- by Tracey Hancock, REALiving coach + mentor
I'm a big fan of tuning in and listening to my body (read more about that here), which meant I changed my plans this week to focus on healing from a nasty cold. It also meant I was sitting in a prime spot for some negative self-talk action. Thoughts like...
I should be working. I'm letting people down. I should push on and just get on with life / work. People will think I'm hopeless and that I'm no good at my job.
Does that sound familiar?
Negative self-talk, that inner critic, mean voice, or whatever you call it can run rife!
But it doesn't have to. Having a strategy to put in place when you start to spiral downward will help turn things around so you can move forward well.
I'm going to share with you a strategy that I love! Like you I experience negative self-talk but I know when it's likely to happen and how to nip it in the bud, so it doesn't stick around for long. I trust you find this strategy useful.
It's not all negative (but it can seem like it)
When the negative self-talk starts it changes how you see the world. Everything looks bad. Nothing you've ever done was good enough let alone right. No one likes you. Everyone hates you. You're hopeless. You'll never be successful. And on it goes.
But that's not the truth, is it?
Yes in this moment you're feeling down and maybe something hasn't gone as well as you'd like but that's not how it's been every moment of every day since you were born.
Your moments of glory!
As you think back over the weeks, months and years there will be moments, events and achievements that you're proud of. You'll also have received comments from others, recognition, or have fond memories of times spent with loved ones and people you care about.
These are your very own good news stories.
Gather them up and put them on paper or in a folder. Write about them, add photos or draw pictures. Do whatever makes your heart sing, the important thing is you can see them.
You don't need to count the number of good news stories - it's not about the number, it's about having a record that shows YOU what you're capable of and reminds you of wonderful moments in your life. And your brain needs this when it flicks into negative self-talk mode.
How to use your good news stories
When negative self-talk strikes, take a moment to acknowledge how you're feeling and give yourself a hug. Then pull out your collection of stories. Remind yourself that while in this moment you feel down, you have experienced success in your life, and you have wonderful memories of people, events and achievements.
As you focus on these stories and memories you're interrupting your brain's pattern of thinking. Continue to focus on these stories until you feel as if you're on an even footing. Your goal is to be in a place where you're being kind to yourself - you can see and acknowledge what hasn't gone well but the negative self-talk has gone.
From this place of kindness, you'll be better able to determine your next steps. What is it that will help you move forward well?
If you'd like help to embed this strategy, to be able to lovingly respond to the negative self-talk so you can move forward well, let me know.
Tracey Hancock is a coach and mentor passionately committed to helping people live well. Drawing on her own life experience and the lessons she's learnt trying to be and do what she thought was expected of her, Tracey will guide you to reconnect with yourself, putting you and your health at the heart of everything you do in life and business.
If you know it's time to be you and live your real life, contact Tracey today to learn more about the REALiving approach.