You know that little voice inside your head that is telling you that you're not good enough or that you don't deserve good things? News Flash: It is a liar!
Let's say you want to work towards a promotion
, the little voice in your head might convince you that you're not as good as Sally and therefore don't stand a chance of being promoted... So, you don't go for it, and you don't get the promotion.
Let's say you have a full plate at work
and your manager asks you to take on another task. The thought of taking on more gives you heart palpitations, but the voice in your head has convinced you that if you say no or ask if one of your other team members can take it on, then your manager will be so mad and your whole team will think you just don't want to do the work. So you do it and become completely overwhelmed, possibly making mistakes or delivering work way below your usual standard...
Let's say you want to want to apply for a job
, the listing caught your eye and then... Boom! The voice in your head convinces you that you don't stand a chance. So, you let it go.
It might sound like I'm being dramatic. But the fact is we all have faced similar situations
to the examples above and we all have had our inner dialogue hold us back. I have, many of my friends have, many of the people we meet in our workshops have.
The scary thing is that we are the creators of that little voice's narrative...
Negative thinking is a habit, a difficult one to break, but one that feeds your internal dialogue.
We need to ask ourselves where these thoughts and feelings come from
. Are they the truth
, or just what we've convinced ourselves to be true?
Should we be questioning these thoughts? Should we be questioning that little voice in our head? YES!!
I'm not saying that once you start changing your inner dialogue to a more positive one that everything will be sunshine and roses, but at least we'll believe in ourselves
a bit more and take more of the chances we might otherwise let pass us by.
Let's use the example of the promotion as mentioned above. Yes, you might get the promotion. But your manager could also say that you are not ready for it right now... But at least you took a chance, you have made your goal clear
and the next time the opportunity comes around you will be on their radar. Or perhaps they will work with you to get you to the point where you are fit for the role and responsibilities.
Or if we look at the job application example... I'm definitely not saying that positive thinking will get you the job, but what I am saying is
that you don't know unless you try... And even if you didn't get the job, you may well have gained valuable insight as to which skills to work on and improve going forward.
My point is, we can't allow negative self-talk to become the standard operating procedure
, it can't be our default mindset. We can't allow it to hold us back.
To end off, I would like to share a quote with you.
I have a fridge-magnet with this quote on, I've had it for a few years and don't always notice it anymore. But every now and then I see it and it serves as a good reminder...
"You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." ~ A.A. Milne
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