Are you interested in the controversy I have chosen to create?
What, you might rightfully ask, fuels my need to disagree? My explanation begins with first presenting Shad Helmstetter’s idea:
This level of Self-Talk has been spoken for thousands of year. It is as old as the ancient religions which inspired it. It is the Self-Talk of “oneness” with God. This level of Self-Talk speaks of a unity of spirit, a divine and timeless cosmic affinity which transcends all worldly things and gives meaning to our being.¹
I used Helmstetter’s words to make sure that in my disagreement I don’t misrepresent.
Helmstetter says that Level V Self-Talk is characterized by the words, “It is” and sounds like this:
“I am one with the universe and it is one with me. I am of it, within it, and exist as a shining spark in a firmament of divine goodness.”¹¹¹
Genesis¹ clearly states that humans and only humans are created in the image of God.
I do need an affirmation from someone greater than me. But it isn’t the universe. It is a Person. A personal God who indwells me and has given me many great “affirmations” to empower victorious living.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13
If God be for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31b
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Psalm 23:1
For me, there is infinitely greater power in invoking the God of the universe than identifying with the universe. I recognize and respect your choice to disagree with me because God has given you that choice. I hope that you will respect my choice as well.
I am curious what you think of this blog in particular. As always, I love to hear from you. I respond to all personal messages. Click here to message me.
¹Helmstetter, Shad, Ph.D., What To Say When You Talk to Your Self, Pocket Books, 1986
²And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. Genesis 1:25-26
If you consider Level I and II of Self-Talk as defined by Shad Helmstetter in his book What to Say When You Talk to Yourself as diagnostic in nature, you might say that Levels III and IV and what the doctor ordered.
Levels I & II of Self-Talk do not work for you, except if you hear yourself using them and determine to make changes.
You are in control. Here is what you do next: start using words like “I never . . . “, “I no longer . . .” Present tense must be used as though what you are .is already reality.
Level III sounds like this:”I no longer smoke.” “I never eat more than I should.” “I no longer put off doing things that I need to do.”
You use this language even if you are still smoking or overeating. Using this language replaces the negative language you have been using and reprograms your subconscious. Eventually, what you speak will become reality.
Here is an example using a smoker who wants to quit. She replaces negative Self-Talk like “I will never quit smoking”; or “I should quit smoking . . .” with “I no longer smoke.”
She will say this even as she lights up another cigarette. She says it out loud even when other people are present. Of course, they will think she is crazy, and perhaps that is part of the motivation to quit.
Primarily, she speaking to herself and her subconscious which will eventually carry out the new programming she is sending it. One day as she says, “I no longer smoke.” as she lights up her subconscious will say, “Really, what is that little white thing in your hand? And it’s on fire!” Soon your subconscious will begin to make sure that you no longer are.
This is a bit simplistic and there is more to it. The book addresses details later in the book.
You use this Self-Talk the least and need it the most! Helmstetter says it is like drawing a picture and handing it to your subconscious says, “This is the me I want you to create.”
Level IV Self-Talk is characterized by “I am. . .” Here are some examples of Level IV Self-Talk:
“I am organized and in control of my life. I am a winner. I am healthy, energetic, enthusiastic, and I’m going for it!”
“I don’t smoke! My longs are clean and healthy. I have no habits which harm me or hold me back in any way.”
These statements remind me of Jessica’s Daily Affirmation on YouTube. It is the Self-Talk of a young girl standing on the bathroom counter. Since it has over 18,000,000 views, you probably have seen it. If not go to YouTube and search Jessica’s Daily Affirmation.
Level IV Self-Talk is the opposite of Level I. It replaces the useless and self defeating language of cannot and never.
There is one level left. I will share that level with my own suggestions for it in my next blog.
What do you think of Self-Talk? Has it helped you? Let me know. I answer all personal messages and you can message me by clicking here.
The book, What to Say When You Talk to Yourself, by Shad Helmstetter is way more serious than the title implies.
And it has more information than I was looking for. That isn’t a bad thing.
Shad Helmstetter shares his journey to the concept of Self Talk. He documents well his credentials and the process to formulating his levels of Self Talk.
And he has written a book that has been helpful to me. It has concepts that make sense to me and one that notably does not.
I do take exception with one of his premises. But I think there is still value you can take away.
Chapters 1 – 8 lay the foundation. Helmstetter shares his experience and education that led him to the conclusions he shares in the book. His education includes having a degree in behavioral psychology. He tells of investigating numerous self improvement programs. I applaud his thoroughness.
Using his understanding of our brains and how they function he explains why these methods don’t help us long term.
Then he introduces The Five Levels of Self-Talk.
It sounds like this:
I can’t lose weight.
I can’t quit smoking.
I can’t remember people’s names.
If only I could write the great American novel.
I just don’t have the energy I used to.
I could never do that.
Listen to yourself for the next twenty-four hours. Count how many times you use this kind of language.
When you use this wording you are setting yourself up to repeat the behavior you dislike.
Helmstetter says it is our way of timidly hiding in the shadows instead of boldly thriving in the sunlight.
It seems that when I use this kind of language I am coping out. I am saying this kind of change is just too hard to even try.
Although this language sounds like you are headed toward change, it just isn’t so. You are recognizing the problem but still not moving toward change.
This level will actually work against you, unless it signals to you that change is needed. And if you make the right change!
Level II Self-Talk sounds like this:
I should clean the house . . . [but I won’t.]
I need to balance my checkbook . . . [in my dreams.]
I ought to make phone calls . . . [maybe tomorrow.]
This level is still embracing the negative behavior that defeats you and your goals. It recognizes a problem but unless you embrace a solution, things will continue as they are.
Use the first two levels to identify the problem.
I suggest you keep a pad of paper handy and each time you hear yourself using talk from these two levels jot it down. It won’t take you long to identify what needs to change.
Get your paper out. Have the pen handy. You’ll be ready to take action when I post Levels III and IV.
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