The surprising power of self-talk.
The was originally written as an email to my email list regarding the power of self-talk. I work with entrepreneurs every day who often don't control their own internal dialogue in a healthy manner. The surprising truth is the self-talk may impact their finances, health, and relationships more than any other action.
Do you ever say things like:
- I am so tired
- Today is going to be hard
- Today sucks
- This week is going to be rough
- Today is a cluster
- This job/marriage/friendship/deal is a nightmare
- I will never get ahead
- I know I look awful today
- She totally ignored me today, I am sure she hates me
- Why are they treating me like that, maybe they don't enjoy my company
- The way I behaved today made me seem so stupid
- How come that I couldn't do that , I am a loser
- I am nothing compared to those people
- I am late and sure my boss is going to shout at me
I keep running into phrases like these coming out of my friends' mouths. I am always caught off guard and usually ask, "Who told you that?" Who told you today sucks? Is that your assessment of it based on a difficult morning? Your morning sucked so you decided unilateral that "from hence forth, today shall sucketh." Quite frankly I don't believe you are qualified to decide that in advance. Today people will be born, people will die. Someone will make millions while someone else will lose everything. A war will start and another will end.
I think so many of you are held back by the words in your own head. Seriously, imagine a little kid wearing a t-shirt that has the negative self-talk in your head written on it.
Disturbing isn't it? Would you be pissed at the adult who purchased that t-shirt and placed it on that innocent face? What the hell? What if the kid ended up believing that statement. That would be terrible.
That kid is you. You did end up believing that crap. Stop it.
All of those statements are shaping what you believe about yourself.
If negative self-talk came with an off switch, you could simply just flip it. But it doesn't. It takes a plan and some work to tone it down. Here are four ways to make it happen:
Distance yourself. You can't banish negative self-talk forever, but you can take a step back from it. When you notice negative self-talk occurring, Beneduce says address it like you would an opinionated third party. You might say, "Thanks for sharing," or "It's interesting you feel that way" and move on.
Distract yourself. "Over-thinking involves focusing on a train of thought that goes around and around," Lyubomirsky says. "You can stop that train of thought by focusing on something else." Try playing basketball, doing a crossword puzzle, or any other activity that fully engages your mind.
Call them on it. Give your negative thoughts the third-degree and they could crumble. You might ask yourself, "Is that really true?" or "Is there another way to look at this situation?" You may also look for benefits. If you missed that job promotion, are there any lessons for the future you can take from the situation? Or could another opportunity come out of it?Save them for later. Set aside a time of day for negative self-talk. If you hear yourself doubting, blaming, or comparing
Save them for later. Set aside a time of day for negative self-talk. If you hear yourself doubting, blaming, or comparing yourself to others at another time of day, tell yourself you will come back to the conversation later. When the appointed time arrives, your negative thoughts may have lost most of their "oomph".
Three years ago I was in Vegas at a conference and got to hang out with Eric Thomas. Not sure if you know who he is. He put together this great little video that you should really watch. It is 7 minutes long, so set aside time to watch it. Listen to the words.
So quit with the negative self-talk. Quit beating yourself up. Know your value.
Recommended reading: https://www.amazon.com/Positive-Thinking-Reverend-Norman-Vincent/dp/8087888235