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Negative Self-talk is Too Expensive

By Alan Fairweather

I'm always fascinated by the people who lift huge weights, particularly in competitions like the Olympic Games. There are events for men and women and they get up on stage to lift a bar with huge weights attached. I often wonder what sort of things they're saying to themselves as they pace up and down, rubbing their hands with resin powder and taking huge breaths.

What if they were saying - "That looks really heavy - it's heavier than anything I've lifted before. I'll probably drop it, make a real fool of myself and even injure myself to boot".!" Do you know what's going to happen if they say all this stuff to themselves? Their subconscious will say - "Okay, you say you're going to drop it. Then, that's what I'll arrange - and I'll try to make sure you injure yourself at the same time."

Of course, that isn't what happens. This weight lifter, who's trained for years to do precisely this thing, is screaming at himself internally - "You're going to lift that bar and push it right through the ceiling! You're going to break the world record! You're going to win this competition and everyone in the world will see you doing it!"

In the day-to-day tasks that we face in our life, we should be no different from these sportsmen and women. Think negative thoughts and that's what your subconscious will focus upon.

If you think illness, you'll become ill. If you think gloom and doom - that's what you'll get. But if you think health, happiness and success - you're already there.

"Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be" - Abraham Lincoln.

I read this quote some years ago and I know some people have a problem with it. We all face difficult situations in our lives and some people more than others. However, I've made up my mind to be as happy as I can and I recommend you do the same.

Focus on the positive things in your life - the things you can do - not the things you can't. Think about what you've achieved in the past - not what you haven't. Look at where you're going - not where you've been

There's a story about a young man who was really into positive thinking. His workmates used to make a fool of him and of course, he was challenged by their taunts. He told them one day that positive self-talk was so powerful that if he told himself he could fly through the air, he'd be able to fly. "Prove it" they cried. So off he went, up to the 20th floor of the building they worked in. He jumped off and was heard to cry as he went past a 10th floor window - "Well, it's all going great so far."

That sort of thinking isn't what this article is about. I sometimes get tired of hearing people say - "Think positive." What I'm suggesting is that - in all the things we face in life, we focus on the positive aspects.

Say for example a customer complains to you about some aspect of your product or service. It's so easy to think - "We've messed up, we're going to lose this customer's business, this is a disaster!"

It's far better to think - "Okay, we've made a mistake, what can we learn from this so that we don't do it again and make our service even better."

Ironically, it's often the case that if you solve a customer's problem, apologise and recover well, the customer will forgive you and become even more loyal.

Here's another example of what I mean: Say you were to discover a small lump in some part of your body - or a mark on your skin. Positive thinking might cause us to say - "It's nothing, I'll leave it and it'll go away by itself."

Negative thinking, on the other hand, would have us say - "Oh no! I've got cancer, I'm going to be in pain and misery and I might die."

Focussing on the positive allows us to say - "I must get this looked at immediately, whatever it is. They have marvellous ways of removing and curing these things nowadays."

There will always be challenges to face with customers and the people who work with you. Focussing on the positive will make them so much easier to deal with.

About The Author
Discover how you can generate more business by motivating your team!

Alan Fairweather is the author of "How to get More Sales by Motivating Your Team" This book is packed with practical things you can do to get the best out of your people.

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