22 responses

  1. Rick Lelchuk


    We are such creatures of habit. I see it constantly as I am working with a weight loss client. We have to get under what causes the habits to stay in place. If you don’t mind I’m going to use what you’ve stated here. I think it will transform well to what we do at Easy Diet for Life.
    Many thanks. You are an inspiration.


    • Stephen Borgman

      Rick, I agree with you: to a point. I think that taking a both/and approach can be really helpful. We sometimes have to act ‘as if’ we believe that our actions will make a difference. For example, if I don’t believe I will ever be able to run a 5K: if I act as if by getting up and running/walking 5 minutes a day for one week, then 10 minutes a day for one week, and so on, I will eventually be ready for that 5K.

      But, as we have seen from the Biggest Loser, and other shows: we often have to also attack those subconscious core beliefs that hold us back.

      So it’s both/and :)

  2. Ben

    Hi Stephen
    Great post.
    I have found that as my abilities in a certain area increase, my negative auto reply thoughts decrease.
    In the car example – When my car doesn’t start I go 1 – What is happening
    2 – can I fix it
    3 – Who do I know that can talk me through the fix
    4 – AAAH @%$^ I’m Stuck
    And a positive frame of mind also helps. I have been trough a retrenchment – without the depression. simply because I believe that in the long run (if I do my part) everything works out for the best.

    • Stephen Borgman

      Ben, thanks for the feedback. Increasing our life skills is a great way to decrease the frequency and intensity of negative thoughts. Actions and thoughts build off each other, for better or for worse, depending on the thoughts and actions we choose.

  3. Jenna Waites

    GREAT post! This is a topic that we often ignore but is so vital to not just our personal happiness and well being but to the success of in business and life! It is often hard to really listen to and “record” our self-talk, but I completely agree that it is essential to realize it and understand it so that you can begin to over come it. I write every evening to get it all out and sort through my thoughts, but I love the worksheet you have!

    • Stephen Borgman

      Jenna, thank you for stopping by. I’m glad you enjoyed the worksheet! Your journaling habit is a great one: keep it up1

  4. Stevie Smith

    Hey Stephen!

    Brazil, Kung Fu and Soccer! All three things we have in common! My wife is Brazilian, I practiced Kung Fu for 16 years and I am a couch soccer fan!

    But all jokes aside, you are right about these excellent personal motivation tips. Some soccer (football) teams (and I am sure teams in other disciplines) employ psychologists to help under performing athletes do what they are paid to do… Score goals. As far as “thinking aloud” in my mind, it is one of the most powerful methods to improve ourselves. You are right though to point out that it is not just that you “talk to yourself” but how you do so.

    Keep the Smiles,


    • Stephen Borgman

      Stevie, now I know why I like your wife so much! ;-) thanks for the helpful feedback. I’m looking forward to your next video of your Kung Fu moves :)

      • Stevie Smith

        :) Yep there is something magical about them Samba Girls!

  5. Marquita Herald

    Great article Stephen! Most people don’t realize the power contained in our thoughts – or for that matter than we are constantly telling ourselves stories … I’m not pretty, I’m not talented, when I was younger, etc. The good news is we have the power to rewrite those stories and make them far more successful. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Stephen Borgman

      Marquita, I love the metaphor of story and scripting. It’s a lot easier to wrap my right brain around. It’s through contact and interaction with people like yourself and others in the blogging and business community that we can write positive and powerful life stories.

  6. Teddy@Goal Setting

    Great article using lessons from the Bruce Lee. You are correct that we automatically think thoughts which could be positive or negative. The great leaders and goal achievers have the ability to only listen to the positive side, “you can do it” side.

    I will start using your idea of recording my thoughts so eventually I will only focus on positive and opportunity side. Too many people look at bad situations as permanent, while successful people look at a bad situation and figure out how to create an opportunity.
    Thanks again


    • Stephen Borgman

      Teddy, thanks for the encouraging comment. I just read an article on the power of gratitude. I think that giving thanks to our Creator is one of the best ways to cultivate true optimism, no matter what the circumstances. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Steve Nicholas

    Great post, Stephen! It is really amazing to think about all of the ways that our self-talk can affect us for better or worse. I know that I have definitely heard it trying to take me down many times. I guess this is why it is so important to recognize it what it is in order to fight it when we need to do so.

    • Stephen Borgman

      Steve, I think you may agree with me when I say that Scripture is full of this concept: meditating on Scripture, and thinking on those things that are true, noble, pure, lovely, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).

  8. Richard Goutal

    I enjoyed the approach of your article. I tend to be turned off by “Law of Attraction” and other theories of life that are to me, at least, a kind of semi-religion. Some within that school seem to want to corner the market on using positive thoughts. In your article, there is a straight-forward, logical approach to the role of a positive mindset which I find very credible and usable. And for that I thank you.

    • Stephen Borgman

      Richard, I’m so glad that you enjoyed the article. As a Christian blogger, I love adopting a cognitive behavioral approach to this process: it reflects Romans 12:1-2: be transformed by the renewing of your mind. And all the passages on meditation instruct us to fill our hearts and minds with Biblical and therefore positive thoughts.

  9. Linda Thomas

    Hi Steve,
    I never know the real Kung Fu definition, as I always associated it with martial arts!
    Thank you for this, as “accomplishment” or “achievement” are key words for me!
    Here’s something that I read just a little while ago, and it is amazing how it fits with your post!
    “When your subconscious and your conscious intentions are aligned only then can you achieve all of your dreams.”
    Can’t wait to read more of your posts!

    • Stephen Borgman

      Linda, it’s so important to become aware of our often ‘unconscious’ beliefs, because those beliefs can sabotage us in our goal setting process if we are setting goals that challenge those closely held ‘beliefs’, even if they are unhelpful or inaccurate. Thank you for stopping by. I enjoyed your article on Starbuck’s relationship culture :)

  10. April @ Real Estate Park City

    I always believe in mind over matter. Whatever you are thinking most of the time gradually affects your behaviour towards something, yourself or your goal in life. So always have that positive attitude towards everything. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Trevor Barrett@Money Advice

    The soccer player that I always feel most sorry for is the goalkeeper. I have seen so many strikers miss open goals and defenders completely miss out on a tackle and it is just put down to the run of the ball.

    When a goalkeeper makes a mistake, he gets so much stick from the media because he let a goal in. I live in England and we have had a few who were excellent at their role except for just one mistake. They never seemed to regain their confidence after that,

    It takes an incredibly strong personality to overcome things like this because it seems that, without training, our negative thoughts seem so much more powerful than the positive ones. You can tell someone that they are fantastic 99 times but, if the hundreth time you tell them they are useless, that is the one they concentrate on.

    • Stephen Borgman

      Trevor, having grown up in Brasil, South America, I know what you mean about those goal keepers! They often have the weight of their town, state, or even country on their shoulders. It’s always fascinated me to study the thought patterns of championship level athletes: I hope you got some good tips in this article.

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