… or being mean in what you say?
Words have power, whether they are in your head or coming out of your mouth. What you say has an impact on others and even more importantly YOU! Here are three of the most significant ways we sabotage ourselves with what we say/think and how to change to become more positive:
Negative Self Talk
A little self-deprecation can be a good thing: bringing you a swift kick in the reality to help you become a better person. However… there is a HUGE difference between saying “I need to start working out a bit more”, which is motivating, and saying “I’m such a cow!”.
Even something so seemingly insignificant has an impact on you. The negative words that you think/say are absorbed immediately and have a large impact on the relationship we have with ourselves. You enter a self-defeating shame spiral and stay there. Most times this happens without us even realizing it. The most difficult aspect part about negative self-talk is that it always seems true. Even though most times your negative thoughts are just plain wrong, you’ve trained yourself to believe them as if they’re facts.
How to stop this…
Write it down. Keep a small notebook with you and write down every self defeating thing you say/think. Seeing it in black and white will make it more obvious to you how damaging your thoughts/words really are. When you think something like, “I’m so DUMB,” it happens so fast you probably don’t even realize. We’re so used to talking to ourselves this way that we have to slow it down and really look at the what we’re actually telling ourselves. Writing it out is a great way to identify and challenge your negative self-talk.
Ask trusted people to help you. If you tell them what you’re trying to do, have them call you out on every time you say something negative.
We’re taught as youngsters to not be ‘arrogant’. Especially as young ladies we’re taught to be confident… but not TOO confident. Like yourself… but not TOO much. Believe in yourself but never EVER share it out loud. So in effect, if we accept a compliment without downplaying it, it’s a social no-no.
Many of us believe that recognition is undeserved. The culprit is negative self talk – that inner/outer voice that tells us we’re not thin enough, pretty enough, good enough, and definitely not worthy of compliments.
How to change this…
Negating your abilities or not taking credit for your work doesn’t serve your confidence or competence. And it makes it hard for others to believe in you. When you hear yourself starting to refute a compliment with an excuse, stop yourself and simply say ‘Thank You’. (Those two little words are a complete sentence you know.)
Yes… it’s that simple. Every single time someone compliments you and you start with the self-deprecating show… STOP. Say Thank You… and that’s all. After a few weeks of practicing this you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.
We all do it, every one of us. Smack-talking. Dishing the dirt. Gossiping. No matter what you call it, even if it can be fun to let off steam about someone annoying, making a habit of this is dangerous. I’m not saying you should cut out all your lovely witticisms and funny sarcasm, but putting someone else down leads down a dark path. Ever been around a ‘Bitter Betty’? You know the one person who always has something negative to say about others? How does it make you feel to be around someone who is unkind to the population at large? (I give myself the shivers just thinking about it!)
Whoever hears you talking negatively — your family, customers, prospects, co-workers, employees, etc. — will feel as if they can’t trust you. They won’t respect you, and they won’t see you in a professional light. Worse, you won’t be able to respect yourself.
When you focus your conversations on making someone else feel diminished, you’ve taken negativity to a new low (even if you think they deserve it). Gossip is a sign of your own insecurity and your desire to feel better about yourself.
How to knock of the trash talk…
To change this, consider what motivates you to try to feel better at another’s expense. Are you insecure about your own performance and another’s misfortune makes you feel better? Do you envy the other’s abilities and feel better when he or she is reprimanded? Do you have a bad habit around gossip that needs to change? There’s probably some work to be done on your end.
“If you propose to speak, always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind” –Buddha
Remember, every time you talk about other people, you are really just talking about yourself.
- When you complain about your boss being a huge pain: you’re talking about your lack of patience and understanding.
- When you gossip to one friend about another friend: what you’re really doing is telling your friend that you will talk about her too.
Stay away from the rumour mill. Seriously, walk away any time someones starts with the trash talk. If you can’t leave then focus on keeping your lips shut. Put on some lip gloss if you need to… just do NOT open thy mouth. If someone asks you to trash talk directly – use positive words as much as possible. Speaking positively about a person who is not present rarely leads to gossip and almost always leads to positive reactions.
Being positive and using positive speech will also encourage the people around you to do the same. Let’s talk about this on Facebook @MsAngieGreaves and Twitter @AngieGreaves. I’d love to hear what you have to say!