All of us talk to ourselves more than others talk to us. It is the ultimate multitasking activity at times providing encouragement, other times criticism, and often simply a running commentary. If you can quiet your mind – congratulations you can now focus on what you are doing instead of having a meta-conversation about the conversation you are having with someone else at the same time.
Seriously, talking to ourselves, or hopefully with ourselves is a fact of life and a big one because we become what we do, and hopefully we often do what we think . This means, for most of us, our life is extremely impacted by the conversations we have, and if the most frequent conversation we have is with ourselves, than our self-talk is the dominant input to our system.
This is especially true of creative innovative inventive people, for they spend a lot of their time alone, not because they are losers, but because creation requires gestation. And innovation requires very deep dives in order to transcend more easily available superficial activities.
Now, if the greatest input to our system is ourselves, we had better be careful about what we are saying. If we mostly beat ourselves up with our self-talk words and thoughts, than we will be mostly beat up. And if we are continually supportive of ourselves, than we will feel continually supported. This sounds simple and it is, but as many other simple insights about simple actions, simple does not mean easy. Repeated practice makes all actions easier, which is why musicians and fireman drill. Rapid execution demands the pre-knowledge which comes from having practiced many times. Therefore be vigilant about what you tell yourself, because it becomes habituated as we are involved in self talk so much of the time.
Habit is a short way to say automatic behavior which is excellent for musicians, fireman and other emergency responders. Your heart and lungs execute automatically without thought because without a beating heart and breathing lungs you die.
Self talk is also pretty automatic or habituated and greatly contributes to having a consistent self model, necessary to interact with others, who understandably become confused by inconsistent behavior and inconsistent thoughts. Negative self-talk undermines achieving potential.
Make your self-talk more consciously positive. Simple but not easy if you have made automatic self disqualifying statements. One of the most straight forward and simplest actions any person can make is to make sure they are being supportive of themselves instead of tearing themselves down. Simple but not always easy. If you can not support yourself, because you do not like yourself or your actions, change your behavior to something you can support. Your self talk will automatically naturally change from negative to positive. Simple but not very easy.
In case you are wondering what this has to do with innovation, who would you rather collaborate with? Ms Up or Mr. Down? You have to raise friends before you raise money.
The single most important friend you have to raise, the one you talk to the most, is on the critical path to accomplishing anything new requiring change.
You did say you were an innovation advocate right?