How to manage your self-talk.
Answer this question for me; do you talk to yourself?
Whether you replied yes or no – I hate to break it to you, you just did talk to yourself. Don’t be alarmed, having internal thought processes throughout the day is a natural occurrence with the majority of us mere mortals.
The scary thing is, that over half of that self-talk is filtered through a negative lens. It is this lens that predominantly causes human beings to be hesitant to back ourselves and trust our skills and capabilities.
As a leadership coach who works with business owners and leaders, I often hear statements that come from our negative self-talk; “I feel like I am not doing enough”, “I wonder if I am good enough for this”, “I can’t do this” or “I’m not sure I can handle this”.
You see, our internal dialogue causes us to carry around a backpack loaded with a lack of self-belief and self-doubt. It is this self-doubt leaves us with a mindset of uncertainty that eventually moves us into a state of fear.
It is in this space of uncertainty and fear that we feel like an imposter, elevating our self-doubt and crumbling our confidence. How annoying that our own minds seem to (at times) be working against us and holding us back.
Our Biggest Problem is Often Ourselves
We cannot completely turn off our negatively framed internal dialogue (trust me I have tried), however there are ways in which we can start to shift this chatter to be of more service to ourselves than it currently is. What we need to do is know how to dim down the volume on the negative self-talk dial in our brains and question whether it is true. We do not want stories on repeat inside our heads if they are not helping us progress towards success in work and in life.
Here’s a 5-step process to help you with your self-talk:
Step 1: Watch your language – What we say becomes what we think. And what we think becomes what we believe impacting your perception of yourself, influencing your mood and effecting your capabilities. So, be mindful of what you say.
Step 2: Create a toolkit to change your state – When you catch yourself thinking negatively, implement something that will allow you to shift that thought pattern and change your state. Whether that be a moment of meditation and deep breathing, singing along to your favourite song, a short burst of aerobic exercise – find a way that allows you to stop that negative thought process as it occurs and clear your mind.
Step 3: Identify your stories – Start to identify the common negative thoughts you tell yourself over and over. There will inevitably be a story/trend that you continue to play. It may centre around your abilities as a leader, your experience running a business, your knowledge and expertise in your chosen field, the list is endless. Start to take notice and jot down the trends that you’re hearing yourself repeat and the situations that are occurring around you when this negative self-talk pops into your mind.
Step 4: Challenge them – Once you’ve identified the story/trend ask yourself, “Where has this come from?” “Is this thought true?” “Do I believe this?” “What happens if this wasn’t the case? What would that look like?” “Is this thought pushing me forward or holding me back?” There is a whole lot to unpack around this point but start by asking a few of these questions to yourself and challenge the negative self-talk.
Step 5: Focus on what you can change – Create solutions/strategies to help start to reframe your negative self-talk. Start small. Pick one thought and create an action plan of how you can reframe and change this.
Stop Being Your Biggest Critic
Apply these 5-steps next time your negative self-talk goes into overdrive and see how they help you shift and change your internal dialogue.
Stop standing still and work towards your goals
I’m Claire – a professional Leadership and Development Coach who helps leaders and business owners build and solidify their confidence.
Let’s have a chat today to discover how we can help you make progress and achieve success in life.
Book a free 50-minute consultation today and we can start discussing your needs.
Stop Standing Still
Sparking awareness. Facilitating development. Achieving growth.