Your Self-Talk May Be Hurting You

By John R. Aberle | Passion & Purpose

Aug 26
Screen capture of Dr. Masaru Emoto’s photo of the water crystal for love with Aberle Enterprises logo and URL

Frank first appreciated the impact his largely unconscious self-talk was having on him thirty years ago. He was leaving Torrance on the west side of LA, not far from the coast. At the time, he was rushing to make a chiropractic appointment in 30 minutes. He was exiting the southbound I-405 and transitioning to the northbound I-110 that ran through the heart of downtown Los Angeles. As it was 4:00 PM and his appointment was at 4:30 PM in Eagle Rock, he caught himself saying, “I’m afraid that I’m going to be late.”

“I’m afraid that…” and other expressions contain negative programming

For the first time, Frank actually thought about that silly statement, one he’d learned from his mother as a small child. He thought about that self-talk. Here he’d spent decades trying to build his self-confidence and courage only to be programming his subconscious with the instructions that he was afraid. The funny part about this was there was no fear involved. He knew he was going to be late.

Going through the heart of LA at that time of the day, it would take Moses to part the sea of cars in order for him to make a half hour drive in a half hour. He’d be lucky if it only took an hour to make that trip.

In theory, Frank had been aware for years already that he needed to watch his self-talk. For instance, he knew that the subconscious lacks the ability to hear negatives. So, if he said, “I’m not afraid, his subconscious would register that as “I’m afraid.” The shock was to become aware of nonsensical cultural statements that everyone uses without thinking about their impact.

Now, you too probably use statements like “I’m afraid that…” without thinking about them. And you are probably already conscious of the need to avoid using negatives. But how many of these things are you using without thinking about your subconscious listening.

I never thought about how often I said of someone, “He’s a pain in the ass.” Interestingly, it never hurt the person I was talking about but over the years I developed hemorrhoids.

While you may think that this talk about the importance of the words you use is a waste of time, researchers have proven the impact of sound and words. Thus, the impact isn’t limited to your subconscious.

Sand and water demonstrate the power of sound and written words

Sound tones manifest patterns in sand

These experiments demonstrate that sound and specific words influence the material universe around us. As part of that material universe, our bodies are affected in similar ways. In other words, our health and energy response to the sounds in our environment.

Screen capture of Adding sand to the metal plate for Amazing Resonance Experiment

Adding sand to the metal plate for Amazing Resonance Experiment

First, look at the experiments of different frequencies on a metal plate.“

So, this experiment is the Chladni plate experiment. I used a tone generator, a wave driver (speaker) and a metal plate attached to the speaker. First add sand to the plate then begin playing a tone. Certain frequencies vibrate the metal plate in such a way that it creates areas where there is no vibration. The sand "falls" into those areas, creating beautiful geometric patterns. As the frequency increases in pitch the patterns become more complex. “

Amazing Resonance Experiment! By Brusspup

“4 Water Crystal Structures and the Positive Words that Formed Them” Collage

The power of words on frozen water crystals

While these images show the effect of tones at different frequencies. The research becomes even more relevant when applied to the effect of words on water that is then frozen.

Purpleleisureologist shared “Water, Consciousness & Intent: Dr. Masaru Emoto” on YouTube.“

At length he realized that it was in the frozen crystal form that water showed us its true nature through. He has gained worldwide acclaim through his groundbreaking research and discovery that water is deeply connected to our individual and collective consciousness.”

““Mr. Emoto has been visually documenting these molecular changes in water by means of his photographic techniques. He freezes droplets of water and then examines them under a dark field microscope that has photographic capabilities.”

“When the words "thank you" were taped to a bottle of distilled water, the frozen crystals had a similar shape to the crystals formed by water that had been exposed to Bach's "Goldberg Variations"- music composed out of gratitude to the man it was named for.

”When water samples were bombarded with heavy metal music or labeled with negative words, or when negative thoughts and emotions were focused intentionally upon them, such as "Adolf Hitler", the water did not form crystals at all and displayed chaotic, fragmented structures. “

Water, Consciousness & Intent: Dr. Masaru Emoto” video posted by purpleleisureologist

“Vibes” have effects on our health and more

In the 70’s, the Hippies made popular the term “Vibes.” Quite obviously, from these images, there is a physical reality to vibes. We end up vibrating to the frequency of our thoughts and expressions. So, more than just the images that our words and thoughts program in our subconscious, they convey a message to our bodies.

Self-criticism is destructive. Virtually everyone in America, at least, has been trained from childhood to be self-critical. We’re not good enough because we make mistakes. But mistakes are part of the growing process.

Pottery experiment shows that failing often leads to better quality while learning

In fact, Shane Melaugh, CEO of Thrive Themes and owner of ActiveGrowth, and Hanne Vervaeck, Marketing Manager at Thrive Themes, tell the story of the pottery class experiment, which the teacher divided into two groups. The one group at the end of the experiment would be graded on the quality of their final product while the other group would be graded on the quantity of pottery pieces they produced as measured by weight.

The fascinating thing about this experiment is that the ones who made the most pieces produced the best. In other words, trial and error and mistakes along the way worked to produce better pottery than striving for perfection.

Skip the guilt over mistakes

So, silence the negative self-talk. Skip the guilt over mistakes. Learn from them and do better. Avoid the guilt trips.

Words in normal conversations also affect you

In addition to avoiding negative self-talk and using expressions like “I fear that…,” watch what you say in conversations with others. Words and thoughts have vibrations that have an impact on you, your health and your energy. Just look at the experiments by Dr. Masaru Emoto. The positive words had beautiful crystalline structures while the negative, hate-filled and angry words had ugly, misshapen forms.

What you watch and listen to brings that into your environment as much as what you say and think.

Techniques to make positive changes in self-talk and conversations

  • Train yourself to “listen” to your self-talk and to take action on negative expressions
  • Be sure to replace any negative with a positive
  • Review mistakes and replay your actions with different steps
  • If you tend to be critical of yourself, choose instead to compliment the fact that you took action and are learning to do better

When you catch yourself saying something that carries a potentially harmful message, take an eraser to the white board in your imagination to erase any negative phrases. Then, write a positive message on the white board.

Nature abhors a vacuum so if you have a negative habit or expression, be sure to replace it with a positive one. If you “hear” the negative wording, like, “I fear that…” change it immediately and tell yourself something like, “I know that…” or “I’m sure that…”

Instead of beating yourself up over what you perceive as a mistake, immediately review what happened and envision taking some action that is different next time. Let’s say you made a sales call that didn’t get the sale you expected. See yourself on another similar sales call where you ask a different question or ask more questions. Perhaps you probe a little deeper when you get an answer so as to understand what the real issues are. See a positive outcome this time.

One of the contemplations you can do if you are highly critical of yourself is to visualize a path where the fork towards being highly critical is now blocked by a high fence with a locked gate. See yourself going down the path that has a sign inviting action takers to get reviews and guidance for improvement.


Negative self-talk comes in many fashions, sometimes in common expressions nobody thinks about. From the experiments with sand and with water, you’ve seen the effect different tones and different words have. You can make changes to what you say to yourself and to others. The pottery experiment proved that mistakes are the best way to better results if you learn from them and improve next time.


There are numerous experiments now that demonstrate the impact of sound, our words, and our thoughts not only on how we program our own self-conscious, but also on our bodies. In this article are four different steps you can take to shift from negative self-talk and being self-critical to program yourself in a more positive way. Skip the guilt over mistakes. Learn from them. Make changes. Get better. And praise yourself for taking action.

Open your heart in selling,

John's signature in Rage Italic script

John R. Aberle

Aberle Enterprises

Image of How Relationship Selling Rewards Small Businesses book cover for 12 Types of Content Marketing’s #12 Books


Do you love taking care of your customers and prospects? If you yearn to build more long-term business connections with your customers, get your copy of the Amazon Kindle eBook: 

How Relationship Selling Rewards Small Businesses


Procrastination by Perfectionism: is this Common Habit Killing Your Business?

Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland - This book is the source of the pottery experiment.

Water, Consciousness & Intent: Dr. Masaru Emoto” on YouTube

Amazing Resonance Experiment! By Brusspup

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About the Author

I have a strong love for small businesses, especially brick and mortar companies. After an 18-year career in sales and marketing, I started my own service company, which I grew in both sales and profits for the first five years. In my sixth year, the bottom dropped out of the printer market such that it made more sense to sell my assets and return to Southern California. There I went to work for an international small business consulting company. I spent over three years on the road with them helping small businesses to become more profitable and better managed. I then started my own company specializing in sales and marketing consulting, coaching and training. My emphasis is on heart-centered, relationship selling that empowers prospects to make their own choices.