Do you know who your biggest critic is? It’s probably YOU. As human beings, we often sabotage our own chances of success just by the way that we talk to ourselves inside of our heads. The way we react to situations, how we respond to failures, and the beliefs that we hold about our capabilities all have a major impact on the kinds of results we get in the world.
And right now, with so much uncertainty and life looking and feeling so different from what we used to know, it can be even easier to fall into the negativity trap. So how can we shift our mindset?
Shifting your self-talk from negative to positive can be a challenging process.
But it’s way simpler when you have a plan.
First, you have to acknowledge that you have the power to either build upon your fears — or build upon your strengths. You can choose to pick yourself up when you fall — or you can wallow in self-pity. The voice in your head is yours. Remember that. And then use one, some, or ALL of these powerful strategies to take back the control and use positive self-talk to boost your success rate for any endeavor.
1. Adopt the attitude of gratitude.
When we are stuck in a cycle of negativity, it’s hard to break out of it. Our focus is on everything that is wrong, every mistake, and every weakness. You have to consciously shift yourself over to a gratitude mindset. Change the focus from what is lacking to what is abundant. Make it a regular practice to identify at least one thing you are grateful for every day.
2. Talk to yourself like you would a mentee, student, or a best friend.
Think about how you would respond to a person you care about — someone who is looking up to you for advice. If they experienced a misstep or needed some guidance, what would you tell them? How would you offer the best support? Try treating yourself in the same way. Be encouraging, constructive, and compassionate.
3. Stop comparing yourself to others.
Negative self-talk can creep up when we measure our success against that of someone else. This is never a good idea. Look, it’s great to model after or study strategies that have worked for others. But when you start to make note of all the things that you are not or all the things you haven’t done, it becomes harmful instead of helpful. You are a unique human being with a unique path to take. Comparison will get you nowhere.
4. Change your perspective on failure.
We have this idea in our culture that failure is ugly, sad, and undesirable. We avoid it like the plague, and we’re embarrassed when it happens to us. In fact, these are our greatest learning opportunities! Robert T. Kiyosaki said: “People who avoid failure also avoid success.” We all experience it, whether we advertise it or not. So why not welcome it in and learn from it?
5. List past successes, big or small.
Negative self-talk can come from a lack of confidence. It grows and spreads like a weed from a place of fear and doubt. So remind yourself of all the successes you’ve had. Write it out so that you can see it. Anything can go on your list. It just needs to be a situation where you’ve felt successful. Look at the list when you’re in a slump.
Empower yourself for success.
At the end of the day, you are responsible for your own victories and triumphs. You get to choose which mindset you employ. And the choice should be a simple one. One mindset slows down your growth and limits your capabilities. The other opens the way to infinite possibility. Which will you choose?
“Our thoughts make us what we are.” -Dale Carnegie