Have you ever felt like a hamster on a wheel, furiously churning your way through life but somehow going nowhere? All the while you’re caught in a loop of constant internal chatter and judgement that never stops, a little voice telling you that you’re lazy or stupid or not good enough. You won’t even notice the degree to which you believe it or are drained by it, you’ll just be spending your day working to overcome the stresses and strains, trying to live your life and at various points facing the resignation, that if you can’t get your ass off this damned wheel, maybe you are never going to get to where you want in life .
These pages are dedicated to those that experience that self-defeating monolog. The endless stream of doubt and subterfuge that limits and taints everyday life. This is a conversational slap from the universe to wake you up to your true potential, to unfuck yourself and get spectacularly into your life. Let’s get this thing started in the right place. There are two kinds of talk you engage in every day: talking to others and talking to yourself. You might be one of those that insists, “I don’t talk to myself!” But, in fact, most of the conversations you have on any given day are with yourself—all “enjoyed” in the solitude and privacy of your own head. Whether you’re introverted or extroverted, creative or practical, you spend huge swathes of your time talking to…YOU! You do it while exercising, working, swathes of your time talking to…YOU! You’re actually doing it right now.
Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you’re crazy. Or, perhaps it means we’re all a little crazy. Either way, we all do it, so settle in and welcome to the freak show. Studies show that we have over fifty thousand thoughts per day. Think of all the things you say to yourself that you’d rather not or that you try to overcome or defeat. While we have little or no say in those automatic and reactionary thoughts, we have a massive say in which of those same thoughts we attach significance to. They don’t come pre-loaded!! The latest in neuroscience and psychology adds weight to the idea that the kind of talk you engage in has a profound impact on the quality of your life.
Professor Will Hart of the University of Alabama conducted four experiments in which participants either recalled or experienced a positive, negative or neutral event. They found that people who described the neutral event in ways that it suggested it was ongoing, actually felt more positive and when they described a negative event in the same way, they experienced more negativity. In simple terms, the language you use to describe your circumstances, determines how you see, experience and participate in them and dramatically affect how you deal with your life and confront problems. The connection between what we say and how we feel has been known for hundreds if not thousands of years.
Philosophers like Wittgenstein, Heidegger and Gadamer all knew of the importance and significance of language in our lives. Wittgenstein said, “…the harmony between thought and reality can be found the grammar of the language”. Studies have continually found that positive self-talk can dramatically improve mood, boost confidence, increase productivity, and more. In fact, as evidenced by Professor Hart and his studies, it can be one of the key components to a happy, successful life. The bad news is, the reverse is also true: Negative self-talk can not only put us in a bad mood, it can leave us feeling helpless. It can make small problems seem bigger – and even create problems where none existed before. Here’s the breaking news, your self-talk is fucking you over and in ways you can’t even begin to imagine. Those subjects have been done to death with varying degrees of success and certainly not what we’ll be doing here. I won’t ask you to tell yourself you’re a tiger as a way to unleash your inner animal. Firstly, you’re not a tiger and secondly, well, you’re not a tiger. This all may work for some people, but I’m much too Scottish for that. To me, being told to do these sorts of things feels like being force fed a bucket of maple syrup liberally sprinkled with bits of last year’s candy canes.
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