The Mental Game Only Successful People Dare To Play— Self Talk

Felix Tikkanen
4 min readJun 13, 2022
Photo by Mahdi Dastmard on Unsplash

50% of people have a narrator or an inner monologue in their head. But 100% of people talk about themselves to themselves or others. 100% of people have beliefs about who they are and what they can achieve.

The way you talk about yourself to yourself or others shows a tremendous amount about what type of a person you are. Negative self-talk is detrimental to your mental health.

That’s already well known, but the opposite of it isn’t that well known.

Positive self-talk can have a huge influence on how you perform. Being a ‘delusional optimist’, as Charlie Rocket likes to call it, can give a boost in anything you do or want to achieve.

Here’s a 3-minute clip of him talking about self-talk.

Even in the gym, where you might think that mental performance isn’t a big part of it. You might think that you can’t lift the weight because your body simply isn’t capable of doing it.

There is some truth to that, of course, no one is able to bench 200kg first try without ever exercising.

But there is a guarantee you can lift a lot more if you’re just delusional and actually believe you can do it.

Having gym buddies that hype you up is a good way of doing this, them saying things like ‘big man’, ‘you can do it easily’, ‘these are lightweights for you’, even though you’ve never lifted such heavy weights before.

Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

This doesn’t only apply to weight lifting, a lot of people say things like, ‘I am bad at presenting’, ‘I can’t do math’, ‘I suck at running’, ‘ I am not a morning person’, …

So many people have limiting beliefs without ever even realising it, simply by just adding ‘yet’ or ‘now’ to the end of those sentences, you’re conditioning your mind to stay open and learn.

Also talking in absolutes is very dangerous when combined with negative self-talk.

‘I tend to be bad at presenting right now’, ‘I lean towards not being good at math right now’, ‘I suck at running at the moment’, ‘ I’m not a morning person yet’, …

Yet indicates that right now you can’t, but maybe in the future you can, who knows?

And the I tend towards is a trick from Alex Hormozi. It indicates that it can still change but you are more on that side at this time.

David Goggins is a big believer in self-limiting beliefs.

David Goggins

He’s a Navy Seal who runs ultramarathons on broken legs, almost had frostbite, went through Ranger School, did a world record of pull-ups, and achieved all these amazing nearly impossible things without any luck.

He credits hard work for his achievements.

There’s this guy telling a story about when David was training him.

David made him do his max amount of pull-ups, he did 8. Then David said ‘wait 30 seconds and do it again’. He did like 4 pull-ups. Guess what he says after that, yep you’re right.

‘Wait 30 seconds and do it again’, he barely managed to do 3 pull-ups now.

And after 30 seconds he barely could do one pull-up, he fell to the ground and said that he can’t do anymore and that his arms are sore etc.

David’s response, ‘We’re not leaving until you do a 100 more.’

The guy was in shock and said ‘that’s impossible’, to which David responds, ‘Your biggest problem is that the limitations you put on yourself are self-imposed, get the f**k back on the bar’.

Most games are won mentally, not physically.

David found this out when he was running these ultra-marathons and was pissing literal blood and shitting himself. But still managed to finish the race.

His book Can’t hurt me is a must-read.

It’s handy to have a person like David do the talking for you in the beginning but you need to master self-talk ASAP.

An external person won’t always be there, but you’re always there with you 24/7.

Imagine having a person who pulls you down and says things like ‘Yes indeed, for you, doing those pull-ups is impossible.’ You’d classify them as toxic friends, yet you dare to say those exact words to yourself.

Be a delusional optimist at first, and later you may find out that you’re not delusional after all.

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Felix Tikkanen

Just trying to become the best. I write about blockchain/crypto and self-improvement.