Yesterday we talked about negative thoughts and negative self-talk, what causes them and how they can sabotage us in our efforts to become more courageous and self-confident. I shared a few ideas with you about stopping these negative thoughts but thought you could use a few more tools for this in your mental toolbox. That’s what today’s confidence hack is all about – stopping negative self-talk in its track. The earlier you can catch it and the faster you can stop it, the better.
Be On The Lookout
This is why it’s important to always be on the lookout for negative self-talk. Often we let it go on without realizing what we’re doing. We can’t take control of it unless we start to notice it. Start monitoring those internal monologues for negative thoughts so you can spot them quickly and deal with them appropriately.
Give It A Name
Start by giving a name and personality to that negative voice in your head. Call it the nag, the critic… whatever name feels right to you. Don’t be afraid to make it a silly name. It will help you take a lot of the power and influence that little voice in your head currently has right out of it. It will also help you to quickly notice what’s going on and stop it. “There goes Bob again…”
Put It In Perspective
Things are always worse in our head, aren’t they? That’s why we think when we do something embarrassing it seems so much worse than when someone else does it. That’s why it’s important to put that conversation that’s going on in your head into perspective. Instead of blowing up the negative and thinking that you ruined your relationship or career because of one little blunder or embarrassing moment, bring it down to what it really was… you said something stupid or spilled coffee all over yourself in front of someone important. Here are some ideas for putting things into perspective:
- Imagine if this happened to someone else… would you think it was a big deal?
- Look around you. Are people laughing or looking outraged? If you don’t get a huge reaction, it wasn’t that big of a deal.
- Talk it through with a good friend. They’ll help you put it into perspective.
- Put a positive or at least neutral spin on it. At least you were memorable or no one will think about this next week.
Condition Yourself With A Rubber Band
If you’re struggling to catch the negative self-talk early and spiral down into negative thoughts instead before you can catch it, there’s a quick trick you can use to get into the habit of catching it early quickly. The main thing is to make yourself stop as soon as you realize that negative self-talk has taken hold. A quick way to do that is to use a rubber band. Put it around your wrist (make sure it’s not too tight), and as soon as you catch the negative self-talk, snap the rubber band. It won’t take long before you will notice the negative self-talk as soon as it starts and you won’t need to use the rubber band again.