#423 Self-Talk: Interrogative Style

Ask Yourself Questions Lately?

In our last +1 we talked about Dan Pink and the new ABCs of selling. (You recall what they are? Attunement + Buoyancy + Clarity!)

I promised we’d talk about a fascinating form of self-talk Dan encourages us to use to stay buoyant. Here it is.

First, context. All the self-help gurus tell us to (essentially) affirm our awesome all day every day. We want to, as Napoleon Hill puts it, prime our consciousness so much that we create “autosuggestions” of awesome.

Now, as Dan tells us, positive self-talk is, generally speaking, better than negative self-talk.

But…

Research shows that there’s ANOTHER form of self-talk that’s actually much more effective.

Before you give a pitch (or do whatever), rather than make declarative statements like, “I rock. I’ve got this. It’s going to be awesome!” etc., he tells us to consider asking interrogative questions like, “Will I rock this pitch?” “Will I hit my goals?”

Gasp.

Let in a sliver of a doubt?!

Yes.

For some weird reason, it seems to work.

As Dan says: “You could tell yourself, ‘I’m the best. This is going to be a breeze,’ and that might give you a short-term emotional boost. But if instead you ask, ‘Can I make a great pitch?’ the research has found that you provide yourself something that reaches deeper and lasts longer.”

I’ve been having fun with this in my AM journaling—mapping out some important strategic goals and then writing “Will we hit this?” (I laugh as I type that as it’s so different than normal.)

And, as I go through the day and hustle to hit my aggressive content production targets I’ve been playing around shifting from “I WILL do x, y, and z.” to “Will I be able to do x, y, and z?”

It’s funny how my mind relaxes with the question and then comes up with a grounded, confident sense of “Yah. We’ve done it before and if you do this and that we should be fine. Let’s get to work.”

Try it out!

I wonder: Will you try interrogative self-talk today? 🤓

Unlock the full Optimize Experience

Get instant access to a ton of wisdom. Optimize every facet of your life. Actualize your potential.

Start free trial