February 6, 2011

The Impact of Self-Talk

Day 37: 27.3 miles/1:38

“Only the concert pianist hears his clinkers.”

Earlier this week I ran a workshop for a client on presentation skills.  The most important objectives were related to overcoming nervousness.  Most everyone in the group had this massive sensitivity around their fears and anxieties about presenting being apparent to everyone.  Calming those fears was not easy; but, I used this quote and a couple of ad lib presentation exercises to help them realize that their nervousness was not obvious to anyone but themselves.

No one is harder on us than us.  We look in the mirror and see our faults.  We compare ourselves to others and see our failings.  We listen to people communicate and believe they sound so much smarter and more organized than we are.  The list of self-criticisms is endless.

What we often don’t understand is that people do not see those shortcomings in us.  In many cases it is just the opposite—most people see our promise, our potential, and our talent.  As much as a concert pianist practices his craft, I am quite confident he isn’t always satisfied with his performances.  He is always looking to do better.  When we listen to him, we are awestruck by his talent and his skill.  We don’t hear or see the flaws he does.

The same is true in our lives.  It is a good and positive aspect of our personality to continue to strive for improvement.  We owe it to our skills and talents to develop them to the fullest.  To expect more of ourselves because we believe we are capable of doing more is all positive.  However, the minute we push ourselves harder because of our imperfections or shortcomings, we are now speaking in a negative tone.  We are now looking at what we are not doing right, as opposed to what we could do better.

When you get up in the morning and look in that mirror remember — you have awesome gifts, talents, and abilities.  Your assignment is to celebrate them and utilize them and not judge yourself for how you have performed with them.  Remember, only the concert pianist hears his clinkers and you are your own worst critic.

About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.