Sunday, May 20, 2007

Self-Talk Is a Performance Factor

A very important factor to achieve good results

Many students, when they first start working with me, show the following behavior, it's really common: they are working on a problem and all of a sudden they start saying things like: "Well, I don't know what to do, I have never been good at math," "I really suck at math," "I always get these problems wrong," "I do not understand percentages," "When it comes to algebra, I just don't get it," "Oh, boy! I hate these problems. I don't like math at all," "I am not smart," etcetera.
So, very often I have to explain to them the huge impact and importance of daily self-talk. I look them in the eye and I say:
"You mean you never were good at math before, but now you are, and you will."
Most times they look surprised and a little confused when they hear that. Then I go on telling them about how the subconscious mind works, in a totally different way than the conscious mind. I tell them:
"Look, in the long run, nothing is more important than what you say to yourself. Because your subconscious mind literally believes everything you say. It does not judge, it does not analyze, it does not argue. It just stores the information you put in there and later it retrieves it like that, unprocessed."
If you go on repeating things like you are not good at math, then that is what your subconscious mind stores and believes. Later it will make you act from that belief in ways that will produce results consistent with that belief, and the results will of course validate and reinforce the original belief.
If you want to pass your test, stop saying that and start saying: "I'm good at math," "I like math," "I can solve these problems." Just say it, even if it sounds fake at the beginning. Your conscious mind may say "That's a lie," but it doesn't matter. Your subconscious mind won't say anything like that, it will just take the new affirmation and store it. Then, later it will incorporate it in your subconscious decision making process.
By repetition, you can make the new, positive affirmation, outweigh the old, negative ones.
So, starting today, change what you say to yourself about math, about you math skills and your performance. You don't even have to say it aloud. Only by thinking it, it is having that effect in your subconscious mind. Watch carefully what you say to yourself about anything you care about. This process has a huge impact. It makes a real difference.

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