How many conversations do you have with yourself each day, in a year, your whole life? Even though these conversations often take place without awareness and conscious acknowledgment, I can guarantee that you have had exponentially more inner conversations with yourself than with anyone else you know combined!
An interesting revelation came to mind while talking to a professor of communication at several well known universities in California during dinner a few days ago. I was asking her to be a guest blogger at our learning network website that focused on ideas and concepts beyond education; topics outside the box. She was having a hard time grasping what I was trying to communicate (being the professor, I assumed I was the one at fault in the line of communication I was attempting to get across). Blogging about her courses and experiences would be easy for her, and she excitedly accepted. But, when I told her that she only can blog about things, in the realm of communication, outside her normal educational topics. This is where the conversation stalled.
I suggested a topic. "Blog about the conversations people have with themselves. Explore the importance of what people say and how that is either consistent or in direct conflict with their subconscious thoughts." Of course, I believed it was a brilliant idea and outside the box, perfect for my learning network. "Oh, intrapersonal communication," she replied using the academic term for talking to the inner-self. "We don't teach that in university courses." "Perfect!" I said. "That's exactly what I want." She stated she would explore the topic and attempt to submit an article as soon as she could. What I found so revealing was the topic of communication, the type we have with ourselves, is something not taught in school or university.
So often in life, we simply go to classes and absorb what is being taught in order to pass, get credit, and move on. Communication is one of the cornerstones of being human. It's a part of everything we do, especially in a society where there is interaction and dependency on some semblance of cohesive organizational system. I do see value in learning public speaking, argument and debate, interpersonal communication, broadcasting, mass speaking... But, where are the courses in intrapersonal communication? Aren't our conversations with ourselves the ones we have the most often, and will continue to have the rest of our lives?
Napoleon Hill, in his bestselling classic,Think and Grow Rich, he stated that, "Thoughts are things, and powerful things at that, when they are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a burning desire for their translation into riches, or other material objects." I was always taught the power of words growing up with a very wise woman, my mother. She never taught us sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. She taught us that physical wounds would heal, but words cut much deeper and scar some people for their entire lives. We understood the power of words, but I didn't, until much later in life, connect the idea that the words we speak to ourselves had the same type of power.
How many times did you say, outwardly or inwardly, that you were going to make a change, go on a diet, start working out, or anything else outside your normal pattern? And, how many times did your thoughts on the surface or simple words spoken go in direct conflict with your subconscious where it knew you always had an out or didn't really mean what you said? I'd say it's about 95% of the population that thinks and says things where the subconscious is not in harmony. The few truly successful people I know do not have this conflict. Their desires and thoughts are in unison with their souls, their subconscious, and nothing detracts them from their goals. Maybe it is the conversations with ourselves that are the most important.
Autosuggestion is talking with the subconscious mind. I see successful people using this technique no matter what industry they found success in. I hear about elite athletes visualizing success over and over to the point where they truly believe they won before they even did. I read books of great men, like the Wright Brothers, who convinced themselves of victory and held a vision so strongly that they accomplished the unbelievable task of flight. This successful tactic of having conversations within ourselves has been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years!