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Beating the Odds

The Things You Say! (To Yourself)

My friend and mentor Dr. Rob Gilbert recently asked callers to his daily motivational hotline to list the dumbest thing they’ve ever said to themselves.

You can probably guess what was No.1 on the Hit Parade. “I can’t.” These are words you hear all the time. Say them in my gym and you’re automatically doing pushups.

As Dr. Gilbert often mentions, if you talked to your friends the same way you talk to yourself, you’d be alone a lot of the time. You would never dream of limiting others the way you limit yourself.

Yet you hear this kind of negative self-talk all the time: “I can’t.” “I’m not good at that.” “I’m not a very good student.”

Coincidentally or not, Dr. Gilbert’s hotline message came just around the same time that Muhammad Ali turned 68. Ali, three-time heavyweight champion, was also king of positive self-talk. He proclaimed, “I am the greatest of all time,” and he said it loudly and often.

Some people didn’t care for his style, but I wish some of my players would spend more time talking like Ali and less saying things that limit themselves.

New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan has also gained a reputation for bold statements. But he has his team believing it itself.

Shad Helmstetter wrote a book called “What to Say When You talk to Yourself.” Try to get a hold of it and read it. And while you’re at it, give Dr. Gilbert’s Success Hotline a try. It’s free and available 24 hours a day. The number is (973) 743-4690.

And don’t say you can’t.


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