by Joel J

In the early 1970s comedian Flip Wilson popularized the expression “the devil made me do it” through his character Geraldine Jones. The Flip Wilson Show was the second highest rated program on TV at one point in the early 1970s and there were always roars of laughter each time “Geraldine” said, “the devil made me do it”. It seems to be human nature for us to want to blame someone else or some circumstance rather than ourselves for something we did or didn’t do but instead of saying the “devil made me do it” we should say “my programming made me do it”. However, that doesn’t mean we should just blame our programming and not accept the responsibility or consequences for our actions, rather that we should recognize what causes us to do the things we do and make changes to do them differently in the future.

Where does our programming come from? Our programming is an accumulation of everything we’ve ever heard, seen and felt. The things we’ve heard, seen and felt the most times, and which had the greatest emotional impact on us becomes our programming. Our programming, also known as self-talk, comes from many sources—anyone we interact with can be a source of our self-talk but the self-talk we create from family and friends often have the biggest impact on us.

Can we change our self-talk? Absolutely, in fact it is our responsibility, no one else’s, to change any self-talk that does not help us be the person we want to be or achieve the things we want to achieve.

How can we change our self-talk? We can use positive affirmations to change our self-talk, which in turn will change our actions and our habits that have been sabotaging our efforts to be all that we can be.

So the next time you’re tempted to say “the devil made me do it” instead recognize what your self-talk was that caused you to take that action and replace it with a positive affirmation.

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