Excellence: Self Talk

The new year is under way and so is our pursuit of the Wow Factor. Last week we introduced the Wow Factor and defined it as a memorable experience that leaves others talking about us in an extremely positive way. 

We also talked about excellence, which can be simply defined as,  above average.  This week we want to begin to look at ways to pursue excellence, specifically, self-talk.

In order to obtain excellence, we have to figure out what is typical, what is average? Then we have to perform above that level. The problem? It’s hard! If it wasn’t, everybody would do it and then it wouldn’t be above average. But everybody doesn’t do it and it is hard, especially when things haven’t been going your way.

The other day I was sharing with a friend some personal challenges that I am facing. I said I felt like I was at the bottom of my barrel. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it’s as if the bottom of the barrel had rusted away and there wasn’t a bottom. As if that wasn’t enough, it seems as if the barrel was in the ocean and sinking deeper and deeper!

When I’m that low, it is extremely tough to stay positive and upbeat. It becomes very difficult to use a good self-vocabulary.

But, no matter how low we get, we always have a choice. We can choose to be positive. We can choose to let our self talk be encouraging and uplifting. This is one of the most important choices we can make. Excellence starts with our self-vocabulary. It’s impossible to deliver the Wow Factor if you don’t feel that you have any value.

One study found that only 20% of self talk is positive. That means 80% of what we say to ourselves is negative! This is hardly a surprise. Life is challenging and it’s normal to let it overwhelm us with negative attitudes, emotions and thoughts that fuel the never ending conversation we have with ourselves.

Thankfully, it is possible to develop the habit of positive self talk. To do so we need to surround ourselves with the right people and the right information.

Last week, I talked about a difficult paving job that we were able to complete with excellence because we had the right tools, the right people and the right plan. This is even more important when we are struggling. Having people around us that encourage and uplift makes excellence possible.

This week, I challenge you to consider your self talk. Listen carefully to the vocabulary you use internally. Being excellent is all about being above average, and it is only above average people who can stay positive even when it is hard. You won’t get it perfect, especially at first, but by being intentional and aware of your self-vocabulary, you’ll begin to change the story you tell yourself… allowing you to pursue greater excellence and deliver the Wow Factor like never before.





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