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Minisode 08 | December 1, 2020

Shifting Our Language

In this minisode we discuss the importance of talking to ourselves more than listening to ourselves and shifting our language to approach things with gratitude and a growth mindset.


Welcome to “That’s a Hard No” – the podcast about saying no (in all its forms) so you can become the authentic and empowered person that this world needs.

Quick disclosure: While Sarah is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, this podcast is in no way replacement for one-on-one therapy with a mental health professionalIf you are struggling with mental health issues, we welcome you on this journey, but also invite you to seek out professional help.

Looking for a therapist? Here’s a good place to start:

shifting our language
Key Takeaways

In relationships with other people, listening more than you talk is a good model to follow. But when it comes to ourselves, most of us listen to ourselves way too much.

In this episode, we talk about Dr. James Gills, a world-renowned ocular surgeon. He has performed more lens implants and cataract surgeries than any other ocular surgeon in the world. He distributes 40,000 free copies of his book in prisons every month and he is the only person that we’re aware of (at least according to Google) that has completed 6 double iron man triathlons. And get this! The last double iron man triathlon he completed in his 50’s! So this guy gets shit done and does really challenging things.

What intrigues us most about Dr. Gills, was that when someone asked him about the secret to his success, he said “I talk to myself more than I listen to myself.” It’s so simple it’s brilliant.

We humans have an estimated 60,000 thoughts throughout the day. Most of them are running subconsciously, but plenty of them are conscious and we are just listening to our own nonsense ALL day long.

Dr. Gill explained that if he were to just listen to himself about the things he wanted to accomplish, he would just listen to his brain say “I’m too old,” “I’m too tired,” “It hurts too much,” “There’s no way I can do it.” And you can’t complete one iron man with that thought pattern, let alone SIX double iron man competitions. So he said the secret to his success is talking to himself more than listening to himself. He tells himself what to think, rather than the other way around.

We subconsciously create mental limitations that condition our brain to think we can’t do something or that something is hard. Dr. Gill’s approach is proactive –  saying that we need to talk to our brain to tell it what to think, instead of letting destructive or negative thoughts take control of our actions.

Using his approach, you don’t just listen to yourself but you talk to yourself. You decide ahead of time what you’re going to believe. You take control of the situation.

In our interview with Jamie Speer, we love how she shared her word shift – changing “have to” with “get to.” This goes along with what Dr. Gill says because, whether Jamie realized it or not, she is talking to her brain by saying “I get to show up for my job” and  “I get to build a life I love.”

During our conversation with Jennifer Stringer, she told us about how she talked to herself in order to find a new way to create and earn a living after losing her sight.

What if every day we started our day by talking to our brain? Telling our brain all the things we get to do, all the things we can do, and all the things that make us awesome?

Here’s the “Talk to Yourself” worksheet you can download and use to help you think about and implement this concept. You’ll be prompted to fill in statements that start with “I get to,” “I can,” “I will,” and “I am.”

We challenge you to think about this concept. What would be different in your life if you talked to your brain, rather than listened to it?

Credits and Thanks