I have recently been taking mental inventory of my thoughts. It is amazing how negative my self-talk is in my head. I often hear myself say statements like, "you're so dumb", "you aren't qualified" or "they won't like you".
I find that most of my negative-self talk relates to work. Maybe it is something a coworker said or an irrational thought I have about myself.
If your negative self-talk consists of phrases you would not say to your enemies, you need to stop! Take control of your mind and turn those negative thoughts to positive ones.
This is true for the workplace. If you allow negative self-talk to convince you that you are not good at your job, you won't be good.
Why is Negative Self-Talk Natural?
Negative self-talk is a normal human process. The problem starts when you let the negative-self talk reinforce irrational thoughts you have about yourself. Each time you repeat negative-self talk phrases in your head, the irrational beliefs about yourself become stronger.
So, when you say, "I am not qualified to write this report", the chances that you will do a good job are slim to none.
How Do You Stop Negative Self-Talk?
Make a plan. You must be intentional about stopping the negative self-talk. It is not easy.
Create positive self-affirmations to repeat to yourself throughout the day. Using positive self-talk will reinforce positive beliefs and increase your confidence.
3 Steps to Using Positive Affirmations
1. Get the Negative Out - Make a list of things about yourself that brings up negative self-talk. This could be beliefs about yourself or criticisms others have projected onto you. Maybe a parent, friend, boss, or partner said something negative that you can't shake. Write it down.
Warning: This is HARD. It may bring up many old emotions.
You may write down, "I'm unworthy" or "I'm not smart enough". As you write, feel yourself release the frustrations onto the paper. Take note of how you feel as each word and thought leaves your mind.
2. Change to Positive Self-Talk -Take each statement you wrote down and turn it into a positive affirmation. For example, "I'm not smart enough", becomes "I am smart".
Spend some time reviewing each positive self-affirmation. You may want to change them up a bit to fit your life and what you need to hear from yourself. The statement "I am worthy", may become more specific, like "I deserve respect from my supervisor".
3. Practice Makes Perfect - Start every day repeating your positive self- talk phrases out loud to yourself. This may feel awkward. Don't give up. The more you use positive self-affirmations, the more comfortable it will become.
I like to repeat my positive self-talk phrases in front of the mirror. There is something about looking into my own eyes and hearing these positive affirmations that starts my day off well.
If saying them out loud is intimidating, write them down on a note card. Place the card in a highly visible place on your desk, computer, or phone. If you start feeling overwhelmed, frustrated or negative thoughts pop in your head, grab your card and quietly read your positive self-affirmations.
Are you Ready?
If you are ready to start with some easy positive self-affirmations, I have made a nice list of 10 workplace affirmations you can use. Feel free to use them as-is or change them up to fit your situation.
Stop the negative self-talk! Believe in yourself and your ability to be happy, satisfied and powerful at work. Make space for yourself and your positive self-talk today!