Review: What To Say When You Talk To Yourself by Shad Helmstetter
The title of this book tells you exactly what it’s going to do: guide you on how to best use your inner-talk. But right now, when you make a mistake, do you hear that inner-voice say, “You’re such an idiot” (or something worse!) or “You always screw up”, or do you tell yourself, “Oh well, everyone makes mistakes” and “I need more practice at this”. Chances are, you tell yourself the former comments instead of the latter, and unfortunately, this is the standard for most people and not the exception. Nobody really wants to talk negatively to themselves, but it’s programmed and comes up automatically regardless of how positive we want to be. What we tell ourselves is simply the brain reinforcing what it knows about us, what it has learnt, and what you believe to be true about yourself whether you’re aware of it or not. What To Say When You Talk To Yourself aims to reverse the process, and replace existing self-talk with something better.
What Do You Say To Yourself Before You Light Up?
Take a moment to reflect upon what you tell yourself before you light up a joint. It’s hard to know exactly what goes through our minds when caught between wanting to stop and simultaneously compelled to continue. For me, I recall a conflicting inner-dialogue of:
“I don’t want to do this. It’s wasting time, and will leave me feeling worse when it’s over.”
“But it feels so good while it’s happening. Just enjoy it.”
“This isn’t me. There are other things I should be doing.”
“What things? Some you can do later, and the rest you’re incapable and unworthy of doing. Better not to think about them. This will help you not think about them.”
Something like that. Each of us will have a unique self-defeating dialogue, that constant tension which almost always sees marijuana triumph.
The Process of Programming
The mechanics of self-talk are deeper than expected, and Shad Helmstetter shifts through the layers of thinking and beliefs which determine what we say to ourselves. Self-talk is the final part of the process, effectively confirming out loud – albeit in your head – what you’ve already decided about yourself. But the process is reversible, you can literally create new thoughts and beliefs by simply redirecting your self-talk back through to your brain. Although most of our programming comes via external influences from an early age – parents, family, school, etc – by the time we hit adolescence, that programming has become internalized and we perpetuate this through our own inner-talk. We reinforce what we have come to believe about ourselves through. Our programming may have started out as what we accept from others, but now it’s driven by us.
The Machine That Never Sleeps
Helmstetter shows how powerful our brains are, but in a backhanded kind of way. Our brain, as a functioning tool, believes what it is told most, and will create what you tell it. It has no choice. Most successful people employ this kind of positive self-talk to generate that success, and whether we want to admit this or not, our own situations are heavily affected by our negative thoughts. Negative thoughts and beliefs attract more negative thoughts and beliefs, as is true for the opposite. This happens because the brain will always understand new information by attaching to something you already believe. Our beliefs are constant, but the acting force behind them is our subconscious. Your subconscious works day and night to ensure your beliefs come true. If your programming and beliefs are linked to your weed dependency, your subconscious mind is doing everything possible, right now, to keep you there. This is why reprogramming your beliefs through positive self-talk can break that cycle.
Make Your Self-Talk Work For You
It all sounds quite simple, but there’s a lot of work involved. When you think about it, there’s much negative programming you accumulate in a lifetime, and unravelling it is time-consuming. It’s not as simple as saying, “I am not a weed user” or “I am wealthy” ten times after breakfast each day. Your self-talk is a manifesto – clear, detailed, and specific about your beliefs, even though you don’t believe them right away. Helmstetter has made a career from his range of self-talk related books and audio programs. There’s even a quit smoking self-talk audio which may share similar themes with weed addiction. But it all started with What To Say When You Talk To Yourself, and there’s enough information within it to turn your beliefs around, and get them working for you.