Self-Talking Your Way to Change

By Brad Parcells, PCC

TLG Senior Consultant

Change can be scary, and many people see a benefit to not making change: they don’t have to take action and face the unknown. However, not acting is actually taking action, just as not making a decision is actually deciding not to choose. People say that they want to change, but what they really want is their lives AFTER they have already changed.

The only way to make an effective change is to focus on the benefits of the change, not the challenge in making it. The best way to do this is to tie your values to your desired outcomes and show how the status quo will be a challenge to your values and won’t work.

There are two types of values: 1.) fear based and 2.) conscious based. Values based on fear are the ones that cause you to take action to avoid something. They are “have to’s”. Conscious values allow you to take positive action – they are “want to’s”. Are you choosing from passion or fear, consciously or not?


The Power of Self-Talk

One of the most effective ways to make change happen in your life, is to change how you speak through self-talk. Changing your language changes your reality.

Language originates from thoughts and feelings. Words, and the intention behind them, are either positive and empowering or negative and reinforcing. They convey underlying messages to the spiritual, physical, intellectual, and emotional dimensions in us.

Positive self-talk is centered, grounded, responsible, powerful, healthy, and empowering. It builds us up and helps us to believe in ourselves. Negative self-talk is disempowering and tears us down and keeps us down. Choosing to reframe negative statements into positive statements is a powerful tool.

Examples: “I should work harder to ensure financial and job security.” vs. “I choose to work harder to ensure financial and job stability and growth.” Or “I need to find a way to believe what others say about my performance.” vs. “It is important for me to believe what others say about my performance.”

Subtle changes, but powerful impact. By exercising positive self-talk, we can better implement the change we want to see. It allows us to be our authentic-self, and once we do that, real change happens.