I have a confession to make: I’m scared out of my wits.
Not every day, but ever since starting my business. I’ve been guilty of letting myself go down the rabbit hole of self doubt and negative self-talk.
The reason I feel scared is because I’ve been feeding myself this thought: I’m not capable of doing this whole entrepreneurship thing.
I recently listened to episode 87 of Jess Lively’s podcast. The episode was all about changing negative thought patterns, and I happened to hear it on the right day.
I’m gearing up to speak about the power of self-talk at Revolution Why this weekend.
One of the things I’m looking forward to sharing at Rev Why is my belief that there’s nothing wrong with negative thoughts.
In fact, I believe that if you don’t have a negative thought every now and then, you’re probably working very hard at avoiding your self-talk.
No one is immune to self doubt and negative thinking.
In fact, doubt creeps in solely because we’re human beings living in a world with other human beings who we inevitably compare ourselves to.
Instead of trying to avoid or suppress our negative thoughts, we have to learn how to look at them from a place of acceptance.
Here’s the hard part: we want to try to notice what’s happening without judging ourselves for having negative thoughts.
Enter step one: see and accept your thoughts without judgment.
Too often we give our thoughts so much power and weight.
Why don’t they teach us in school that thoughts are just that – they’re thoughts?
We have a million of them a day, so why do we think that we need to pay attention to each and every single one?
We all have the power to decide how much weight we want to attribute to our thoughts, and this is important because it equips us with the power to say “no, I’m not going to let this bring me down today.”
Since our thoughts inevitably trigger our feelings, if you want to feel differently, you have to look into your brain to figure out what you’re saying to yourself.
When you feel like shit, what are you thinking and saying to yourself?
Step two: write the thoughts down & name the feelings that result.
Pick one negative thought and ask yourself how you feel when you think this thought.
For example, the thought: I’m too busy. The feeling: stress.
Recognizing and naming the feeling is critical to changing the thought process because no one wants to feel like shit.
If you realize that every time you start thinking about how busy you are, you feel like crap, you are one step closer to stopping that thought pattern.
Step three: name the actions that typically follow the feeling.
So, when you feel stressed what do you do? How do you act?
Tuning in to the actions that result from the feelings will allow you to see that very often, the actions don’t lead you away from the feeling. In fact, we often act in ways that fuel our feelings. (Aka the self-fulfilling prophecy)
The thought: I’m too busy. The feeling: stress. The action: running around to accomplish everything. The result: feeling more stressed.
Step four: stick to the facts; embrace the truth.
Writing down what is true will help you distinguish your thoughts and feelings from reality. It will help you put things in perspective, pull you out of negativity and reassess.
The fact: everyone is busy. The truth: you are doing your absolute best.
When you accept and embrace what is true, you’re able to make positive changes in your self-talk.
In summary, your thinking creates your feelings. Your feelings trigger your actions, and your actions create your results.
If you want to change your results, it starts with self-talk.