. Life, nature does not eradicate. It does not produce terminators. Only humans do, and not the most intelligent ones, to be true. The sun shines on all beings. And that’s how you should shine on both your positive and your negative self-talk.
What we can do after this first insight, is to just passively watch the nature of our self-talk. Then what happens is that our negative self-talk will convey us important messages about ourselves. Because there are reasons why we are negative, pessimistic or even bitter about things, events or people. There are reasons why we are depressed, why our self-talk is making us or others down. To be open to find out, to refrain from judging ourselves or others, to be passively watchful what’s going on inside of us and, first of all, to be motivated to improve our success abilities, our life quality, our happiness, our service, our standing, our presenting ourselves to others (Step 2) is essential. As I pointed out above, our inner motivation alone makes for progress even if we remain passive. However, we can really bring about a major breakthrough, a kind of explosion in success, achievement and long-term opportunities if we do more than creating the motivation and really get into action.
RULE TWO : Act positively upon your self-talk
Action that has been thoroughly prepared from inside-out, and is rooted in a deep inner motivation which is in turn based upon an attitude is extremely powerful! It’s what trainers like Anthony Robbins use to call massive action! It’s not massive because you jump out of your shell like a Jack-In-The-Box (that may be helpful, too…, and it’s fun!). It’s massive because it’s deeply rooted in your power potential. What is my power potential? you may ask. Your power potential is the resources you carry within you, and it’s first of all your attitude and the values that make out this attitude. Well then, you may further argue, what you offer me here is not a very practical method because you want me to change from inside-out and not just change my self-talk. Well, yes, it’s not a quick fix, indeed. I don’t offer you a cheap kind of do-this, do-that approach. That’s superficial and will not last long. But doing things effectively does not mean to do them theoretically, it does not mean that we are impractical. Praxis that is effective always is founded upon a sound theory. Or have you ever seen a good carpenter who does not know the basic theory of carpentry? Do you know a good computer specialist who does not know the theory of how a computer works internally? Often we learn theory by doing, by practicing but that does not mean that practice replaces theory. How we learn the theory may be different. It can be caught from books or by doing practical work. But it remains the theory.
The same is valid for self-improvement and the acquisition of leadership skills. In order to improve your self-talk you need some theoretical knowledge about how your mind works. You need to know, for example, that you can’t eradicate bad or destructive self-talk just be trying to forget about it or to force yourself to not do it. If you work that way you violate yourself and you violate the principles life is based upon. As I mentioned earlier, life can’t be maintained let alone improved by killing things, by terminating habits and so on. What you create by forcing yourself is only resistance, blockages, frustration and unhappiness. And there is more. If you want to force the mind to obey you, the mind will ask you who you are that you can command it. Ask yourself what in you can pretend to be stronger or more powerful than your mind? You may answer: my character, or, my soul. Yes, but your character or your soul do not need to force your mind simply because your mind is not willing to collaborate with them. Why not? Because the mind is composed of past experiences, of memory, of repetitive patterns, habits, survival reactions that have once been useful in the past but are completely inappropriate in a new and different situation. How then, you may insist, can I get this mind to be more flexible, to be less rooted in the past, to react more appropriately to my present tasks and challenges?
That’s the key question. If you’ve got there you’ve got far. The answer is that your mind will act that way if you:
- Refrain from disciplining your mind;
- Refrain from judging your mind;
- Refrain from punishing your mind;
- Refrain from forcing your mind.
Instead acknowledge the state of mind you are in in any given moment. Just find out what your mind is like in a given situation. My mind is confused right now, you may find, or My mind is driven by contradictory desires or wishes, you may conclude. So then, stating that fact, what to do further? Not much. Since we agreed that the mind can’t be forced upon and that’s no easy way to change old habits that are rooted in our past without getting back into this past (what we really want to avoid because we don’t have the time to follow six years of psychoanalysis…), there is only one way of doing: When your mind says A and you know that A is destructive for you, you let your mind say A, but you say B. This means if your self-talk is negative you let it be negative. You just put behind the negative sentence that you’ve trapped a positive one. Example:
You trap yourself having had the following inner dialogue:
—A is really a dread. Not only does he cheat me, but he’s ugly and stupid. He’s done that to others, too. He’s a real jerk. And I could kick myself in the ass that I trusted him. I’m not much better in fact. Otherwise I wouldn’t have got to make friends with guys like him. I was always this kind of naive and childish and I would like to really eradicate this idiotic immature behavior in myself. What an ass I was, no…
Now, you don’t interfere, you don’t judge, neither A nor yourself. You do not blame yourself either for this quite negative piece of inner dialogue. You simply put a positive scene behind it. Something like that:
—A is a godlike being just like me. I affirm that this man is my friend since I followed my inner wisdom to make friends with him. That he acted against universal principles is something serious but who else than me as his friend is called upon to inform him about his mistake? I now take this responsibility serious and get into touch with A in order to tackle this mistake of him. There will be a way to get in honest dialogue with him. I affirm my inner child and know that my basic naiveté is part of my innocence and I want to keep that because it’s one of the most precious things life has given to me. I’ve acted right until now and I continue acting right and life will do the rest. A will see A’s positive qualities from now on and this energy will strengthen those qualities in A and eventually help him to transform his weaknesses into strengths.
RULE THREE : Build a positive-thought pool
Now you can go one step farther and not only act occasionally, every time you trap a negative thought pattern, but engage in some kind of prevention. You can build up a positive-thought pool. That’s something similar to a talent pool. What you pool instead are not talents, but thoughts!
A positive-thought pool is an inner reservoir of strength that you can compare to a fountain of light, force and wisdom. It is composed of a variety of positive thought patterns that are deeply ingrained in your mind. Now, what happens if you have built such kind of positive-thought pool? The pattern created is a growth pattern, a pattern in your mind that grows by itself, like a fertile plant that is watered and cared for in the right way. It’s our personal success library, a library that is not just dead paper but living content!
Two questions arise:
- What are the thoughts that effectuate growth?
- How can such thought become deeply ingrained in my mind?
The thoughts or thought patterns that effectuate growth are like seeds. They possess a nucleus which is nothing but bundled mind energy, an energy that you may imagine of as highly condensed so that even small quantities of it can bring almost miraculous results.
The reason why these thoughts have that intrinsic power and other thoughts not simply is the result of their being an outflow of universal principles. What are universal principles? Universal principles, also known as cosmic principles, are rules and laws that are eternal and unchanging, timeless and valid for all beings. Dr. Covey, as you may want to look up in Stephen Covey’s Seven Habit tools, defines principles as guidelines for human conduct that are proven to have enduring, permanent value. (See: Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990).
You may agree with that but remain skeptical what is going to engrain those thoughts so deeply in you that they act like an inner script? The secret is that they have to be implanted in your subconscious mind. How to get there?
- Building Focus;
- Positive Prayers;
- The Force of Conviction;
- Clearing Your Past.
Building focus is among the highly revealing experiences of self. And yet it’s so easy, so utterly simple. You just sit back, close your eyes and visualize a beam of white light that connects your heart with the heart of the universe. You can do this in just five or ten minutes and at any place where you feel safe enough to abandon control. When you center within yourself you may, perhaps for the first time, become aware of your self-talk. If you have developed already awareness of your self-talk, you can use focusing to recharge you with energy. However, this is only possible if you can establish silence in your mind. That means you must have worked in some way on your self-talk. Without that work self-talk tends to be chaotic in some way, in the sense that it is completely involuntary, like a wild untamed horse.
Now focusing goes farther than self-talk awareness. Once your mind is silent, focusing becomes a powerful experience of connecting yourself with universal wisdom and being recharged by it. You can than pray silently in your heart and ask for guidance, for light or for more energy to accomplish certain tasks. And don’t doubt: it will be given to you!
Positive prayers are affirmations that confirm our conviction that divine guidance exists and constantly works for our best, that it helps us fulfill our destiny for the best of all beings, that it protects us from dangers and that it attracts to us all riches that the universe has to offer. For example:
The Universal Force in me loves me, guides me and cares for me. It helps me now and always to realize my highest potential and my most valuable talents for my best and the best of all beings.
Universal love and wisdom guide me in realizing happiness and creativity. I prosper here and now with my talents, contributing to the whole of mankind with worthwhile and beautiful creations.
The universal laws of love, integrity and prosperity guide me on all my ways. I know it and feel it that my life is now enhanced with courage and creativity and that I’m truly prosperous. I also feel the synergetic bond I maintain with all beings. I am happy to realize this every day and to affirm it again.
My conscious intention is to contribute, to serve and to live my life with passion, joy and intelligence so that I synergistically relate to others in order to create together with them what brings more enlightenment, more and higher energy, more happiness and joy and more prosperity in this world.
The Force of Conviction
Conviction is a form of belief that is so strong that there is almost no doubt left in it. Some of us need to go a long way to really build this basic and powerful kind of conviction. This is simply so because to be convinced of something involves trust. If I deeply mistrust others I will be at odds with the conviction that synergy is one of the strongest forces. If I doubt that nature is basically good and that our human nature is always striving for evolution, I will have a problem to build a conviction of the existence of a strong positive force that guides us to our best. Or I try to disintegrate this force from nature and say ‘Well, I call it God and it’s not part of nature. It has well created nature but itself is outside of it.’ I doubt that people with such religious concepts can build trust in nature and help nature and the earth to survive. Those people’s beliefs will rather bring them to disregard nature or even destroy it. In having disintegrated their God concept from its root, nature, they destroy their God’s very creation…
Conviction is so strong that it does not need constant re-affirmation or confirmation. It is like a place in our heart where there is no fear. Fear is perhaps the only thing that can corrupt conviction. Fear is destructive anyway. It keeps us from acting appropriately in the ever-changing flow of life. It makes us to keep stuck to old concepts and rigid ideas.
Therefore, in achieving positive self-talk as part of a generally positive and creative attitude, we have to cope with our inner or psychological fears. We have to find out their origins.
Clearing Your Past
Many of deep psychological fears have their roots in the past, in past hurts and traumas we went through as children or adolescents or even as adults. They also may have their origins in former lives or genetics. If we disregard the fear-factor, we will remain superficial in our task to create positive self-talk. I do not suggest that you follow a six-year psychoanalysis, although I do not say anything against it either. If you listen inside of you, you will find out what it is that fits you best to clear your past. Here are some of the possible ways:
- Keeping a dream journal;
- Working with positive dream visualization;
- Keeping a journal or diary;
- Writing an autobiography;
- Praying with the firm intention to forgive all people who hurt you;
- Finding out your control or survival childhood drama;
- Getting professional help that you feel good with;
- Practicing spontaneous art or dance to express your emotions;
- Dialoguing with yourself (conscious auto-therapeutic self-talk).
I myself have practiced all of these possible ways, and I can say that all of them work. However, at some times in your life you may have a preference for one or the other. For example, if there is an opportunity to get professional help because at one time or the other you’ve a friend who is in the business of counseling or therapy or you can afford a therapy anyway or you develop a spontaneous interest for a specific therapeutic approach, you should engage in that way as long as you feel it is good for you. At other times, you may want to pursue your self-healing in a more solitary way. That’s fine, too.
If you look among highly successful people be it in art or in business, you find that most of them went through painful control or survival dramas to find their true nature. However, their strength was not to surrender but to continue on their way to realize their highest potential, their intrinsic talent, their mission.
This last point can’t be deepened in this little guide because that would go beyond my intention. This little text was written to give you a kind of outline for your own work with positive self-talk. It is meant as an introduction and it should nourish your motivation to follow your own way, your own nature to the point to really succeed and achieve happiness in your life. This is my sincere wish and with it I would like to let it over to you to practice some of the hints that I’ve given you here.