You’re not worth it, you must be perfect and make no mistakes, you should worry what everyone thinks, you aren’t enough? Would you throw these jabs at someone you care for? No, you wouldn’t say those things. Negative self-talk is like putting on boxing gloves and hitting yourself in the gut over and over again. This type of stinking thinking does harm to you and those around you. Negative self-talk can permeate every aspect of a person’s life. When people are overly critical of themselves it can lead to poor performance at work.
In Jordan Peterson’s book , 12 Rules For Life, rule number 2 is, “treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping” or we could say, treat yourself like someone you really WANT to take care of. You talk to yourself more than anyone else. You hang out with yourself more than anyone else. That’s a lot of time with yourself, so why not make it the best it can be? Part of treating yourself well and taking care of yourself includes what you say to yourself. That inner-voice can be supportive and positive or defeating and negative. Negative self-talk can limit your personal growth, lower confidence and inhibit your professional growth. You run the risk of missing opportunities because you’re too busy beating yourself up.
Don’t fret, you do have the power of mind control. You can stay in the ring, keep the gloves on but now you are fighting for yourself not with yourself. Our words are an important factor in our happiness and only you can make that shift.
Let’s put Peterson’s Rule #2 in to action:
- Believe you are worth it and you CAN do it.
- Visualize what life would look like if you are really caring for yourself.
- Identify areas you are negative about
- Challenge your mindset and ask “what facts actually support this?”
- When you make mistakes say “this is what I did, this is not who I am”
- Small steps by replacing one thing at a time
- Exercise boosts confidence and positive feelings
- Practice, practice, practice…it will create new positive habits