As business owners, and just plain human, we’re usually our own worst critic. You’re probably familiar with that voice in the back of your mind telling you that you’re not worthy of accomplishing your goals. This voice is a liar, and it contributes to feelings of depression and anxiety. The sad thing about this voice is that it’s your OWN inner voice speaking. If you want to move forward toward your self-development goals, you absolutely must watch out for negative self-talk. The four tips you’ll read in this post will provide you with the tools you need to overcome this self-sabotaging thinking and turn it around to become a positive message to yourself that allows you to be fierce.
In order to break the habit of putting yourself down, you must first be aware of when you’re doing it and why. Try to pay attention to the time of day when you feel bad due to a note you’ve made for yourself. The best way to do this is through journaling. Although you may think this sounds ridiculous, keep in mind that this method is used by many successful people (and psychologists) to help improve your mindset. Now, for you to know when you should take note – well, you’re usually alerted to these instances by the way in which your body reacts. What do I mean by that? So for example, some people – like myself - feel a tension in their shoulders when they begin to feel angry or stressed. When you notice symptoms such as these, make an attempt to determine what you’re feeling and what has led to the feeling. In some cases, it may be an outside source such as a comment made by a customer, but usually, the emotion could be caused or exacerbated by your own internal negative voice in reaction to an outside event. Write these things down for at least a month, and then look for patterns such as triggers or situations surrounding your negative self-talk.
Someone advising you to take it easy on yourself may seem like annoying advice (“Of course it’s easier said than done! I don’t want to hear that!”) but you and I both know that you have got to start cutting yourself some slack. If you want to overcome the toxic, negative habit of giving yourself “self-limiting” messages then you have GOT TO make an effort to be more lenient on yourself. It might help if you think about whether the things you say to yourself are ones you would say to someone you love. More than likely the answer is no. You probably try more to be kind and supportive of the people in your life. Why not try the same thing when talking to yourself? Remember, you’re only human just like them.
It’s easy to convince ourselves we’re not worth it or that we have some type of fatal flaw. Whenever you’re feeling especially down on yourself, reach out to friends or family for a reality check. Checking in with the people who care about you can remind you of all your positive qualities and that you’re just having a fragile moment, which is a very human reaction to a bad situation. Listen to what your loved ones say to you during these times without argument or objection. These people are in your life for a reason. If they didn’t think highly of you, they wouldn’t be around; trust their judgment.
Note the Positive
Everyone has positive attributes about themselves. Yes, even you. Although you may feel silly, force yourself to write down at least ten positive traits, skills, or characteristics about yourself. Journaling is a good way to do this. You don’t have to do anything special in a journal, just write whatever’s in your head. I’ll give you some ideas of what you can write leading towards your positive traits: it can be a simple fact that you started a business, could be a skill you’re good at in your company, a physical feature, or even something unique about your personality. Just keep writing until you’ve developed a list of ten items. Now, be sure to look at this list any time you’re feeling bad about yourself; it’ll serve as a pick-me-up when you need it. Challenge yourself to add to your list regularly. If you do, it won’t be long before you may actually believe in yourself.
Overcoming negative self-talk requires patience and dedication. Don’t give up; it’s not easy to move past a lifetime of negative conditioning. It is, however, a much-needed step on your road to self-fulfillment. I believe in you; now it’s time for you to do the same.