“I’m not good at numbers”
“I have terrible communication skills”
“I’m not good enough”
“I’ll never accomplish anything”
These are all things that I’ve said to myself at one point. I’m sure you’ve also thought these things to yourself, as well as many other business owners at one point.
This negative voice in our head sneaks up on us randomly and can be hard to ignore. But we MUST if we want to see success in our business.
As our brain grows and develops, we pick up on things and store it into the deepest parts of our brain. These can be experiences or things people have said. As we develop as children, we carry the criticism or the admissions of our parents, family, and siblings. Often, they become self-fulfilling prophecies. “You are the black sheep of the family”, “You aren’t as smart as your sister” or “You’ll never amount to anything unless you apply yourself”, ring in our ears and become part of the fabric of who we become.
When we replay these moments in our heads until we internalize them and treat them as fact. Then, when we encounter experiences similar to those, those same negative emotions present themselves.
Have you ever seen the cartoons or old television episodes where the main character has two little people on their shoulder. One is an angel who steers the character in the right direction and speaks positively to them. The other is a devil who tells them to do bad things and tears them down. Well, we need to find a way to drown out the devil and here are some ways that we can do that.
Choose one area of your life that you find that you continuously talk down on yourself or that you’re uncomfortable with. Practice speaking positively about yourself in these areas. For example, if you are uncomfortable with math and don’t feel that you work well with numbers, instead of saying “I’m not good at this”, say “I’m improving at this.”
Instead of avoiding things that you are uncomfortable with, take them head on or work with someone who is more familiar in that area and learn from them.
You can also change your routine so that you start the day with positive self-talk through affirmations or meditation. Or, when you are doing something that you don’t think you do very well, before you talk nice to yourself. Say things like, “I’m going to get better at this”.
It’s not enough to just say these things or repeat them in your head. You must believe them and commit them to your heart. Otherwise, if you are still holding onto these negative beliefs, you are more likely to act on your beliefs and not on your words.
When you find yourself repeating these negative thoughts, ask yourself, “Is that really true?” Or, “Do I actually believe that?”. Many times, we are only repeating the things that others have said about us but if we don’t challenge those notions it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Talk to a therapist or counselor if these negative thoughts persist and if you find them preventing you from being mentally and physically present in your business.
“Learning positive self-talk is not the same as donning rose-colored glasses. It boils down to treating and speaking to yourself with love, grace, compassion, and kindness—and seeing the whole picture versus only focusing on your faults. It doesn’t have to be overly cheerful, either. Taking a more balanced self-talk approach can be very beneficial if the positive self-talk doesn’t resonate” (Estrada, 2020).
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