Monday, September 5, 2011


The primary cause of any emotion is not outside events, but self-talk that you give yourself about out-side events. Learning to control undesirable emotion via self-talk has immense therapeutic value.

How you can improve your life by using rational self-talk at work, in your marriage, at school, and in raising children. Your sexual functioning is primarily determined by your self-talk.

The basic concepts of self-talk are presently revolutionizing traditional psychological thinking and have the power of substantially improving our lives.

Ways in which self-talk affects our lives:

a) Placebo effects
There is strong evidence that the self-talk "I'm being treated, therefore I'll get better" does help some people who have certain medical conditions to improve (Freese, 1976, p. 196). In medicine it is recognized that a strong will to live (self-talk of "I'll recover") has an important effect in the recovery of those who are critically ill.

b) Positive Thinking
Positive thinking appears to be a consequence of a certain kind of self-talk, "I'll be able to do this," "We'll win," etc. This kind of self-talk is designed to make athletes positively believe they'll win, and that is also designed to increase their motivation.

Positive thinking is the key to achieving success and happiness in both your personal and business life (W. Clement Stone - Publisher of the magazine Success Unlimited).

Success identities versus failure identities people. Success identities results from such self-talk "I'm a worthy person," "I have accomplished much of what I have tried in the past," "Trying something new is challenging and stimulating," "I look forward to trying something more complicated and involved." Failure identities result from such self-talk as "I can't accomplish anything I try," "I'm a failure," "I hate to try anything new as it will reveal my weakness to others." Failure identities leads to loneliness, frustration, and depression (William Glasser, 1972 in The Identity Society).

c) Motivation
What we want out of life, and our desire to achieve what we want, primarily determine what our life will be (Glasser, 1972). Example, positive motivation "I'll give it my best shot," "I want such and such," "I'll succeed." Furthermore, a lack of motivation ir indicated by such self-talk as "I don't wan't to do that."

In counselling, the key variable in determining whether a client will improve his or her situation is the client's motivation to improve and put forth the necessary effort (Losoncy, 1977).

d) Success in sports
Every competitive sport is composed of two parts, an outer game and an inner game. The outer game consists of mastering the mechanics of how to play the game (how to block, swing a racket or bat, how to throw a ball, and so on).

The inner game, on the other hand, take the place in the mind of the player and primarily consists of the self-talk that one has while playing. Self-doubt and self-condemnation, for example, relaxed self-confidence is a key to winning. Relaxed self-confidence is not only important in playing competitively, but also substantially facilitates learning any new games (W. Timothy Gallwey, The Inner Game of Tennis, 1974).

e) Physiological Reactions
It appears self-talk has a substantial effect on physiological reactions.
For example: "I worry that." - Leads to anxiety, peptic ulcer, hives, face flushing, diarrhea, etc.
"I have got to lift that car which just fell on my friend." - Leads to adrenalin, lifting a weight that requires superhuman strength.
"I'm pregnant (when a woman actually isn't)." - Leads to certain physiological changes may occur such as sickness, missing a period, and even a pseudopregnancy.

These few examples suggest self-talk has substantial influences on the functioning of physiological processes.

f) Mood effects when using alcohol and other drugs
A wide range of emotional reactions may result when a person becomes physiologically aroused from taking drugs:

A person may become elated, more cheerful, more relaxed, depressed, morose, hostile, belligerent, angry, tense, or show mood swings. How can the same drug cause such a wide variety of emotional reaction? The answer would appear to be the nature of self-talk that the aroused person is concentrating on.

Self-talk, as described above, not only has substantial effects on our daily life; it also influences our life in a variety of ways, each having a powerful effect. Our self-talk makes us what we are, and we can change our self-talk to become what we want to be.

I hope these tips help you realize that your self-talk, as described above, not only has substantial effects on our daily life; it also influences our life in a variety of ways, each having a powerful effect. Our self-talk makes us what we are, and we can change our self-talk to become what we want to be.

With admiration,
Robert S. Malugu

P.S: I love comments on this blog. They are as important as anything I write myself. They add to the knowledge and community that we have here. If you want to comment then you are more than welcome; whether you feel you are a beginner or an expert, feel free to have you say. Relevant links in comments are actively encouraged. If you are leaving a comment on my blog and want to point to a link on your own or someone else’s site that is relevant to the topic then please feel free to do so. This adds to the conversation and improves the blog. 

About the Author
Robert Malugu is the founder and editor of Malugu Robert - The Positive Thinking Site. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, at Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.

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