Are you sabotaging your success by allowing negative thoughts to get the best of you? Instead of dreaming about achieving your goals, do you worry at night and picture gloomy scenarios that could happen instead? What you may not know is that your thoughts actually create your reality, and sometimes, when we least want it, they become self-fulfilling prophecies.
In this blog post I’m going to share with you how this occurs and what you can do to harness the power of your self-talk in creating more positive outcomes.
How does your self-talk impact your life
Just imagine a scenario of breaking a hip and requiring a surgery to fix the problem. There are two options: you can be miserable about it and focus on the reasons why this happened to you in the first place or, alternatively, you can be hopeful about it and look into ways of having a faster recovery.
Now, one might say that mindset doesn’t cure a broken hip, but when we think about it closely, it actually makes a huge difference. You have most probably noticed that the way we think or speak creates energy that comes back to us and influences the way we feel? The thing is, seeing our situation as a fixed state does not motivate our brain to engage in positive actions, and consequently, does not result in positive outcomes.
Positive thoughts build positive expectations
This same scenario can be applied to any situation in our life. If we say to ourselves that something is negative, unfavourable or difficult to achieve, then we are actually signalling to our brain that there is nothing one can do about it. Positive thoughts on the other hand, build positive expectations. So being able to see a challenging situation as having hidden potential instead of a fixed state attracts more positive outcomes.
How to shift inner dialogue from positive to negative, you may ask? Here are some suggestions:
1.Check your thoughts
Are your thoughts helping you in achieving your goals or you are actually fighting them, trying to silence the inner critic? One way of becoming more aware of our thoughts is by becoming more observant of how you feel in your body. If you notice that you are often tired, worried or anxious then it might be that your thought energy is focused on negative self-talk.
2. Think about what you are grateful for
We have a natural tendency to focus on what is missing in our life, very often to such an extent that it becomes a dominant thought. We can turn the polarity around by becoming mindful of our situation and taking the time to appreciate what we already have. Even with your problems, many people would still trade places with you.
3. Choose your words carefully
The words we use in our daily life reflect not only our beliefs about ourselves and the world but also the level of commitment we have towards achieving our goals. Words like ‘I hope, I’ll try, I wish’ carry a lot of vagueness. If we want a change, we need to be very specific and choose a language that reflects our intentions. If, on the other hand, we use our words to complain about others or ourselves, we may be actually giving away our power and responsibility for not taking the action ourselves.
4. Focus on how you want things to be
As our thoughts often run on an autopilot it can be easy to slip into a pattern of negative self-talk. If we get to the point that we start seeing our situation as a fixed state, our brain might actually stop taking action in the world. If, on the other hand, we focus on how we want things to be, we actually engage a vast potential that each and everyone of us has within to find suitable solutions.
5. Be gentle to yourself
Very often we are our own worst critic, especially at times when we have high expectations towards ourselves. It is worth having a gentle reminder that we all need support from time to time. As Eric From once said: “No man is an island entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent.” Negative self-talk can sometimes make us feel isolated and lonely, especially if we start to believe in our shortcomings. Being gentle to ourselves will enable us to shift our focus to the positive attributes and consequently empower us to sustain a positive mindset even when the going gets tough.