The Impact of Your Negative Self-Talk

How are you today?

This has to be one of the most general questions we get asked. It is so generic, we even have a generic answer for it.

“Fine, thanks” is our most common answer to this question.

So let me rephrase the question.

How are you feeling right now?

Yes! Right here and right now. How are you feeling right now?

If you are feeling fantastic, that’s great!

And, if you know how to change the way you feel from flat to fantastic, that’s even better!

It means you are in tune and self-aware!

If, on the other hand, you struggle to shift your mood and feelings, let’s do some exploring into your inner thoughts.

Les Brown, the motivational speaker, once said 80% of your self-talk is negative. If this is anything to go by, then we would all be having a pretty bad day, every day.

The thing with negative self-talk is that it can be so well hidden that we don’t realize its existence.

But the effect it has on our behavior and attitude could be the give-away.

Let’s start with deconstructing Henry Ford’s famous quote:

“Whether You Think You Can Or You Can’t, You’re Right.”

Imagine a close friend of yours who landed a new job!

It’s a newly created role in a new company and in a different industry than what your friend is used to.

Now imagine two scenarios.

Scenario 1

You are excited for your friend. You meet up with your friend to celebrate. But your friend is nervous.

“I don’t think I can pull this off. I’m too old to be learning new things. What if the directors decide I was a poor choice and they find a way to fire me?”

Your friend’s Behaviours, Attitude and Mood

Slumped shoulders, Nervous energy, Self-doubt leading to mistakes, Self-criticism, and Suspicion.

Now consider the other scenario.

Scenario 2

You are excited for your friend. You meet up with your friend to celebrate. But your friend is nervous.

“I’m grateful they are taking a chance on me. I am a little overwhelmed by the new things I need to learn but I am going to give it my best shot.”

“I will prove my worth to them and add as much value as I can. I will work on small goals at a time and keep myself accountable to achieving those goals.”

Your friend’s Behaviours, Attitude and Mood

Open shoulders, Open to learning, Invigorated, Empowered, Focused.

The difference in your self-talk can be subtle or it can be as evident as the scenarios above.

But no doubt the impact on the behaviours, attitudes, and mood are enormous.

The next time you catch yourself caught in negative self-talk, counterbalance it by saying something positive like this.

“I can’t do this… yet. So I will do… to…”

Fill in the blanks and embrace the sense of empowerment that comes from these words.

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