What do you say to yourself when you think no one else can hear?

How we talk to ourselves is super important to our successes not only in the dojo but in life too.

At the dojo, our classes are conducted in silence.  Students are not supposed to talk during  class but if they do talk it should be done in hushed tones.  This practice of silence is called mugon (無言) or aesthetic silence.  This practice of quietness is in place so that the students can learn to control their minds.  Quieting their minds and being able to focus their minds will enable the student to get the most out of their training. 

Sometimes, what ends up happening in this silence is that an inner monologue arises.  I say monologue because who else are we talking to.  It is easy to see this happening because it is written all over their faces as they do the techniques.  I assume that in psychotherapy this is called one's inner voice or self talk.

Training is about the mastery of the self.  That is why O Sensei advocated Masakatsu Agatsu or "the true victory is the victory over one's self."

What we say to ourselves as we narrate our experience should be positive and productive not negative and judgemental.  As in the quote above, "What you tell yourself everyday will either lift you up or tear you down."

The best way to figure out if your self talk is productive or unproductive is to ask yourself, "Would I let anyone else talk to me like that?"  Let your answer inform your decision.

There is saying, "Be kind, for every person you meet is fighting a battle."  Understanding this, we should give them kindness, compassion and forgiveness and this goes equally true for ourselves.  When you talk to yourself, be kind, gentle, compassionate and forgiving.  It really does make a difference.