Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Stopping negative self-talk

Do you have any beliefs that limit what you do? Do you engage in negative self-talk? How do you hold yourself back?

It’s been said that we are our own worst enemies. And as women, we often see the truth of this.

Years ago I noticed that I gave myself messages such as, “Why do you think you can do that, Sonia?” or “Who do you think you are to apply for that job?” Or: “See, you did it again. Why did you do that?”

I knew instinctively that these messages weren’t going to help me move through my fears after my divorce and move into a new life and new career. But what could I do?

Awareness first, then affirmation
Before I could replace the old limiting messages with new ones, I needed to stop the old tapes. So each time I heard the familiar old voice with any message that wasn’t positive, I imagined a stop sign popping up inside my head. That was enough to get my attention. Whoa, what’s going on here? Just by taking those moments to become aware of the negativity, I bought myself some time—time to realize that I didn’t want to go down that old, familiar path. It never took me to a good place!

Then I needed to learn how to affirm myself, how to believe in the gifts I’d been given. That’s a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. But you can start today. Begin by listing five things you like about yourself. Write each item on a post-it note, and place those notes where you will see them daily. Repeat those messages aloud daily (or several times a day, if you can): “I like that I am a good strategist.” “I like that I am loyal and caring.” “I like that I think well on my feet” (or whatever your messages are).

We’ll talk more about this in other blogs. And I invite you to add your experiences by commenting below. Have you been in this negative place? What have you done to move forward?

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