You are your most important critic. There is no opinion so vitally important to your well-being as the opinion you have of yourself. As you read this, you’re talking to yourself right now. “Let’s see if I understand what he means by that . . . How does that compare with my experiences? I’ll make note of that . . . try that tomorrow . . . I already knew that . . . I already do that.” I believe this self-talk, this psycholinguistics or language of the mind, can be controlled to work for us, especially in the building of self-confidence and creativity. We’re all talking to ourselves every moment of our lives, except during certain portions of our sleeping cycle. We’re seldom even aware that we’re doing it. We all have a running commentary in our heads on events and our reactions to them.

* Be aware of the silent conversation you have with yourself. Are you a nurturing coach or a critic? Do you reinforce your own success or negate it? Are you comfortable saying to yourself “That’s more like it.” “Now we’re in the groove.” “Things are working out well.” “I am reaching my financial goals.” “I’ll do it better next time.”
* When winners fail, they view it as a temporary inconvenience, a learning experience, an isolated event, and a stepping-stone instead of a stumbling block.
* When winners succeed, they reinforce that success by feeling rewarded rather than guilty about the achievement and the applause.
* When winners are paid a compliment, they simply respond, “Thank you.” They accept value graciously when it is paid. They pay value in their conversations with themselves and with other people.

A mark of an individual with healthy self-esteem is the ability to spend time alone, without constantly needing other people around. Being comfortable and enjoying solitary time reveals inner peace and centering. People who constantly need stimulation or conversation with others are often a bit insecure and thus need to be propped up by the company of others.

Always greet the people you meet with a smile. When introducing yourself in any new association, take the initiative to volunteer your own name first, clearly, and always extend your hand first, looking the person in the eyes when you speak.

In your telephone communications at work or at home, answer the telephone pleasantly, immediately giving your own name to the caller before you ask who’s calling. Whenever you initiate a call, always give your own name up front, before you ask for the party you want and before you state your business. Leading with your own name underscores that a person of value is making the call.

Don’t brag. People who trumpet their exploits and shout for service are actually calling for help. The show-offs, braggarts, and blowhards are desperate for attention.

Don’t tell your problems to people, unless they’re directly involved with the solutions, and don’t make excuses. Successful people seek those who look and sound like success. Always talk affirmatively about the progress you are trying to make.

As we said earlier, find successful role models after whom you can pattern yourself. When you meet a mastermind, become a master mime, and learn all you can about how he succeeded. This is especially true with things you fear. Find someone who has conquered what you fear and learn from him.

When you make a mistake in life, or get ridiculed or rejected, look at mistakes as detours on the road to success, and view ridicule as ignorance. After a rejection, take a look at your BAG. B is for Blessings, things you are endowed with that you often take for granted like life itself, health, living in an abundant country, family, friends, career. A is for accomplishments. Think of the many things you are proud of that you have done so far. And G is for Goals. Think of your big dreams and plans for the future that motivate you. If you took your BAG—blessings, accomplishments, and goals—to a party and spread them on the floor, in comparison to all your friends and the people you admire, you’d take your own bag home, realizing that you have as much going for yourself as anyone else. Always view rejection as part of one performance, not as a turndown of the performer.

And enjoy those special meetings with yourself. Spend this Saturday doing something you really want to do. I don’t mean next month or someday. This Saturday, enjoy being alive and being able to do it. You deserve it. There will never be another you. This Saturday will be spent. Why not spend at least one day a week on You!

Action idea: Go for one entire day and night without saying anything negative to yourself or to others. Make a game of it. If a friend or colleague catches you saying something negative, you must put 50 cents in a drawer or container toward a dinner or evening out with that person. Do this for one month, and see who has had to pay the most money toward the evening.

** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. To get complete details on “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life”, visit

Author's Bio: 

Denis Waitley is more than a poet, lyricist, best-selling author, and speaker . . . Denis Waitley has studied and counseled leaders in every field—from Apollo astronauts to Fortune 500 top executives—and now comes to our living rooms. Denis Waitley has painted word pictures of optimism, core values, motivation, and resiliency that have become indelible and legendary in their positive impact on society. Denis has been described by his peers as “the poet laureate” of modern-day philosophers. For the past 40 years he has inspired, informed, and enlightened millions of individuals with his 15 nonfiction books, hundreds of audio programs, and entertaining, penetrating, live keynote lectures, seminars, and television appearances. To learn more, visit