To complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, Expert Advice, in the May 2011 issue. Article summary: As we stretch ourselves, reach to expand our practice and create more prosperity in our lives, it’s important we understand the role our own mindset plays in the experiences we are having right now—both positive and negative.

by Michael J. Russ

The dialogue in your head and in conversation with others, exclusively about you and what you are doing, is called self-talk. If you haven’t taken steps to consciously harness this amazing tool, you are missing out on a tremendous resource. Among other things, self-talk can help you boost your spirits, maintain a positive and optimistic attitude and support the steps you take to achieve personal and professional goals.

The great thing about self-talk is you don’t have to learn something new; you just need to become aware of and begin to consciously direct something you are already doing. I am not going to say this will be easy; however, if you follow a simple process, you can dramatically alter your results.

Here are a couple of initial steps to help you assess where you are now, so you can begin to bring your self-talk into alignment with where you want your business to go.

1, Become intimately familiar with the direction of your current self-talk. What you want to determine is whether your inner dialogue is contradicting your stated goals and intentions.

2. Second, once you are aware of the current direction of your self-talk, you can begin to defy its unsupportive aspects by stopping yourself every time you begin to think or say things about you that contradict your goals and intentions.

For instance, if you set a goal to increase your business to a certain number of sessions per day, and then say, “What am I thinking? I don’t have a clue as to how to do this,” you would want to stop yourself at “What am I thinking?” and replace that thought with something like, “I can do this. I have the skills. I just have to find the resources to help me accomplish this goal.”

Negative self-talk shuts you down and creates doubt, worry and fear, while positive self-talk supports your vision, makes you open to possibilities, builds your energy, inspires creativity and calls you to action.

The most powerful phrases you can use at the beginning of a self-talk statement are “I am,” “I can,” “I have” and “I will.” These phrases state who you are in the present—a position of power, where things get done.

Once you are aware of self-talk and the effect is has on your attitude, will and success, you will never be the same.

Michael J. Russ is an entrepreneur, speaker, musician and author of five audio books on CD. His books on self-talk include Powerful Self-Talk—Change Your Self-Talk, Change Your Life and Design Your Life—Using Self-Talk to Design Your Life One Day at a Time. Contact him at