Do you ever find yourself caught up in negative self-talk like “I’m too busy” or “there’s not enough time in the day?” Or maybe it’s something like “what if this new client doesn’t like what I create for them? I’m probably not good enough.” Or perhaps “everyone else is already doing that so there’s no need for me to provide that service.”
The common thread among all of these thoughts are that they are all lies.
All of these are examples of stories that I’ve told myself at one point or another – stories that my mind created and that threatened to hold me back from my true potential. And I know I’m not the only one who has experienced this.
There are SO many versions of self-defeating thoughts that we can conjure up if we let ourselves. The good news is, regardless of what we are thinking, we’re right. That means that we can choose to change our experience, simply by changing our attitude.
A year ago I was working full time as a web developer at an advertising agency. I spent at least two hours a day commuting in the car to and from work, the job was oftentimes stressful and I put in overtime frequently. I knew I wanted a different lifestyle. I knew I wanted to make the rules and be my own boss. But the story I was telling myself wouldn’t let me. It went something like this:
“I would be CRAZY to quit my job because I make good money here and it’s stable. What if I leave and then don’t make enough money to pay the bills? How would I find clients? There’s so much competition out there – who would want to hire me?”
All of those thoughts are fear-based, and fear exists to protect us from things that might cause us harm. It’s ironic then, that the true danger lies in the fact that these thoughts could keep us from ever taking action.
You get the point – our minds are such powerful tools. Let’s use them to create something awesome! Here’s how you can stop negative self-talk and start getting shit done:
The first step toward taking action is to identify what is holding you back. So what story are you telling yourself? What are the things that threaten to get in your way? Grab a journal or piece of paper and jot down anything and everything that comes to mind (self-doubt, fear, expectations, judgement, comparison, procrastination, etc).
Start to become more aware of when these negative thoughts start creeping in. Whenever you notice it happening start to re-route those thoughts toward positive visualizations and affirmations. By changing the way you think about something, you can change the direction you are heading.
Example 1: “I could never make enough money working for myself.”
Spend a few moments thinking about what you have to offer as a product or service. Imagine starting a business around it. Think of how you would structure your pricing. Picture your customers and clients receiving a ton of value and being happy to pay you for your work. Let yourself visualize all of this in detail. Don’t think about “how” you can make it happen. Imagine it as though it already exists.
Example 2: “I’m not good enough. Who would want to hire me?”
Grab your journal and write down five things you’re really good at. Remember times when you excelled at something, were appreciated by someone or received praise for your work. Even if there’s just one specific moment that makes you feel great – linger there as long as you need to remember that you are enough.
Start taking action that contradicts your fears. Simply shifting our thoughts can make such a huge difference in how you live your life. But taking action based on those positive shifts is truly what will empower you and prove your fears wrong. If you’re afraid you can’t make money doing what you love, start trying to! Write a business plan, figure out your pricing, identify your target audience and start selling. If you’re afraid you’re not good enough at something, then spend your time practicing, studying, learning, and becoming an expert. Just starting doing something – anything!