Do you find that you are often your own worst enemy when it comes to thoughts that go through your head? Do you say things to yourself that you would never consider saying out loud about a friend? Do these thoughts stop you from dreaming big and pushing forward on your goals because you “know” that you could never accomplish anything like that. Well, it’s time to turn our thinking around and start to take better care of our thoughts and what we do with them.
I recently watched a video that really made an impact on me. The subject was about negative self talk, and the person making the video was sitting down individually with a number of friends to have a chat. Every one of the friends had equally difficult things to listen to. They were asked to tell what they really thought of themselves. While the subjects changed from person to person, what was similar in each example was how harsh the words came out, and how obvious is was that the person truly believed the bad things that were being said. They were asked if they would ever say something like that to a friend, and each time the answer was a very quick NO! They could come up with examples of why a friend shouldn’t be viewed that harshly but they could not feel the same way about themselves. So then they were asked to repeat what they said about themselves to a picture that they were given, and each person faltered when they took a look at the picture. They had each been given a picture of themselves when they were a child, maybe ranging from 5 to 10 years of age. They had smiles on their faces, and they looked like they could take on the world. Needless to say, not one person on the video could repeat out loud that negative self talk to the picture.
When did we change how we thought: to believing that we could do anything when we where young, and now when we can absolutely convince ourselves of negative self-worth as an adult. It’s time to change this way of thinking and start treating ourselves the respect and hopefulness that we so easily give to others. If you have a picture of yourself as a child, I am going to invite to you take it out and put it in a prominent place that you will see on a regular basis. When you start to feel yourself falling into the negative self talk routine, go ahead and say what is in your head out loud to your younger self. Can you do it? Do you find yourself making the words a little nicer to deliver the false message to your younger self? Can the words not even leave your mouth? Go ahead and think about what your response was. Now, go ahead and take that picture with you and place it on a mirror where you can see your own face, along with the picture of your younger self. Do you have the same reaction? Keep working on this type of self talk exercise until you can equate the picture of you so full of promise and possibility to the person that is looking back at you in the mirror. When you find yourself engaging in negative self talk when you are out and about, try to keep this image in mind to help you curb your belief in falsehoods.
Now moving on to the next step as we are learning to be kinder to ourselves. It’s time to get back to dreaming big and believing that good things are going to happen. I love this quote from Brian Tracy that challenges us to imagine “What would you dare to dream if you knew you wouldn’t fail?” Take out a pen and paper and start brainstorming with complete abandon. Give yourself maybe 15 to 30 minutes to write-up a list of things that you would take on if you were guaranteed success. There are no wrong answers, and every subject is up for grabs. Think Big! Now look down your list and choose 1 to get started on today. If you want something bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen. Go ahead and dream about that goal and find your way to bring it to life.
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