“Be careful of how you are talking to yourself, because you are listening”, Lisa M Hayes. Self-talk is an incredible resource to tap into. One of the most powerful ways to create change. They say that the average person engages in self-talk about 3,000 to 10,000 times a day, and most of that talk is about ourselves. Researches have also discovered that about 80% of it is negative.

positivethinkingimage11That means that the average person says about 1000 negative things about themselves every day. That’s almost too much to even comprehend. Can you begin to imagine the power these words have over our lives, our coaching and our playing on the field.

Thousands upon thousands of little negative self-talks attacking our worth, value, identity and success every day. WOW again. Things like “I will never get this right”, “I always fail”, “I will never be good enough, smart enough, fit enough, attractive enough or whatever enough”. “I can’t do this”, “they don’t like me”, “I shouldn’t have said that”, “I am an idiot”, “I don’t belong”, “I always miss” “I can’t ever pass properly” … And so the list goes on a thousand times over every day.

These words of negative self-talk have incredible power over our behaviour, decision making, interaction with others, our self-worth and our outcomes in every area of our life, including our sport, both coaching and playing. So what can we do?

Listen and become aware of your self-talk and notice what it is you are saying to yourself. Deliberately changing your internal language may seem a little forced or awkward at first, but like riding a bike, you will soon be speaking a new internal language effortlessly. Brilliant isn’t it. It will change your world.

Here are some re-frame examples to get you started: Change “I can’t” to “I won’t” … This is a simple but powerful way of taking ownership and moving yourself into taking responsibility for your life. Change “what if” to “I wonder what it will be like when … “. So instead of saying what if I fail, or what if I get rejected or what if it doesn’t work, re-frame it by saying, I wonder what it will be like when … Insert positive outcome.

Listen to and change the negative generalizations like; always and never for example. I always fail. Re-frame: “I haven’t always failed, in fact I have been successful numerous times. When I have failed I have learnt great lessons, so let’s have another go and see what I can learn. There is no such thing as failure anyway, only feedback.”

Shift the way you think! Bretta (player / coach development BBFC)

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