The Self-Talk Cycle: Reversing the Downward Spiral

​We have our self-image, which is our idea of how we are. That image controls our performance reality or how we behave when we are not consciously trying to control our actions or reactions. Our subconscious then takes over. Our auto-programming responds to situations that are familiar or similar to other situations in the past in an automatic, subconscious way. This is why we “feel” powerless to change it. But what if those past experiences are holding us back in our present situation?

Here is how the negative self-image embedded itself in the first place: 

  • I sanctioned, which means I accepted and agreed with, an event or a person who was negative and hurtful to my self-image.
  • Then, I lost control of my self-talk. • This lead to the accumulation of negative thoughts.
  • These negative thoughts were wrapped in negative emotions. 
  • These negative thoughts and emotions were repeated, over and over, until they became part of my automatic, habituated programming. ​

Talk about a downward spiral – that’s depressing! ​​But here’s the good news. The same process works to take us toward our goals. 

  • We need to decide, clearly and explicitly, what we intend to change. 
  • We use our self-talk and the accumulation of positive thoughts.
  • Those thoughts are wrapped with positive emotions.
  • Then, we repeat them, over and over, until we re-program the belief, attitude or habit closer to our potential.

Because we seek images, if we don’t give ourselves a new picture, we will go back to our old picture. In order to move from Goal Setting to Goal Assimilating, we want to be very conscious of our intentions and very conscious of our self-talk toward affirming those intentions. When our self-image and our behavior matches what it is that we expect of ourselves, then we keep doing it. But, when they don’t match, we need to have the self-discipline to control our self-talk, change the picture, affirm the new intention, then change the behavior until it meets what it is that we expect.​ 

The process isn’t difficult. It’s the discipline of controlling our self-talk in those areas we wish to change. ​