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Originally published in 1986, this book underlines why 77% of what we say out loud is working against ourselves and our goals, and the only permanent solution to change that and make everything we say work in our favor is by positive self-talk.


However, the author does not follow the same belief presented by other self-help books, e.g hypnosis to lose weight, subliminal messages to promote growth, meditating on positive affirmations every day. The author has instead questioned all the “keys to success” which work for a while, but then stop working for the individual or become too monotonous and saddling to be practiced daily.Book Review: What To Say When You Talk To Your Self by Shad Helmstetter

The author has referred to the programming of our brain, mind and subconscious and how what you are told as children, shapes you into the adults you become.

Why do so many therapists regress their patients to a time in their childhood when the problem was created?

Because that is where the beliefs began.

That is where the fear, the trauma, or self-identity began to take hold.

Book Review: What To Say When You Talk To Your Self by Shad Helmstetter
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Once you understand how negative programming of the brain works, you are guided towards what you can do to change that programming. There is a very interesting idea presented that just by getting rid of negative thoughts, you cannot make your brain automatically believe the opposite. You MUST fill some thoughts into your subconscious, – word-by-word.

And whatever you tell yourself often enough and strongly enough, your subconscious starts believing it to be true. So what truth or lies are you feeding your brain?

In fact, most of our average, habit-formed, everyday self-talk is the kind that we don’t even notice. It is the kind that we don’t even notice. It is the kind we say to ourselves silently, often without words.

Most chapters emphasize on taking responsibility for ourselves, because the truth is, in the middle of all the chaos we have surrounding our lives, self-improvement is rarely a priority. You want to take twenty minutes out every day to speak to yourself, but you realize how difficult it is to take those 20 minutes out every day when there are more pressing matters like fixing the roof and securing a job.

We are too busy fixing the train to realize that we are on the wrong track.

In the second half of the book, the author has presented different kinds of self-talk, comprising mainly of Self-speak, self-conversation, self-write and audio talk tapes. I was thrilled to try self-conversation, and I found that it was the most uncomfortable and incredible conversation I have ever had with someone- that too, myself!

Book Review: What To Say When You Talk To Your Self by Shad Helmstetter
Image Credit: heyitscarmichael

There are some examples of self-talk given in the book for different goals and situations. I can see myself picking out a few from here and recording them on my phone and play that every morning!

This book compels you to avenge the benefits of small conversations you make with yourself every day. I have successfully made a few changes in my own life using the techniques presented by the author in here. I would strongly encourage you to try them as well.

Think for yourself. Speak for yourself. No one else should do that for you!