When we doubt ourselves, a little voice emerges in our heads and makes us feel like we have failed ‘Look at you,’ it says, ‘You can’t do it, you’re not even going to try.’
Often this is enough to put us right off anything we were going to do, however we have the power to control our thoughts and we can just as easily crush this negative voice by replacing it with our own positive self-talk.
This week I put this to the test and found it quite challenging at first. The negative voice is so ingrained that I almost started wondering whether I could get rid of it.
It was easy to quieten it by thinking of other times where I had been in a similar situation which had had a good outcome. Relating things to previous positive experiences is a way to give yourself an instant self-esteem booster, because you start associating those ‘feel-good’ vibes with your current situation.
What we also forget is that we are pretty much capable of anything if we really put our mind to it. Certainly for physical challenges – running, press ups or a new workout – our body can do far more than we imagine, but all too often we don’t push ourselves. I’m not saying you need to push yourself all the time but it’s important to remember that we’re stronger than we think.
The same applies to what we think. It’s much easier to go along with the voice that shouts loudest but try squashing it down and listening to what you really want to do then form thoughts around that which give you the self-belief and motivation to carry on with what you want to do.
Back to how I got on, I started making a conscious effort to stop any negative thinking, almost saying my positive words out loud. Depending on the situation, talking out loud can be more affirmative and help you believe in what you’re saying. However, you may not always feel this is appropriate. In which case, think it over and over in your head until it’s mirrored back at you. Even the words you use, make it ‘I can do this’ and not ‘I think I can do this’.
Thinking is abstract, it’s a hard challenge to describe. Ultimately, taking the time to wash out the negativity really helped me to let what I hoped was my natural flair of positivity come shining through and kept me believing in myself, raising my self-esteem.
Say it like you believe it and then you will.