“There is no way I can do this.”
“You are confident and do it so well but I lack the confidence.”
“I will look like a fool if I participate in that forum on Leadership Perspectives.”
“I’m so not prepared for this new role.”
“I’m not going to fare well in this interview”
If the conversations you have with yourself matches any of the above and appears in the middle of an interview, presentation, discussion, you’ll probably not appear confident and relaxed. Often your consistent negative monologue can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your thoughts control your actions and behavior in terms of your body language, tone of voice and words. If your inner critique is always a negative monologue, it can cause harm and self-destruction.
Whilst your inner talk can help you be on the path of self- improvement and development, overly harsh and critical dialogue with yourself can do you no good.
If you are somebody who gets put down by your inner talk, here are five ways to tame it and use it for your development
1. Stop Over Thinking
Be aware of your thoughts. Are your thoughts stopping you from progressing ? Are you mulling over your thoughts repeatedly ? When something didn’t go well or when you make a mistake, you may be tempted to over analyze it. By going over your mistake over and over again will not help you.
A better perspective you can take is to determine what went well and what could you do better? If you get caught in your negativity, take a break, visualize yourself pressing ctrl+alt+del to throw away your negativity, go for a walk or be with nature.
2. When things go wrong or unplanned
Things can go pear-shaped and this happens to the best of us. Most of our instincts is to think, analyze and replay the events in our head over and over again. Whilst reflection is useful and helpful, repeatedly reminding yourself of all things that went wrong isn’t. Reflect on what went well, what could be done better and what lessons did you learn to get on a path of excellence.
3. Face your fear and look at the evidence
Whenever your inner critic knocks at your door and stops you from delivering what you are capable of, ask yourself what are you fearful of, how real is it, what is the worst that can happen, what are you willing to do to improve on the worst and how did you perform in a similar situation. Answers to these questions will enable you to overcome your fears created by your inner talk that you get overwhelmed by. Replace the extreme negative thoughts and statements with accurate statements of reality supported by evidence.
4. Would you treat your best friend the way you treat yourself
Would you discourage your friend if she faced a similar situation? Are you going to tell her that she cannot do anything and she is useless. If she came to you for advice or words of support and encouragement what would you tell her? Can you consider saying the same thing to yourself and be on the path to grow and excel?
A great deal of self-confidence comes from self-acceptance, building an inventory of your strengths and accomplishments and self-improvement. Self-awareness is essential to be on the path to grow and excel. Learn to build on your strengths and work on your challenges.
The key is to not fall victim to extreme negativity.
I overcame my fear of public speaking by working on some of the points mentioned above. I conduct workshops, seminars, facilitate trainings and it is possible only because I chose to conquer my inner critic.
For consulting, training or one on one coaching, let’s connect.