In short, self-talk is the conversation we have with ourselves to help us determine what to do or how to feel. Self-talk is something everyone does whether you are playing sports, studying for a test, or just lounging around the house, we all talk to ourselves. Here’s the thing though, self-talk will inevitably determine the choices we make and the way we feel about ourselves. It is a rather interesting tool we use, in sports it can help determine the outcome of a match, are you going to tell yourself to stand up and keep fighting when things get tough or are you going to let yourself fall? Are you going to tell yourself to work harder at practice or train while you’re not at practice? Or will you let yourself take it easy and relax? Self-talk is the determining factor in all of this.

So, here’s the thing, when you have a choice to make what is the conversation you have with yourself to make a decision as to what to do? You have two choices, will I get up and do the work to get stronger, or will I do nothing? If you do nothing, you have no room to complain if you get passed over, lose, or if others do better than you. If though you decide to get up and work, you will have made a decision to do today what others won’t so that tomorrow you can do what others can’t. And, where does this decision begin? With the conversation you have with yourself.

Self-talk has many uses. In sports, when things aren’t going the way you want, what are you going to say to yourself? Are you going to tell yourself you can’t do it or tell yourself you can? If you tell yourself you can’t, you have given up on yourself and your chances of winning. If you tell yourself, you can you have decided to fight till the end. Remember, the match isn’t over until it is over, as long as there is time left on the clock there is always a chance of winning. What you tell yourself when things aren’t going right will determine your ability to take advantage of the remaining time.

If on the other hand you are winning, your self talk will have one of two results. It will either allow you to remain calm and focused on what you need to do. Or it will cause you to become distracted or panicked. If you tell yourself to take it one point at a time and trust yourself the game will become significantly easier to close out. If on the other hand though you tell yourself that you can’t let them come back or you can’t give them a chance, it will become significantly more difficult to finish the match. Why? While the later might be a positive message, you are still using negative language, this negative language will get you to start thinking negatively about the things you can’t do. When you think about the things you can’t do you will inevitably start to do them. It is essentially a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In short, the language you use when you are talking to yourself determines mostly everything you end up doing and the way you feel about yourself. If you choose to speak positively and motivate yourself things will end up working out better for you. If you choose to speak negatively things will end up being more difficult. It isn’t always easy to be positive and stay focused, but when you do, when you flip the script, you realize that anything becomes possible.