How do you talk to yourself about your habits, successes, and failures? Do you tend to beat yourself up when you fall short? I think, to a certain extent, that we all do. But if you're constantly berating yourself and feeling sorry for yourself, then the chances are good that you’re setting yourself up for failure.
It's important to start monitoring your internal dialogue. When you fail to complete a project on time, do you say things to yourself like, "Great job, dummy. You stink at this!"?
You're not alone in those thoughts. It's time, though, to change how you speak to yourself. It’s important to speak differently to yourself if you want to change your habits for the better.
You need to give yourself a break sometimes. Life really isn't all that serious. You’re a good person. Do you know how I know you're a good person? Because you're here now, reading about habit change. You are destined and determined to change yourself for the better, forever.
I'll bet that if you could see all of the negative things you tell yourself every day written down, it would make you feel sick. As it is, these thoughts are probably fleeting. They run through you and you hardly acknowledge them. Unfortunately these negative thoughts build up and leave a big stink pile on your mindset and enthusiasm.
The irony is that you have this negative self-talk out of habit. You're used to telling yourself these things. You’re used to feeling this way about the things you do and don't do.
Today, I want you to start paying attention to your internal dialogue. Is it mostly good self-talk or is it mostly negative self-talk? Do you constantly tell yourself that you're fat, ugly, and undesirable? Do you tell yourself that you're absolutely terrible at your job and that everyone is going to hate what you do?
Or, do you pat yourself on the back for a job well done? Do you think to yourself that you have a ton of value and that people are lucky to have you working for them? Do you tell yourself you're a kick-butt boss or business owner? Do you look in the mirror and notice the positives? If you don't do these things, then that's a huge problem.
The more negative your self-talk, the less likely you are to follow through and change your habits. If you don't believe that you have worth and that you are a strong and capable person, it's going to be difficult for you to change your habits.
One of the best things you can do is figure out where all of this negativity stems from. For many people, it stems from their childhood. Maybe you had a difficult childhood or you never got over the angst you felt in your teenage years. Maybe your negative self-talk comes from some of the things you've done in your life-- the major mistakes you've made. Or maybe it’s just that you hung out or around with people in your formative years that loved to put people down just for the fun of it.
I had such a problem myself. Some of the most influential people in my life talked down to me on occasion… a grandmother, a priest, some teachers and bullies at school. I got over it and so can you.
I believe you know that you're a good person. I believe you know that you have worth. I think you just have trouble bringing that to the surface sometimes. I know it's easier said than done, but if you want to have true and lasting change then you need to decide to treat yourself better.
Think of it this way-- if you had an employee you were trying to train, and you berated him or her every day and yelled at him whenever he did the simplest things wrong, do you think the outcome would be positive? Would he learn and grow and eventually do a good job if you always have him crying in the corner? No-- he's probably doomed to become a terrible employee and will most likely quit.
But, what if you treated him better? What if you forgave him for his mistakes and helped him look for ways he could do better and be better? What if you lifted him up when he was down and praised him when he did well? You'd still show some tough love every now and again, but you'd build him up to the point where he could carry himself. I'll bet he would become a wonderful, helpful employee with great confidence in his abilities. I'll bet he'd rise up in the ranks and have a long and lasting career.
You need to think of yourself as that employee… you are your own boss, after all. Yes, give yourself some tough love every now and again. Acknowledge when you don't do such a great job and find ways to do better. Use every mistake as a learning experience so you can do better next time. Realize that nothing you do is a true failure. We're all learning on this path in life. We are all finding our way and growing and developing as a person every day.
Talk to yourself the right way. Praise yourself and focus on what's good about you. If you're able to do that, you'll find it a lot easier to develop positive habits. If you focus on the good and stop berating yourself for the bad all the time, you'll find that better things come out of you.
Nothing good comes from beating yourself up all the time. Nothing good comes from telling yourself that you're worthless and that you're destined to fail. But a whole lot of good comes from treating yourself well and looking for the positive. You’re on a path toward living a better and happier life. This starts with talking to yourself better and treating yourself better.
Yes, there absolutely are areas you need to improve and that you're really falling short on. But instead of being a Negative Nelly about those things, try to look at them as objectively as possible. Help yourself figure out ways you can work around or improve those issues.
You're an awesome, incredible person who's going to go on to do bigger and better things than you're doing right now. You can't do that if you're crying in the corner of your mind. You can do that if you're lifting yourself up, feeling confident, and feeling strong and ready to tackle anything that comes your way. Negative self-talk is just another form of self-defeat, and you can't let that happen to you. You won’t let that happen to you.