Talk > Listen
"No one is more influential in your life than you are because no one talks to you more than you do." -Paul David Tripp
Words are powerful! Peace Pilgrim (most known for walking across the United States at least eight times) said, "If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought."
Everyday you are speaking life and/or death into everything you see, feel and do. More than likely you are either producing fear and timidity or courage and hope. It's usually one or the other. We obviously want the latter, courage and hope, but how do we go about harnassing the positive and filtering the negative?
It's a simple, but not easy, two step process. 1) Stop listening to yourself. 2) Start talking to yourself. Think about it. Do you recognize the difference? Listening vs. talking to yourself is the difference between life vs. death, winning vs. losing, positive vs. negative, etc. We (STBB) like to call it "self-talk". Watch and listen carefully to Nike's "Free" commercial, the message is a slam-dunk! (I credit Coach Haselhorst for sharing it with me.)
I just love that dialogue! The advertisement features a runner wrestling with his own inner thoughts and doubting himself (listening mode). His new, "reincarnated" self wins the battle (self-talk mode) and he goes on to be a better, stronger athlete...Leaving his old self behind.
Training your mind to do this is no easy task. You can start by assessing where you are with your own self-talk: What do you regularly tell yourself about yourself and your circumstances? Do your words encourage strength, hope and power? Or do they stimulate doubt, discouragement and fear?
Once you have a pretty good idea where you stand you can begin to address your weaknesses. For example, if you have low self-worth you can spend time reading from Psalms 139 how fearfully and wonderfully you are made. If you lack good work habits you can partner up with the hardest working players on the team. As you know, "Iron sharpens iron." Or if it's confidence you lack you can begin to journal all that you do well on a daily basis. Self-reflection, if done daily, will sooner or later begin to reveal just how strong you really are. You are stronger than you believe.
The examples are endless! We encourage you to make self-talk a daily discipline in your life as well as your sports. You won't regret it!