May 012017


By Suzanne Potts

“I have seen the enemy, and it is within.” – Rosou

The many discussions we have with ourselves have an enormous impact on whether we believe things to be possible or not.  We can manage our feelings and thoughts to maximize the chances we achieve what we want, hope, and desire.

A true story…

The recording device was attached to Ben and Caroline’s wrist.  Both young children were part of a research group; the entire project involved several hundred children.  At the end of a week the recording devices were collected, and all the conversations were analyzed and categorized.
As much as 95% of what was said to the kids turned out to be negative in some way or another.
If this legacy is representative of a larger public, you and me, it’s a wonder so many of us turn out to be essentially “OK!”   We all, however, have ghosts in the machine, struggle, and are blighted by recordings and videos embedded deeply in our psyche we play endlessly inside our heads.

The things we say to ourselves…..

If I asked you the question, “Who do you talk to most during your normal day,” you might be tempted to answer, “My partner, children, work colleagues, friends, mom and dad.”

The answer, of course is none of these.  The answer is you!

If you are influenced by what other people say to you, imagine how much more you’re influenced by what you say to yourself?  You spend your day talking to yourself inside your head.  You remember conversations or past events; you conjure up dialogue or future situations.  You then continuously discuss with yourself how you’ll behave and how these situations will turn out.

If you’ve had a bad experience, or in some way let yourself down, you replay the ‘recording’ in an endless loop amplifying your every mistake and mishap.  Your inner thoughts play a significant part in establishing how you feel, which in turn determines affects how you act.

What you THINK leads to how you FEEL.

What you FEEL leads to how you BEHAVE.

For most of us these inner conversations or ‘self talk’ are verbal exchanges inside our head.  For others it is less of a conversation and more of a picture or a movie completely uncensored – the director’s cut.

However, these recordings or movies are going on in the background like mood music, shaping your expectations, setting the atmosphere with your unconscious mind in charge.  When you do become aware of something happening inside – it is often your feelings that alert you to the fact “something isn’t quite right.”  However, these feelings are brought about by your thinking process.
Certain sounds, sights, and places can act as anchors and have the most enlivening and /or unsettling affects.  These experiences, real or imaginary, are stored or anchored deep in our subconscious.  This causal model of behavior, Thinking – Feeling – Behaving, shows the chain reaction that starts with thinking and results in behaving.

Your behavior is influenced by your feeling and thinking.  If I am confident and assured in handling a situation, it is because I feel good about myself, because I think I can succeed.  If, on the other hand I behave defensively and nervously, it is because I am feeling threatened and can’t cope, because I think the other person is too strong, and I am too weak.

When the results you are getting are not what you want, you are not destined to repeat history.  You can intervene at the thinking stage, challenge the flaws in your thinking, and thus change what you feel and the result.

Suzanne Potts is a successful author, speaker, and assertiveness coach.  Her passion for sharing and delivering assertiveness and negotiation skills into a diverse range of cultures, industries and countries has taken her to war torn territories, military cultures and communist republics.  Suzanne also provides one-to-one boardroom coaching for women managers across all industries.  ContactWebsiteFacebookTwitterBooks

Photo Credit – jill111