Speaking badly about yourself, to yourself, can do a lot of damage. You need your own brain to be on your side. In becoming a high-impact, highly successful individual, managing your mind matters

Try this these steps to improve your self-talk:

One: Get out of small, dark and depressing places. Don’t lecture yourself in a horrid little cubby hole of an office, or while staring at a wall. Get out into a space with a view. Find a garden, take a walk, some place where there is distance to stare into.

Two: Ask yourself how you’re doing. Be frank, be honest, and sum up what’s happening in your world right now. Get to grips with the whole picture.

Three: Put it in context. Most of the time, our inner voice is prone to what psychologists call ‘catastrophysing.’ That’s when something small goes wrong, and we blow it out of all proportion. We tell ourselves that this is the greatest disaster that has ever befallen a homosapiens. We convince ourselves that we are being victimised.

It’s not true. If the boss has given you a chewing out, you’ve had a fight with friend, if something’s gone wrong financially…this is not the stuff of apocalypse. It’s the stuff of life, and it happens. Tell yourself that. Put it back in context. Do not catastrophyze

Instead, spend a little time summing up where you are: What’s happening right now? What’s good? What’s bad? What’s needs work? How’s your story progressing?

Four: Be kind to yourself. So it’s not perfect yet. No one’s life is. So there’s a problem area. Tell yourself that you’ll be okay, that your own story matters to you, and that you’re going to get through this. It’s just another thing. It’s not everything. Everyone goes through ups and downs. As you do, make sure your own brain is on your side.

Five. Ask: What do I want right now?

If the answer is more money, then say so. If that’s a better relationship, verbalise it: ‘I want my relationships to be more peaceful, more enjoyable. I don’t want to be fighting all the time.' If it’s goal-oriented, that’s great. Tell yourself: ‘I want to move forward in this area. I want to get that project under my belt, so that it’s part of my resume. I want to start that on that dream I’ve had for so many years. If I just get going on that, That’ll get me to the next big thing, and it’s overdue now. I really should.’

Six: Find useful, actionable ways forward. Turn them into steps. Tell yourself: ‘Okay, so that’s my scenario, and it’s actually all right. It needs work in some areas, but that’s how life goes. I’m taking charge now. To get those things moving, to get those changes happening, there are small things I need to do, starting today. First thing I’m going to do is… Now let’s go do it.’

Good, positive self-talk is about a few simple things: Be honest with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Put your situation in context, and avoid the temptation to catastrophyze. It’s never as bad as all that, so explore what would be better. Find a practical step to take and tell yourself to take it.

To become a high-performing version of yourself - to generate success - get your brain on your side. Then get going. Talk yourself into it, and one day you might become the greatest in your game.

Douglas Kruger is a bestselling author and motivational speaker. Visit www.douglaskruger.com