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The Big Answer


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Self Talk: How to Train Your Brain to Turn Negative Thinking into Positive Thinking and Practice Self Love

a book by Aston Sanderson

(our site's book review)

Make Your Brain Work FOR You Instead of AGAINST You

The Amazon blurb advises that you train your brain’s thought patterns to work FOR you instead of AGAINST you.

Do you have racing thoughts? Do you feel like your own worst critic, with a lot of negative thinking? You may not be aware of the negative thought patterns that run through your brain in your daily life, and how they could be holding you back from achieving your dreams.

Changing how you talk to yourself in your thoughts — with self love, positive thinking and constructive feedback — is the most effective way to change your approach to your exercise routine, diet, relationships, work and life.

Train your brain for constructive thinking
Train your brain for constructive thinking

Read this book to learn how to harness your negative thinking, train your brain for constructive thinking, and make your negative thoughts and positive thoughts work toward your goals.

After reading this book you will know how to:



Declutter your mind of unproductive thoughts—especially negative self-talk
Declutter your mind of unproductive thoughts—especially negative self-talk

Buy “Self Talk” today and learn how to make your brain into your biggest ally.


Here Are Some Other Resources That Will Help Your Brain Improve Your Life


Dr. Shad Helmstetter's Self-Talk Programs Are Well Worth Considering

What To Say When You Talk To Your Self is an international bestseller, and its author, Dr. Shad Helmstetter, did what Aston Sanderson, the author of Self Talk: How to Train Your Brain to Turn Negative Thinking into Positive Thinking and Practice Self Love, obviously didn't do (marketing), since Google finds no reviews of his book Self Talk: How to Train Your Brain to Turn Negative Thinking into Positive Thinking and Practice Self Love. Dr. Helmstetter is one of the most respected behavioral researchers of our time and has appeared on more than 1200 radio and television programs, including repeat appearances on Oprah Winfrey, ABC, NBC, CBS, and CNN News. He speaks to as many as 250,000 people a year in personal speaking engagements throughout the U.S. and internationally.

When you alter your self-talk, you will rewire your brain; and when you rewire your brain, you will alter your life
When you alter your self-talk, you will rewire your brain; and when you rewire your brain, you will alter your life

The essence of Dr. Shad Helmstetter's knowledge when he speaks to groups is: From the second you were born, you were programmed. Your brain will become hard-wired with the programs that you get the most. Your brain's hard wiring will determine your success or your failure. Only you can alter your self-talk in order to rewire your brain. The optimal way to alter your programs is by listening to the good kind of self-talk, and then practice that self-talk every chance you get, every day. When you alter your self-talk, you will rewire your brain. When you rewire your brain, you will alter your life. This is easy stuff to understand and easy stuff to do. Old brain programs that try to argue with new brain programs will be easy to spot and avoid—they're the thoughts that are full of negative, cannot, won't, bad, lazy, dumb, overweight, etc. You've had enough of those lies for one lifetime—program in the good stuff and make life work. They say the truth will set you free, so rewire the lies in your brain with truths so you too can be set free.

The good kind of self-talk is affirmations such as I really like the positive effects that exercising creates in my life. And that gives me even more motivation to exercise every day. You can make up your own or use the preprogrammed ones you can get from the self-talk store. See also The Self-Talk Solution by Dr. Shad Helmstetter.


Many Rightwingers View Self-Talk as Psychobabble—They're Very Wrong

As we say in Cultures of Healing: Correcting The Image Of American Mental Health Care, there are naïve and foolish individuals, mostly on the right, who ridicule important tools like self-talk as self-indulgent psychobabble. And in a perfect world, they would be correct. There would certainly be no need for self-talk affirmations and self-esteem work if people weren’t raised so carelessly and weren’t conditioned—however unintentionally—to indulge in self-destructive, negative self-talk habits, habits which cripple them emotionally and severely limit their future potentials, success, and happiness. The conditioning most people get in childhood is 75% negative, which explains a lot of misery, neurosis, acting out, inability to think, and bad parenting. (There is such a thing as good parenting: Authoritative and Democratic Parenting Programs.)

Depression rate in the U.S. in 2011
Depression rate in the U.S. in 2011

But in the real world, this crippling process is an integral part of the normal American lifestyle, and the personal, psychological, and social dysfunctionality this causes is of epidemic proportions (e.g., this is one of the reasons why bureaucracies are staffed mostly with unproductive deadwood, with a few of the people doing most of the productive work). And the stunted careers, business failures, and relationship failure that this process precipitates are the epitome of unnecessary suffering and represent the legacy of ignorant upbringing processes. Due to hangups, only 30% of people are able to function fully at the level of formal reasoning. And due to parenting errors, 80% of the self talk most of us indulge in frequently is negative.


Another Self-Talk Perspective: Refuting the Negative Thinking in Cognitive Distortions

The Heaven’s reward fallacy: Heaven is a place where the pain will finally be ended
The Heaven’s reward fallacy: Heaven is a place where the pain will finally be ended

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy deals with such things as Cognitive Distortions (ways that our mind convinces us of something that isn’t really true, keeping us feeling bad about ourselves) such as overgeneralizing, black and while thinking, jumping to conclusions, catastrophizing, personalization, control fallacies, fallacy of fairness, blaming, shoulds, emotional reasoning, fallacy of change, global labeling, always being right, and heaven’s reward fallacy need to be faced. By refuting the negative thinking in Cognitive Distortions over and over again, they will slowly diminish over time and be automatically replaced by more rational, balanced thinking. This is much like self-talk.

The therapy results of Cognitive Therapies are the best of any therapies and Burns' New Mood Therapy as well as Helmstetter's self-talk are the best examples of cognitive therapy
The therapy results of Cognitive Therapies are the best of any therapies and Burns' New Mood Therapy as well as Helmstetter's self-talk are the best examples of cognitive therapy

If Positive Self-Talk Clashes with Underlying Beliefs, It Needs Reframing

Melody Wilding says positive affirmations are not viable if the statements made are not in harmony with your underlying subconscious where negative beliefs reside. So she recommends reframing:

Watch how you talk to yourself
Watch how you talk to yourself

"If you’re prone to negative self-talk and are sick of positive affirmations that don’t work, try one of these re-framing techniques: If you spend less time beating yourself up for procrastinating, you can redirect that energy into breaking down a project into manageable tasks and actually tackling your to-do list instead. . . . Research shows that asking ourselves questions rather than issuing commands is a much more effective way to create change. It’s as simple as tweaking the way you speak to yourself. When you catch your inner critic flinging accusations, think: how can I turn this statement into a question? . . . You might re-work your self-talk to sound more like "I am a work in progress, and that’s OK." It’s pointing you in the direction of positive growth and is both realistic and achievable." (Source: Forget Positive Thinking: This Is How To Actually Change Negative Thoughts For Success, Melody Wilding, Forbes)

Practice gratitude, two steps forward after one step back, good posture, smile more, surround yourself with positive people, and do something kind are Gregory L. Jantz's recipe for becoming more positive, according to Psychology Today.

Debbie Hampton recommends getting your body participating in your thought reframing:

You have the power in this moment and going forward to choose your perspective and behavior, which will change your brain, cells, and even your genes
You have the power in this moment and going forward to choose your perspective and behavior, which will change your brain, cells, and even your genes

"You have much more power than ever believed to influence your physical and mental realities. Your mindset is recognized by your body — right down to the genetic level, and the more you improve your mental habits, the more beneficial response you’ll get from your body. You can’t control what has happened in the past, which shaped the brain you have today, programmed your cells, and caused certain genes to switch on. However, you do have the power in this moment and going forward to choose your perspective and behavior, which will change your brain, cells, and genes." Meditation, mindfulness and gratitude are recommended. (Source: How Your Thoughts Change Your Brain, Cells and Genes, Debbie Hampton, Huffington Post)

Meditation, mindfulness and gratitude are recommended to influence your physical and mental realities
Meditation, mindfulness and gratitude are recommended to influence your physical and mental realities


War between positive and negative self-talk
War between positive and negative self-talk

According to Dr. Tim Legg, "Self-talk is important in many ways. It’s the script that we use to frame our lives. If we constantly give ourselves negative messages, then we begin to develop automatic thoughts that take us from a particular incident to a negative emotional reaction. Conversely, if we engage in positive self-talk, we begin to view the world in a more positive manner and will ultimately feel better about ourselves. We can’t always control what happens, but we can control how we react to it!"—Tim Legg, MD

One motivational speaker refers to the negative voices in her head as her gremlins—by giving her negative thoughts a name, she’s both stepping away from them and poking fun at them
One motivational speaker refers to the negative voices in her head as her gremlins—by giving her negative thoughts a name, she’s both stepping away from them and poking fun at them

"Brené Brown, professor at the University of Houston Graduate College and motivational speaker, refers to the negative voices in her head as her gremlins. By giving her negative thoughts a name, she’s both stepping away from them and poking fun at them." (Source: What Are the Benefits of Self-Talk?, Susan York Morris, Healthline)

"Love yourself unconditionally. Everyone has something that they want to improve. Your imperfections should not stop you from loving yourself. You should love yourself for who you are, rather than for what you have or things that you have done. Love yourself for your uniqueness, your personality, character traits and for everything that you are. The more you love and accept yourself, the easier it will be to practice positive self-talk." (Source: How to Practise Positive Self-Talk: 20 Powerful Tips for Everyone, FabHow Team)

As Aston Sanderson says, self-love is essential for good health and a way to help empower self-talk. A person who dislikes himself will not be very open to positive affirmations. To dig a bit deeper into such areas than Sanderson's fine book did, see below.


Finally, There Is the Positive and Negative Inner Child Perspective

Eric Berne invented transactional analysis, with its three states Parent, Adult, and Child. He helped thousands heal from the dysfunction and pain they manifested due to the negative effects of their inner children. See Transactional Analysis In Psychotherapy.

T.A. helps people analyze the old tapes they’re running so they can act from self, not react from hangup
T.A. helps people analyze the old tapes they’re running so they can act from self, not react from hangup

The negative inner child tries to drown out the positive inner child with feelings that support negative self-talk, while the positive inner child tries to drown out the negative inner child with feelings that support positive self-talk. Most people have such a war going on inside them most of the time. The information on this web page explains the resources that will help you the most in winning the war so that your positive self-talk dominates your thinking. If positive self-talk dominates your thinking, you will naturally engage in real self interactions with yourself and others. (See bottom of big chart below called happy positive inner child, representing the real self of a person who can be of any age. Female images are used, but male images would work as well.)

Facebook encourages false-self actualization, not real self-actualization; and connections, not bonds; and false self more than real self
Facebook encourages false-self actualization, not real self-actualization; and connections, not bonds; and false self more than real self

Not quite "essential" but very very strongly recommended is the use of "you time" feelings space—the ultimate support for positive self-talk. See the diagram below to grasp why. We've personally tested this out for many years and can promise you it is about the most important personal growth tool we've ever encountered! (For more info on "you time" feelings space, see Supercharging MC Empowerment.)

The chart below has a top area that is a lie—it IS how you often feel, but it is NOT "who you are"! Where did all this mind garbage originate? Inadequate nurturing when you were young, of course. "Who you are" is the bottom half of the chart (or similar stuff). It is your truth. All parts of the chart (or similar stuff) are in your psyche, but each competes for control. The worse your early experiences were, the more the top half of the chart dominates thinking and feeling and negative self-talk runs rampant.

The top of the chart items are caused by emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, negative messages from parents and/or others, guilt trips, punishments, rejections, neglect, accidents, humiliation, etc. If these things did not happen, this psyche area will be minimal or absent.



Expressed emotions support personal growth
Expressed emotions support personal growth


Nonself versus self
Nonself versus self