Friday, January 4, 2019

What to Say When You Talk to Your Self! Part 4

Part Four- We Can Begin Right Now
         Let’s begin listening to everything we say about ourselves right now. Let’s erase what’s not working and replace it with what does work. Here’s the tricky part though. We need something to fill the void once we start erasing or we’ll just eventually fall back into that abyss of our old way of talking to ourselves and our old ways of behaving. We need to have a word-for-word vocabulary to replace the old with or our new and improved life won’t last.
            You see, wanting it is not enough. Deciding to do it is not enough either. According to Dr. Helmstetter, the human brain says, “Give me more. Give me the words. Give me the directions, the commands, the picture, the schedule and the results that you want. Then I will do it for you. Give me the words!”
            Dr. Helmstetter believes many times good self-improvement does fall short of self-talk because many of the self-improvement techniques out there are lacking some of the basic things that make up self-talk and make self-talk so powerful and enduring. These simple but powerfully effective things that self-talk has that many other self-improvement strategies lack is that self-talk is simple, easy to use, and it works.
            Now, don’t laugh yet at the simplicity of it all yet. Often, it is in the simplicity that the genius lies. Most self-improvement strategies can help us improve our lives for a while, but the bottom line is that if it isn’t simple, then eventually we’ll stop doing it. Next, if it’s not easy we’ll also stop doing it. For example, most of us probably don’t mind expending a few seconds of energy here and there for self-talk. But, how many of us will spend one hour every day improving ourselves? Not many. Lastly, it has to also work. If our thought patterns don’t change, something that self-talk does do, well then, we can keep on beating ourselves over the head with these other methods of self-improvement all we want, but sadly, they will eventually fail us because we still have the old crappy programming.

Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. Learn more about Dan at: Check out Dan’s teen leadership book at:

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

What to Say When You Talk to Your Self! Part 3

Part Three- Self-Talk
       Self-talk is a practical way to live our lives by an active intent rather than a passive acceptance, according to Dr. Helmstetter. The beauty of self-talk is that it paints a new internal picture of ourselves as we would most like it to be… And that’s a good thing. Wouldn’t life would be so much better if we can get our self-talk to work for us instead of against us?
            There are different levels of self-talk. The most frequently used self-talk is negative acceptance. Basically, we say something negative about ourselves and then just blindly accept it as truth, whether it is or not. This kind of self-talk of negative acceptance lands us all the way down on the bottom at level one.
            Level two isn’t much better than level one. Level two is recognition and a need for change. We can recognize this level through such statements as: “I need to… I should… I ought to…” On the surface level, level two doesn’t look so bad, but here’s the problem with it. Level two starts off on the right foot with recognizing an areas that needs improvement, but where it falls down on the job is that it doesn’t offer a solution. Thus, it subconsciously becomes, “I wish I could… but I can’t…” So, instead of giving birth to accomplishment and what’s possible it creates guilt and acceptance of our own self-imagined inadequacies. This is a bad thing. So, let’s try not to do this one, okay?
            Next is level three of self-talk. Now, we’re getting somewhere. This is the first level of self-talk that actually works for us instead of against us, according to Dr. Helmstetter. Level three of self-talk is characterized by things like, “I never…” or “I no longer…” In level three we’re rephrasing old negatives and putting them behind us as we start in a new better direction. For example, if we’re smokers who want to quit, our lives will eventually change if we continuously and strongly say to ourselves, “I no longer smoke!”
            And the great thing is that it doesn’t even have to be true yet. We can actually start practicing this level three of self-talk saying we no longer smoke while we’re still smoking. According to Dr. Helmstetter, if we say that we no longer smoke often enough, and with enough intensity, our minds will begin to believe it and then smoking will lose its appeal and hold on us.
            Level four is the opposite of level one. This is the one we use least, but need the most. This is also the one that is most effective and gets us the best results. Here, we’re painting a whole new picture of ourselves of how we want it to be. This level of self-talk can usually be identified when people says, “I am…”

            Level four is positive self-talk that takes place in the present rather than the past or future. Level four is exciting and gives us energy to push forward in creating the new and betterinternal picture of ourselves for real.

Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. Learn more about Dan at: Check out Dan’s teen leadership book at:

Sunday, November 4, 2018

What to Say When You Talk to Your Self! Part 2

Part Two- Self-Management Sequence
        The number one thing that most influences our success or failures, and thus our quality of life is our own behaviors. Basically, our actions or what we do on a consistent basis is what makes us, or breaks us. I’m sure this is common sense and most of us already know this. However, I’m also pretty sure that most of us have also asked ourselves, at least occasionally, why we do not do the things that we know we should do. Well, my friend, according to Dr. Helmstetter, the answer to why we don’t do what we know we should do is because of our feelings.
            You see, our feelings act as a big life filter that all of our actions come out of. Basically, how we feel about something determines what we do and how we do it. If we feel positive about something we will behave in a more positive way with more positive energy, and thus eventually create more success for ourselves. So, now you’re probably asking if this is the secret, then can’t we just control our feelings and have everything we want. The answer isn’t quite that simple because there is something deeper in all of us that is influencing our feelings. And that thing influencing our feelings is our attitudes.
            Our attitudes are how we view life. A good attitude is essential because it will affect how we feel about something and what we do about it, and thus how successful we become. So, I guess now the next question from all you eager achievers out there is where our attitudes come from.
            Well, they come from our beliefs silly! Can you believe how simple this all sounds, yet we all struggle with creating that life that we want, don’t we? The funny thing about our beliefs though, is that they don’t even have to be true. Haven’t we all heard that old saying that if you believe you can, you can. And if you believe that you can’t, you can’t?
            You see, we believe what we were programmed to believe. And right or wrong, all that programming starts on the day that we are born. By the way, why does that nurse have to slap our behinds and make us cry on day one? From the very beginning we’re faced with one of Einstein’s ultimate questions of, “Is this a friendly or unfriendly universe that we all live in?” How we’re programmed and thus what we believe plays a big part in how we see Eistein’s question and what we do about it.
            Like it or not, that’s how the brain works. If we want to manage ourselves in a better way and change our results to better results, something we really can do anytime we choose to, it must first begin with self-talk according to Dr. Helmstetter.

            So, here’s the breakdown of our self-management sequence according to Dr. Helmstetter. First, we start with self-talk. Hopefully, it’s positive and not negative self-talk. That self-talk, true or not, programs our beliefs. And our beliefs, true or not, affect our attitudes. Next, our attitudes, good or bad, affect our feelings. And finally, our feelings, good or bad, drive our behaviors to become successful, unsuccessful, or somewhere in between. Note: many of us tend to land on the success scale pretty close to where our parents and friends landed too… Boy, that self-talk thing is pretty powerful, huh? 

Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. Learn more about Dan at: Check out Dan’s teen leadership book at:

Thursday, October 4, 2018

What to Say When You Talk to Your Self

        As much as 77% of what we say to ourselves may be working against us. And you know what’s even crazier than all of this negative self-talk? Deep down, every one of us innately knows that the world should be fair, and we should get our fair share; yet, we keep saying bad things to ourselves like, “I’m not good enough,” or “Who do I think I am to think I could get get?” when we talk to ourselves.
            You see, part of the problem is that the first 18 years of our lives we are told no 148,000 times by well-meaning people who were only trying to protect us and keep us safe. However, sadly, eventually after all this ‘no’ programming we too eventually join in this bombardment of our own dreams and what’s possible and began telling ourselves, “no”. Repetition sure is a convincing argument, isn’t it? Especially, when we are the ones saying it now, huh?
            Sadly, at this point of saying ‘no’ to ourselves, without realizing it, we begin constructing an invisible wall that stands between ourselves and our dreams, and what’s possible. Even though we can’t see that wall, that wall will remain standing tall and impenetrable for as long as our old programming remains within us. You see, we become the thoughts that are in our minds. And if those thoughts are… ‘no can do’… well, you already know the rest… I don’t even have to tell you…
            You want to know what the really sad thing is though? Someone else programmed us to think like that. And ironically, they were most likely the ones who were on our side and most likely just trying to help us too! Sad, isn’t it? We’ve all heard that saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, right? Life sure can be crazy and confusing!
            There is a silver lining in this dark ominous crazy life-cloud though. That lining is that there are many good self-help programs out there that can improve our lives. The bad thing though, according to Dr. Helmstetter most of them are lacking permanence, knowledge of the psychological process of the brain, and a new word-for-word programming for our minds. However, self-talk does have these three success elements. Thus, Dr. Helmstetter’s self-talk makes a lot of sense because it can paint a new and improved picture of ourselves in our own minds.
            Another good thing in the self-improvement world is that it makes no difference what happened to us in the past or how others programmed us for something less than success without our permission. Thankfully, we literally, can change just a little bit about ourselves in order to gain a whole lot of quality of life back. The little thing we have to deliberately change is what we let others say to us, what we say to ourselves, and what we think and even feel about ourselves. With just a little bit of work we can reprogram ourselves for a better life.
            We really can erase and replace all the less than excellent programming with excellent, life-fulfilling programming with self-talk. Hey, we talk to ourselves all day long anyways. There is just no getting around that. We’re going to do it regardless, so we might as well deliberately change the conversation going on in our own heads. Change the self-talk and change our lives for the better.
            Interestingly, the real obstacle here many times isn’t our subpar programming, but the fact that most of us don’t realize that we’ve let others program us, and now we’re reinforcing it on a daily basis. We have blindly jumped right on that same wave of negativity and have continually strenghened that negative programming from others by what we say to ourselves now.
            Thus, the invisible wall remains. However, we can crack that wall, weaken that wall, and then tear it down through our new and improved spoken words, unspoken thoughts, feelings, impressions, and physical responses. Hey, the former military man inside of me has always said that if you physically feel those butterflies in your stomach, then just command that squadron of butterflies to line up and fly in a wedge formation for you instead of against you.
            We really can do this! You see, Dr. Helmstetter says that the human brain will do anything possible we tell it to do, if we tell it often enough and strong enough. So, let’s get going on this! And let’s do it with some vigor.

            Hey, our subconscious mind is even working right now, day and night, to make sure that we become precisely the person we have unconsciously told ourselves to be. What kind of person have you told it to be? You see, here’s the deal, in order to live our best possible life, we are going to have to ditch the old habit of automatically believing the worst first, and the best last.

Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. Learn more about Dan at: Check out Dan’s teen leadership book at:

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Hunch Part 3

Part Three: The Who, the What and the How
      This section of, Hunch by Bernadette Jiwa describes the stories of the people whose everyday insights informed the hunches that they later developed into breakthrough ideas. You see, our world has always been shaped by the most curious people who inhabit it. Academy-Award winning filmmaker James Cameron once said, “Curiosity is the most powerful thing you own.” Thus, it would only make sense for us all to do everything in our power to develop it.
            Into the picture comes Carol Jones and Victor Pleshev with their ironing board cover in Australia. In a declining market where fewer couples are getting married, and fewer woman are taking the responsibility of all the domestic chores, Carol and Victor heard “NO!” over and over again in promoting their ironing board cover, However, their niche market of men who value their time and want ironing to be easier and quicker have become their ever-growing market in their little corner of the world.
            Next, in an English market town, Moyez solved the problem of low staff morale, overbooked doctors and slow patient response time by coming up with telephone triage. Who would have thought that just talking to some patients on the phone was enough for many patients? Through a simple little phone call the trained and qualified doctor could decide who has to come in and who doesn’t.
            Finally, Debbie Sterling from a small town in Rhode Island wanted to figure a way to get more girls interested in engineering. Her interest in engineering had been sparked by playing with her older brothers’ construction toys when she was a little girl. However, she knew the common little girl would quickly become bored if they were asked to play with their brother’s construction toys. So, she created a story about a girl engineer named GoldieBlox who went on adventures and solved problems by building simple machines. Through this she combined girls’ natural love of literature and stories with a construction and engineering theme. In 2014 GoldieBlox has won the People’s Choice Toy of the Year Award.
            The rest of Jiwa’s book, Hunch, shares more stories on people that have been innovative by using their imagination to solve problems. They were curious and wanted to find a better way. Jiwa also goes into little exercises that help us find our own imagination and curiosity while practicing how to be more innovative ourselves.

            In the end, it’s very important how we choose to pay attention to influences, what we imagine, and the things we have the foresight to create and ultimately who we become. What truly deserves to occupy the moments that will go from making up our minutes to influencing the impact of we make and the legacy we leave. Jiwa’s book was a quick easy read, I suggest you pick it up and give it a good go-through. You won’t be sorry. 

Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. To learn more about Dan please visit his website at: Thanks.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Hunch Part 2

Part Two: From Everyday Insights to Groundbreaking Ideas
       We used to trust our intuition to make important decisions in our lives. And to tell you the truth, some of us still do trust our intuition to makes important decisions, even in the business world. However, somehow it has become unfashionable to admit this, especially in the business world according to Jiwa.
            Just like our ancestors looked for subtle changes to inform their intuition in life and death situations, we too still partake in that kind of behavior in this modern world. We still look for, although, not always aware of it at the moment, but we’re still looking for subtle changes in our environment to help us make better decisions. It just so happens that most of these decisions are no longer life or death decisions. But don’t be fooled. This innate human ability to make those decision based on intuition is still there.
            Our intuition can help us not just get from point A to point B in a new way, but actually envision an entirely new point A and point B. It opens the door to us redefining where the problems end and the solutions begin. It helps us make new connections and forge different paths. And this is a good thing, because as humans we tend to see what we’re looking for. And through persistent effort we can improve our abilities to move from everyday insights to groundbreaking ideas. We all can choose to amplify these special human abilities or ignore them.
            You see, we all can be blinded by what we think we know and ignore all those beautiful little opportunities that are sitting right in front of us every day. And believe me, this does happen every day. People miss the obvious all the time because of what they think they know, and the inability to make the leap to what they might not know. Furthermore, sometimes being a big Fortune 500 Company, Ivy League educated, or having a big important name enslaves us to what we think we know, while the house wife or some guy in a garage is coming up with the next big thing.

            In the changing world of business and work, the skills that are becoming most prevalent are the same ones that make us better rounded, creative, collaborative, generous, and intuitive. With this in mind, it would be wise to develop these qualities in ourselves so that we can contribute to society and make a difference in both our own personal world and the larger world. 

Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. To learn more about Dan please visit his website at: Thanks.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Hunch Part 1

Part One: What’s Stopping You?
            Bernadette Jiwa begins her book, Hunch, with a quote from Anne Lamott where she says, “You get your intuition back when you make space for it”. Today we are surrounded by data that is supposed to make us smarter, but is it? It certainly doesn’t look like it’s making us wiser…You see we know a lot more than we think we know and data is only telling us part of the story and has the tendency to dampen our inherent and vital curiosity. You see, data and our human need for certainty is keeping us from developing our emotional intelligence and cultivating an imagination that could change this world for the better.
            You see, here’s the deal. We actually know more than we think we know. However our feelings of a lack of certainty, even though we can never be 100% certain about anything, is keeping us from acting. We just don’t like to ‘not know’. We don’t want to hear that sometimes the questions are even more important than the answers.
            According to Jiwa, scientific discoveries happen not through method or magic, but from being open to discovery by listening to one’s emotions and responding to intuition. Like a poet, the researcher, as well as the therapist, needs the ability to imagine what the truth might be. We need to let go of the need to have answers in order to be able to come up with the right questions.
      The ever-more important innovation is more complex than the simple ‘Aha’! Innovations come from prolonged practice of being curious, empathetic and imaginative. Too many of us are relying on IQ scores and the retention of knowledge. Too many of us also rely on ideas. However, ideas are nothing if they’re not adopted and used. Sometimes the big ideas don’t go anywhere right alongside all that knowledge. And sometimes the next big thing isn’t something that anyone, at its genesis, would have believed would have been the billion-dollar idea.
            Common big, but often false ideas, are often based on technology. However, sadly, technology is often hijacking our minds. Thus, we are noticing less and less and are missing more and more in our ever-increasing technological world. Frequently, we’re throwing away opportunities to think and reflect- to be the kind of person that actually can make things better for ourselves and everyone else in our circles as well.
Too often, distraction is the enemy of insight. Some research suggest that people are checking their phone up to 150 times a day. Often, we feel that we are close to something big and important, but yet, we still don’t make the space to do what it takes to immerse ourselves waist high and elbow deep in the things that cultivate our curiosity and imagination.

The truth is that we can do good work when we create an environment that allows us to do so. However, we have to change some of our behaviors and have a mind-shift that changes our priorities to things that matter and deserve our time. If we want to do something big, then we need to stop wasting our time on things that just aren’t that important.

Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. To learn more about Dan please visit his website at: Thanks.