How to Avoid the Dangers of Self-Talk
By Sandy Schroeder
Most of us talk to ourselves, but that can be a hazard if we repeatedly say negative things. When we make a mistake, we may tell ourselves how dumb we are. Or, we can learn from the mistake and improve in the future. The choice is ours.
Dr. Travis Bradberry, co-founder of TalentSmart, the group that serves 75 percent of the Fortune 500 companies, says self-talk can make or break the future. Our thoughts and feelings can support or sabotage us.
Emotional intelligence, or EQ, is the ability to understand others and ourselves; it can help us recognize self-talk traps. Watch for negative thoughts like these.
Success is predetermined – Most of us know underachievers who use destiny as an excuse. Failure or success is ours to achieve. Some people may hold great cards, but winning the game is still up to us. Life keeps changing. Stay on track and make the most of opportunities as they appear. Your turn will come.
Success hinges on approval – Caring too much about the opinion of others can undermine your confidence. No matter what others think, your self-worth should spring from who you really are. Be open to the comments of others, but do the homework to assess your strengths and weaknesses. Then play from your strengths whenever you can.
Failures predict the future – Nobody wins all of the time. When you take a risk, there are bound to be some failures. Learn from your failures and move on. Ask any successful person that you know how many times they failed before they made it. You may be surprised at the numbers.
Perfection is success – When people become hung up on perfection, they never fully enjoy what they have achieved. Or worse, they fail to complete a project because they can’t see it becoming perfect. I know people who realized their dreams, but never quite accepted that they had done so. Always look around to keep yourself grounded.
Using “never” or “always” – Taking these rigid views locks you into weaker positions. Don’t fall into that trap. Take a closer look at life and make the most of whatever you encounter. The true winners know there are many paths to success.
When you talk to yourself, remember to keep it positive to make the most of what you are doing right now.
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