Quality Blog

Jim's Gems: Self-Talk Influences Outcomes

February 6, 2013
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If you’re like most everyone else you talk to yourself out loud? Some of us more often than others but it’s the self-talk we want to discuss.  Self-talk is silent, and it's very powerful. Whether you’ve thought about it or not, we tend to talk to ourselves all the time.  Actually, most of our self-talk is in the form of thoughts, and it usually happens so fast we don't even know it.
Did you realize while you are reading this column, you are talking to yourself about three times as fast. After you stop reading, you speed up to about six times faster. Amazing! These running thoughts, or "self-talk", is extremely powerful, so it is important that you become aware of what your self-talk contains.
Self-talk has the power to build up or erode your self-image, determine what kind of relationships you have with other people, influence what kind of work you do, or the kind of income you have.  It literally can affect virtually everything in your life!
Self-talk is so influential that if you tell yourself good things don't ever happen to you, they won't! They won’t because your subconscious will make sure that you find a way to prove yourself right.  Conversely, if you have positive expectations of success, it is highly likely that you will experience success. Your self-talk will be so positive that you will persist in your efforts and you will persuade others to help you until you achieve your expectation of success.
If you want to harness the power of self-talk, pay close attention to what you say to yourself. If you hear putdowns, derogatory labels or harsh criticisms, stop them immediately and answer back in positive self-talk. When you take charge of your self-talk, you go a long way toward taking charge of your life and you’ll have influence on the outcomes you expect.  Relentless, repetitive self-talk is what changes your self-image which, in large part, influences your belief system, and ultimately how you feel about yourself, and your surroundings.  
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Charles J. Hellier has been active in the technology of nondestructive testing and related quality and inspection fields since 1957. Here he talks with Quality's managing editor, Michelle Bangert, about the importance of training.
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