How Your Self-Talk And Mental Pictures Determine Your Actions

Develop A New Consciousness And Awareness

“Relentless, repetitive self-talk is what changes our self-image.” — Denis Waitley

What is the predominant self-talk that takes place in your mind? Is it affirmative or a disempowering voice that tries to convince you the world is a dark and scary place? We can get pulled into this narrative of negativity because the voices are real and so we believe they must be true. Or are they? I often use an exercise in seminars where I ask participants to tell me what they will think next. I explain, if they identify with their thoughts, surely they must know what their next thought will be. Unless there are psychics in the audience, rarely do people know what their next thought will be until it occurs. The point is: thoughts come and go from our minds and unless we give them meaning, they have little power in and of themselves.

So let’s return to your self-talk. You might be accustomed to listening to the voice in your head, and no longer aware of the negative thoughts? Yet, we must pay attention to our thoughts to change our circumstances. It’s said: thoughts become things, meaning everything in the physical universe begins with a thought. The house or the apartment you live in exists because an architect had an idea for the design of the building. Your smartphone, laptop or computer began its life with a thought. The point I wish to emphasise is: our reality results from our thinking, whether it be positive or negative. When negative circumstances show up, they shine the light on the truthfulness of our thoughts.

For example, consider a current problem in your life you want to improve. Do you believe there’s a solution you haven’t discovered? I hope you realise the nature of your problem results from your thinking alone. This doesn’t mean your thinking is flawed. It means you have directed your thoughts to something unwanted, and it has manifested. Do you agree, if we want a different outcome, we must change our thoughts or at least our perception of the problem? It was Albert Einstein who once said: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Put simply: We must develop a new consciousness and awareness, in which to perceive our problems from a higher level. The same consciousness cannot solve the problem created with our current level of thinking.

Awareness Shines The Light On Our Thoughts

“The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.” — Confucius

How does this relate to your self-talk or mental picture? If we replay the same script and visualise it through the lens of negativity, it must eventually manifest in our life. We agreed earlier that thoughts become things. What we think about and give our attention to must show up in our reality? I’m not talking about the law of attraction, but about universal laws that govern the framework of reality. The Hermetic aphorism states: “As within, so without.” That is, what happens at the level of thoughts is reflected in our reality. When we combine self-talk with a mental picture, we add colour to what appears in our life. We define it and give it energy, irrespective of whether it is a negative thought or a positive one. This is an idea the motivational psychologist and author Dr. Shad Helmstetter emphasises in What To Say When You Talk To Your Self: “Self-Talk is a way to override our past negative programming by erasing or replacing it with conscious, positive new directions. Self-Talk is a practical way to live our lives by active intent rather than by passive acceptance.”

People often ask: Does this mean I need to be attentive to every thought? No, since that requires a lot of mental energy best devoted to other things. The key is to observe our thoughts with an expanded awareness instead of remaining unconscious of them. Awareness is the key that unlocks us from the prison of negativity and self-destruction. It is the key to inner peace and freedom because it is the filter for our thoughts. Awareness shines the light on the congruency of our thoughts. If we wish to change our external conditions, being aware of what we think is the first step. I often use the example of a ship changing course midway through its journey in the ocean. First, the captain must change course and map new coordinates and relay this information to his crew. The same is true of ourselves: our awareness shines the light on our inner self-talk and mental picture. If we wish to change our future, it must begin by observing our mind and becoming conscious of our unconscious thoughts. It is only then, the level of dedication to our actions become congruent with a shift in awareness.

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