Dr. Shad Helmstetter is widely considered one of the pioneering leaders in the field of self-talk. He is the best-selling author of more than twenty books in the field of personal growth, including the classic “What to Say When You Talk to Your Self,” as well as “The Power of Neuroplasticity” and the “365 Days of Positive Self-Talk” series. Shad is also the founder of The Self-Talk Institute and The Life Coach Institute.
In this interview, Shad begins by talking about how he got into motivational psychology and self-talk. He explains why thoughts are the number one tool for rewiring the brain. He then discusses how to identify negative self-talk, and gives several examples. Shad offers strategies to identify our self talk, including being more mindful and uncovering the roots of our fears, as well as observing how others respond and react to us. He also explains how developing the habit of self-observation leads to self-awareness, which is the first step to confidence.
Next, Shad discusses how we were all born to be successful, and how over time our minds get programmed by ourselves and others. He recommends starting a daily mindfulness habit, and writing down our negative thoughts, beliefs, and feelings to become aware of them. Shad then explains how neuroplasticity works and what the left and right prefrontal cortex control. He reveals why positive thinkers grow more neurons in the left prefrontal cortex, while negative thinkers grow more neurons in the right prefontal cortex.
Shad explains how the amygdala triggers the fight-flight response, and how positive self-talk helps tame this response. He then gives examples of positive self-talk, and talks about how to change our self-talk to rewire our brains. Shad reveals how long this process takes to have an impact. He gives examples of the self-talk topics he has created, and explains how to recognize what area we need to focus on. Chris also shares a story about a former client who was able to connect with people much more easily after changing his internal dialogue.
Finally, Shad offers practical tips on developing a daily self-talk practice. He talks about how self-talk helps improve various aspects of our lives, such as self-esteem, health, relationships, and more. He also describes how everything is interconnected, and improving one area of our lives leads to positive changes in other areas. Shad then gives examples of what self-talk topics to focus on together, and cautions against doing too much at once. He leaves us with some insights for living happier, healthier, and more meaningful and connected lives.
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