Archive for March, 2010

Every day of our life we are faced with negative talk and negative thinking. Have you also noticed that negative language and negative self-talk is so disempowering?

Only 10% of our mind is conscious while 90% is unconscious. The conscious mind is our rational, logical and analytical mind and is said to hold our temporary memory. But our unconscious mind on the other hand is irrational and it is where we form our beliefs and habits. We store everything we have ever learned in our unconscious mind. It is also the compartment of our emotions. All behavior is considered unconscious and all learning and change happens at the unconscious level. Your unconscious mind is just like a robot and it takes all the commands you direct it to. Your unconscious mind is doing the best job it can with the directions you are providing it. So say it the way you want it. Direct your thoughts. Pay attention to what you are saying and thinking and therefore communicating to your unconscious mind. Another key fact about the unconscious mind is that it does not process negatives. Therefore it does not hear or process the word “not.” Consider this example. You say to a 4-year-old child, “don’t touch that stove, it’s hot.” What does the 4-year-old do? He or she is curious and reaches to touch the hot stove. Why? Because we just put that idea in the 4-year-old’s mind. So, think of your unconscious mind like that of a child. In order to have your child obey your command you have to say something like “leave that alone.” It’s the same message, but yields two very different results.

Do you ever listen to the language people are using? When you listen very carefully, the language that people use tells us so much about themselves and what is going on in their heads. You may have heard some of these negative phrases. “Work is driving me crazy.” “Get off my back.”  “He is a pain in the neck.” “You’re killing me.” “You’re giving me a headache.” “You will never amount to anything.” Sound familiar? You get what you think about,  so say it the way you want it. Listen very carefully and pay close attention to the words you are using. You must realize the message you are sharing with your children, family, friends and co-workers. What are you really telling your unconscious mind? Say it, the way you want it.

Practice turning negative, disempowering language into positive, empowering language: When someone asks you “how are you today,” instead of saying “not bad,” say “fantastic” or “unbelievable.” You will immediately begin to feel great, even if you weren’t feeling well to start with. When someone says “thanks,” instead of saying “no problem” say “you are welcome” or “anytime.”

Think about this:

~ Think and then verbalize what you want your results to be. Your words are like gifts that you give out and take in.

~ When you catch yourself saying something negative, replace it immediately with something more positive. For example. “I feel sick today” is replaced with “I’d like to feel better.”

~ Eliminate the words “should” and “have to” from your self-talk. These words imply obligation and will build resentment over time.

~ Avoid using the word “try” which implies potential failure.

~ It takes time to establish a habit, so practice positive self-talk every day.

~ Remember to say it the way you want it!

“We all need a daily check up from the neck up to avoid stinkin ‘thinkin’ which ultimately leads to hardening of the attitudes.”  Zig Ziglar

Sarah is running in one of her ultra-marathons today in California. Keep her in your thoughts and tweet her good wishes @sarahstanley. Thanks.

Recently, emphasis has been placed on a serious epidemic concerning childhood obesity in the US. In the past 30 years the number of obese children in our nation has tripled. First Lady Michelle Obama brought the issue to the forefront of consumers’ minds when she recently launched her “Let’s Move” program. But long before Obama joined the ranks of those encouraging children to shape up, Sarah Stanley had devoted her life to fitness, with a passion to teach young people to get active. Through her lifestyle as an endurance athlete and through speaking engagements, Stanley endeavors every day to reach out to young people to show them how important fitness is so they can lead healthy and productive lives.

10 Questions – Sarah Stanley

1.    What’s your favorite part of a typical day?

My favorite part of my day is two-fold. First, interacting with my fan base and finding out what they are up too and, how their day is going. The second favorite part of my day is training. I love to sweat. I love to push my body. I enjoy running on the trails and enjoying nature. When I train it gives me time to reflect on how I can use my life to have a positive impact on others. I also love the way I feel after I workout. I think I have experienced a “runner’s high” a few times. I want to share this passion with everyone!

2.    What part of your day would you gladly give up?

How great would it be not to worry about sponsorships!

3.    Tell me about your cause. Share your passion.

My life mission statement is: “How can I be a blessing to someone, somehow, some way, somewhere?” This is how I run my life. No pun intended.  I’m an endurance athlete (mainly ultra running). I am also a humanitarian. What does this mean? To me it means doing something I am passionate about and helping others by it. I use my running as the platform to encourage, inspire and motivate young and old alike. I breathe, sweat, and bleed (hey, running ultra’s will do it to ya) health, fitness but most of all, relationships with people. I count it an honor to share my life, my passion of athletics and a healthy life style and most of all my love of running. And let’s not forget a healthy side of making people laugh and smile!

Most recently I launched the Run Ride Inspire project. If you have not heard, the number 1 cause of death in the next 9 years in the USA will be obesity. This breaks my heart. So given my history of helping others and living a healthy, active life I thought it would be a great platform to be a real, positive role model and show the next generation (and the current) what it means to walk the talk, or should I say run/ride the talk? I will be doing a combination of running and cycling 50 miles. In 50 states. Make sure you visit and become involved!

4.    If you could change anything you have done in your cause, what would it be?

To be a smarter athlete. I push myself almost too much. I need to learn that it’s okay to rest and recover. Seriously.

5.    What keeps you up at night?

Figuring out how I’m going to get everything done.

6.    Who gives you the best advice about your cause?

My friend Brian ( a small business owner & entrepreneur). He always tells me to keep climbing that mountain and make goals. Don’t look too far into the future. Focus on today. Also, another person who inspires me is my aunt. Her encouragement, love and pep talks motivate me to do anything!

7.    What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

I am most proud of facing my fear of water and learning how to swim at the age of 26. When I was a kid I had some friends drown. Let’s just say it didn’t motivate me to jump in the water! So my goal in 2006 was to do a triathlon. Well, I kind of needed to know how to float! And I did. I went from learning how to float to jumping into 18 feet of water in 6 weeks. And a sprint triathlon 6 weeks later.

My second thing I am most proud of is running and finishing my first 100 mile ultra marathon. Yes, running 100 miles. In. A. Row. No stopping (except for aid stations). No sleeping. No showers. Just me and the trail. Well, and a bobcat ( I didn’t see it, but another runner told me about it. Thank God!) I finished in 24 hours, 58 minutes, 8/21 women. I ran this on the my 30th birthday. Why? To show the world that you can celebrate positively. I think I made my statement.

8.    What would you like to see happen with your cause?

1. To lower the current obesity statistics.

2. To have people embrace my life mission statement for themselves.

3. To get active!

9.    Share a triumphant outcome to something you have faced in your life.

I started running when I was 14 to deal with a stressful childhood. Instead of turning to drugs or alcohol I rolled out of bed at 4:30am weekday mornings and ran. It was a time where I could just be present. Enjoy the darkness. Watch the sun rise. And face my day ahead. Today I look back at that moment and I’m thankful that I was able to have the where-with-all to turn a negative into a positive. Running saved my life.

10.  If you were in charge of everything in the world for a day, what’s the first change you would make?

No media, no TV, no frivolous reality TV shows. Instead, have each person help someone else and embrace this: “More compassion, less complaining. More service to others, less things. More caring, less judgement.”

To read more and get involved in sponsorships go to:

Photo credits:

The “Nike black shirt” photo and the “track” photo are by Doug Kean
The “orange vest” head shot and “orange track” photo are by Matthew Lofton