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Creating Successful Leaders

overcoming negative self talk

Although we may not pay attention to it most of the time, there is a constant internal voice that runs through everyone’s head. This is the voice that talks to us when we’re bored, tells us to choose the salad (not the soft pretzel!), and reminds us to not bring up politics around Aunt Mary. This unconscious stream of thought can also lift us up and make us feel confident OR cause us to come crashing down and tell us we’re no good.

Which narrative is running through your head?

For many people, the internal voice can be overwhelmingly negative. In the transformative book The Untethered Soul, author Michael Singer talks about this tendency to talk down to ourselves. He describes the voice as your “negative roommate,” the naysayer that is constantly spouting pessimism. Singer advises us to “monitor the roommate” by externalizing it. Give your inner voice a body and start talking back to it!

Although this method of combatting negative self-talk might make you seem a little loony (back-talking to your “roommate” who isn’t physically there!), Singer claims that it is the first step in taming your negative self-talk problem. He says, “If you want to free yourself, you must first become conscious enough to understand your predicament. Then you must commit yourself to the inner work of freedom…as of right now, your life is not your own; it belongs to your inner roommate; the psyche.”

The main lesson here is to be MINDFUL. Be AWARE of the narrative that runs through your head. Pay attention to what your inner voice is saying and when you catch yourself thinking pessimistically, pause. Refocus. Think of the positive side of things instead of focusing on the negative. If your little voice is telling you, “You can’t do it. You will fail during your presentation at today’s meeting.” Tell it, “No, I won’t. I will succeed. I will speak eloquently and clearly; I will keep people engaged.”

Then, repeat. Continue focusing your inner narrative on positive outcomes and you’ll find that it will become second-nature after a while. You’ll begin to be an optimistic person, instead of struggling to become one.

Grab a hold of your life’s narrative and tell it how to behave! That’s the surest way to boost your confidence, reduce stress, and reject toxic negativity. Start back-talking to the nagging negativity in your head and discover what a difference it can make in your life.

 

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS®DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, FOUNDER OF UXL, AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE TAG TEAM. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. YOU CAN VISIT HER WEBSITE AT WWW.YOUEXCELNOW.COM

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