28 Aug

What’s Playing on Your Mental iPod?

What’s Playing on Your Mental iPod?

I recently read an article about how a tremendous amount of research when into the creation of Siri – the female-voiced Apple software that acts as a virtual assistant to answer questions for iPhone users.

Not only did Apple consider technical logistics, but its marketing psychologists and branding experts also weighed in to make sure that the voice resonated with consumers in a positive and memorable way. Our brains are wired, they point out, to respond in significant, measurable ways to what we hear and how it sounds to us. In the USA, for example, Apple decided to give Siri a female voice. But in France and the United Kingdom their research confirmed that Siri should sound male.

When I read that it made me stop and think about how all of us need to pay a lot more close attention to the voices and playlists that we program into our most important and influential computer, the human brain. But to monitor the chatter in the mind you first have to be able to hear it. Many people are so accustomed to listening to the murmuring soundtrack in the mind that they don’t even notice it’s there. It becomes part of the background soundscape, like the traffic droning past your office building all day long.

That’s why psychologists, for example, have various tips and tricks for helping their clients hone in on the messages that play in the mind. One of the most effective tools they use, for example, is intentional journaling. As soon as you start to feel your confidence wane or the level of your stress or fear rise, take out a notebook and start jotting down what you’re hearing in your head. Take dictation, highlighting specific words or phrases that are especially potent or influential.

But I also want you to do the same thing when you feel those surges of positive self-esteem and when you feel moments of happiness, empowerment, hope, and strength. How are the words different, and what impact do they have on you to make you feel better and more capable?

Once you’ve recognized the difference between those two soundtracks you can start to reframe the negative chatter when you hear it starting. Interrupt it and replace it with internal dialog that gives you encouragement and power. Switch the channel or script from negative to positive, and you can effectively transform your whole mindset for greater success and a more inspired leadership presence.

They haven’t figured out how to download an attitude app – at least not yet! But you do have the power to take charge of the subtle, nonstop mental messages that play inside your head. You can use mindset management to determine what the voices in your mind say and to ensure that they support and encourage you, your confidence, your self-esteem, and your goals and dreams.

Tell me what you think! Please post your valued and valuable comments below.

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Sarah Hathorn is a leadership development mentor, executive presence coach, image and branding consultant, public speaker & author. She is the founding CEO of her own successful company, Illustra Consulting, and the creator of the proprietary Predictable Promotion System™.

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Copyright © 2012, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS

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Sarah Hathorn
Sarah Hathorn, CEO of Hathorn Consulting Group, is the go-to-expert in working with leaders and companies to create successful corporate DNA. As an executive coach, consultant and speaker she collaborates globally with clients and brands such as Kimberly-Clark, Sherwin-Williams, Home Depot and other leading organizations.
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