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4 Steps to Transforming Your
Negative Self-talk into an Inner Coach

Emmanuel Segui

Your thoughts have a powerful effect on you. They affect your attitude, your physiology, and your motivation to act. Your negative thoughts actually control your behavior. They can make you stutter, spill things, forget your lines or breathe shallowly.

Research indicates that the average person talks to himself or herself about 50,000 times a day. According to psychological researchers, it is 80% negative; things such as I shouldn't have said that... They don't like me... I don't like the way my hair looks today... I can't dance... I'll never be a good skater..., I'm not a speaker... I'll never lose this weight... I can't ever seem to get organized... I'm always late.

We also know from lie-detector tests that your body reacts to your thoughts. These physiological changes, such as heart rate and breathing rate, occur when you're lying but also in reaction to every thought you think. Every cell in your body is affected by every thought you have.

Negative thoughts affect your body negatively, weakening you. Positive thoughts affect your body in a positive way, making you more relaxed, centered and alert. It is your job to control and master your thoughts. You are 100% responsible.

But there is a core principle you need to understand about self-criticism and self-judgment: It is always motivated by love and has always some positive intention or positive goal attached to it. Now, this positive intention doesn't show immediately. It needs some reflection at first. But with some practice, like everything else, it comes within seconds and here comes the change.

Here are four steps you will need to take to master your thoughts and to transform your inner critic into an inner coach.

1. It's Time to Step Back. The first step of any strategy to change your emotions or personal history is to step back and reflect on what is going on inside of you. It is as if you were stepping back from your thinking and were looking at it. By doing this you go to a higher psychological level where change can take place. As Albert Einstein said, "The significant problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them."

2. Look for the positive intention. One of the most magnificent beauties of the human mind is self-reflexivity. This means that you not only think about an event, but you think about what you just thought about that specific event. It's like layers of thoughts that are formed at the back of your mind in a fraction of a second. Now, you can peel away the layers and discover the positive intention of that negative thought by asking yourself the following question: "What is the good or the positive intention of that part of me that just thought..." or "What does that part of me that just thought... wants that is good for me". Were you able to find it?

3. Feel how your emotions are changing. When you find that positive intention, you discover a whole new part of you. The part that wants you to be better, to feel better and to be everything you're capable of. That way, your self-esteem increases, you have more confidence in yourself, you trust yourself more and you achieve more.

4. Thank yourself for caring about you. Now, you're going to play the appreciation game and that is to thank yourself for the beautiful human being you are. Because you understand your unique value, your importance in the world, you can more quickly and more easily go for your dreams and live a more prosperous life.

Negative thoughts happen to everybody. The difference between a successful person and another is just that he or she has learned how to master his thoughts and emotions. With these four little but powerful steps, you can beat your negative thoughts and therefore your negative emotions. You will radiate more energy to accomplish your goals and you will function more efficiently.

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