All of us has an inner monologue (you know….that voice in your head), that moves between positive reinforcement and outright negativity.
Sometimes we’re hard on ourselves, while, at other times, we’re rightly telling ourselves that we did a great job.
The positive inner monologue is great.
I have no problem with it, as it helps stoke the fire of success.
But the negative inner monologue can be destructive.
It can prevent you from taking (calculated) risks, chasing your dreams, and it will freeze you in fear.
It can also be surreptitious and sneaky: sometimes we think these negative, destructive thoughts without realizing that that’s what they are: negative and destructive.
We think they’re the truth!
So if you find yourself thinking any of the thoughts below, it’s time to ask yourself whether these are truthful statements or simply your harsh inner critic that needs to be silenced:
I am not talented enough
A an opportunity comes your way and instead of jumping at the chance, you find yourself questioning your ability to do the job.
You wonder why you were given the opportunity in the first place and you start to doubt your ability to do the job.
Basically, you’re sabotaging yourself before you even start.
You need to counter these thoughts with more positive thoughts, such as ‘I am experienced at what I do, and even though this challenge seems daunting, I’m going to give it a good go and I’m sure I’ll succeed.’
Think instead: I have worked for this and I will succeed.
I am too busy
We’re all too busy these day.
Everyone has a pile of stuff on and not enough time to do it.
But using the ‘too busy’ excuse as a way of avoiding a new challenge is just that: an excuse.
You get to decide what you devote your time and energy to, and if something means that much to you, you will make the time.
There is no perfect time to do anything, as there will always be some impediment in your way.
So grab an opportunity with both hands once it crosses your desk and make the time.
Think instead: everyone is busy, I will make the time.
I am not a born leader
I hear this one a lot.
People don’t actually say it to me outright, but they’ll shrink back from responsibility because they fear it.
They worry they will let themselves, their team or others down.
It’s easier not to try, they tell themselves.
What if they get criticized?
Best not rock the boay, make any changes or be in the spotlight.
The problem is: nothing worthwhile or exciting is achieved by staying in your comfort zone.
Even if you fail, pushing yourself will do wonders for your self-esteem because you gave it a go.
Think instead: leaders are made, not born.
I am not special
Good times, riches and fortune flows to the special people don’t they?
You’re just an average Joe, what do you know about achievement and success.
You can see how damaging this thinking is.
A lot of people think the rich are somehow ‘special’ or ‘gifted’.
Rarely is that the case.
They work hard and, most importantly, they believe in themselves.
Instead think: There is no such thing as special, there is only hard work.
I am too old
This is perhaps the most dangerous negative thought of all.
The idea that success is somehow limited to a select band of young people is false.
But that is what people tell themselves: that they lack the energy or enthusiasm of young people, that they’re too old to do something as ‘reckless’ as follow their dreams, that their moment has passed.
I believe, if anything, being older puts you in a much better position to take risks and succeed because you have that all-important quality: life experience.
Think instead: age is no barrier to success, which is achievable at all stages of life.
You may think some of the above thoughts or you may think all of them.
The main thing is that you recognise the inner monologue as self-defeating and destructive to your goals.
Then you replace these negative thoughts with positive ones.
I guarantee you will be surprised at the impact it has on your life.
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