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Ergo Sum: Practicing Healthy Self-Talk


Ergo Sum: Practicing Healthy Self-Talk

(Sequel to Video: Who Peed on Your Seed?)

In my video segment, I addressed how we each have a purpose to fulfill in life.  Many of us receive the impetus of “negative ingredients” that can lead to either productive (&/or counterproductive) results.  It is a combination of an “I think I can” attitude with an “I will achieve” behavior, and a “This makes me happy” sentiment.  Thoughts, Actions, Emotions.  These are the lifestyle choices we can each make.

There are several examples of well-known individuals who have practiced this lifestyle choice of believing they can be more, among which include the following:

Sir Winston Churchill, the PM who kept England afloat during WWII strictly on the strength of his brilliant oratory, was at the bottom of his class in one school and failed the entrance exams to another.

Beethoven had a teacher who called him a “hopeless dunce.”

Albert Einstein, whose theory of relativity changed the scientific world.  He performed badly in almost all of his high school courses and even flunked his college entrance exams!  He couldn’t speak until he was almost 4 yrs old and his teachers said, “He will never amount to much.”  Post-college, he was denied a teaching post.

Babe Ruth hit 714 home runs, but also struck out 1,330 times.

Oprah Winfrey was demoted from her job as a news anchor because she “wasn’t fit for TV.”

Here are some more:

So, I dedicate this blog on Self-Talk a good friend who upon having viewed my video, remarked, “What’s next…Who Pooped on Your Stoop??”  Well, in a sense, yes.  David Stoop, author of Self Talk: Key to Personal Growth, wrote, “Your self-talk is a powerful force in your life.”  This blog is about conquering self-defeating behavior and getting you back on the road to success, which begins with your emotions and thoughts.

Your self-talk never stops.  The key to success (however you define it) is to practice healthy self-talk, the kind that will lead you to reaching your goals and desires; not the self-sabotage or self-fulfilling prophecy kind.

According to professional counselors Dr. Kevin Leman and Randy Carlson, most people speak aloud at the rate of 150-200 words per minute, but research suggests that you can talk privately to yourself by thinking at rates of up to 1,300 words per minute.  One of the biggest lies we tell ourselves is, “This is the way I am, so I can’t change,” or “I was born this way.”  The truth is you can gain control of your thoughts and change them!  Your perceptions affect your thoughts, which, in turn, impact your behaviors, and those behaviors are unlikely apt to lead you to success.

One way to initiate the road towards effectiveness is to reconstruct your perception of the past and develop a healthier adult outlook on life today.  This is not to say that we must practice “historical revisionism,” à la Robert Redford; it is to choose to focus on the positive that also exists.  And, as Oprah Winfrey said, “If you live in the past and allow the past to define who you are, then you never grow.”

You essentially have two choices:

  • DWELL- Carry the grudge, fight, be the victim/martyr, keep opening your own wounds and those of others; or,
  • ACCEPT- Accept it for what it was and move on.  There is no need to struggle with something that is working against you.

“It’s not that easy to ‘Accept’!”  Well, try your ABC’s…

Accept that your memory has a downside to it; AND, that you survived. The key to letting go is acceptance. (NOTE: This does not necessarily mean forgive or forget).  Concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankl recognized this fact that the one thing which no one can take away from you is the power of your thoughts.

Believe that that experience took place for a reason, which was to strengthen and prepare. This preparation can be to showcase your talents/skills or to serve as a source of strength/role modeling for someone else.  Let go of the past so that you can get on with your future.  The past was a lesson to prepare for the future; today is a gift, which is why it is called the “present.”

Change your behavior by using different self-talk.  What you remember does not have to be reality for you today.  Rewrite your memories by changing your perceptions.  Focus not what you will have; practice the emotion and thoughts of what you want in the moment!  This is the trick, Zedi mind-trick yourself!

Changing your self-talk for the better will change the way you act, communicate, and feel.  Thus, choose wisely.  Choose to be happy.

Here is a 25-second scene from The Help, where the maid helps her charge learn to practice healthy self-talk, since her mother is tough on the little girl:

Don’t allow people to “box” you in…Be like Albert Einstein, think outside the box!


Thank you.

Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, is an Organization Development Practitioner, author, cultural analyst, coach, speaker, and facilitator.


Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning, (Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press, 1959).

Dr. Kevin Leman & Randy Carlson, Unlocking the Secrets, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc, 1989).

Hugh Missildine, Your Inner Child of the Past, (NY: Simon & Schuster, 1963), 56.

David Stoop, Self Talk: Key to Personal Growth, (Old Tappan, NJ: Revell, 1981), 33-46.

Robert Waldron, Oprah! (New York: St. Martin’s, 1987), 36.