Several years ago, I woke up one morning and started to get ready for work. It seemed like one of those days when everything just went wrong. It started with me misplacing an important item I needed to take to the office. Then I tried to fix myself a breakfast but the cooking oil spilled. While trying to rescue what was left of it, the pot fell off and the content spilled. By that time, I was already getting late for work. So, I had to clean up, abandon the idea of breakfast and head for work. You can imagine the mood I was in. I was about to tell myself that it was a bad day when I took hold of myself. I realized that I was about to spoil my entire day by accepting defeat! So, I started to deliberately tell myself, “Today is a great day. A little incident like that can’t spoil my day. I have a right to enjoy my day; in fact, today is my best day so far.” You won’t believe what happened to me! I so much enjoyed that day that I quickly forgot about my initial unpleasant experience. So, I learnt that no situation is strong enough to spoil my day. If I have a bad day, it’s the fault of my personal communication.
People general believe that those who speak to themselves are either troubled or insane. This is not always true. In fact, speaking to ourselves is perhaps the most important communication in our lives (though I suggest we don’t do it in public). Let us take a closer look at some of the attributes of communicating with ourselves, also known as intrapersonal communication:
1. Powerful influence: we have the ultimate influence on our lives. It doesn’t matter if people told us that we would never succeed; our opinion is what counts. We have to decide to agree with them or reject their opinions. What we repeatedly tell ourselves is what we will eventually believe and act on.
2. Asset and liability: what we tell ourselves either helps us to succeed or to fail. According to Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or you can’t. Either way you’re right.” If we deliberately control our thoughts and words to focus on positive things, they will become our assets, but if we focus on negative things or we allow our thoughts and words to roam uncontrolled, they will become our liabilities. There are some people who always look for the negative side of everything. While they think they are only “being realistic,” they are actually preventing themselves from seeing possibilities. Actually, only unrealistic things that have been achieved get celebrated.
3. Thoughts vs words: Have you ever realized that your mind is never empty? Most of the time, you are thinking about something important, worrying, singing or day dreaming, among others. Most thoughts come into our minds subconsciously, that is why we find ourselves humming the songs we claim to hate. If negative thoughts about our lives or businesses get into our minds, they paralyze us with fear and worry. The best way to deal with negative thoughts is to speak out positive things about the situation. Since our voices are louder than our thoughts, we will drown our thoughts with our voices and soon we will start believing. Don’t forget that faith comes by hearing.
4. Formula for personal development: if we ever want to achieve personal success, we must engage in intrapersonal communication. A lot of times, our opinion about ourselves is a result of what people think about us. That is why we ask people how we look before leaving home. While it is good to have positive reinforcement, what happens if everyone has a negative opinion about our potentials? It’s about time we started believing in ourselves.
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