Welcome back to our monthly series on Goals! Today, we are learning to identify the negativity that fills our thoughts and how to replace it so that we can accomplish our goals.
We all talk to ourselves, whether we would admit it or not. What we are saying to ourselves has a major impact on our life. Negativity is all too easy because our society teaches us to criticize and find fault in everything. It is difficult to accomplish goals and pursue purpose and intention when there is a constant scrolling of negative chatter in our heads.
So, what can you do about it?
Recognize the negativity.
You have to notice the areas that are constantly being fed with negativity before you can address them. As you go throughout your day, pay attention to the thoughts running through your mind concerning yourself as you look in the mirror, as you’re working, when you make a mistake. Notice it all. Our thoughts can be so ingrained that we often don’t even notice when we are putting ourselves down.
Replace the negativity with a positive affirmation.
Once you recognize the negative thoughts you are bullying yourself with, create a positive alternative to replace it. Are you a perfectionist, never satisfied with the work you do? Tell yourself you are putting in your best effort, and your best is enough. Are you struggling with you body image? When you look in the mirror, remind yourself of all the things your body can do and that it is a unique creation. Replace the negative chatter by recognizing the task that is sparking the comments. Then, think of as many positives as you can about that task or situation.
If you struggle to remember the positive affirmations, write them down and post them in a visible place convenient to where you are when the negative thoughts typically come – your desk, the bathroom mirror, your closet, the fridge, the screensaver of your phone. Set yourself up for success with preparation.
Be your own best friend.
It is incredible how harshly we can speak to ourselves in our own minds. Often, we would never speak such words to someone else. Be your own best friend in the way you talk to yourself. Be your own cheerleader. No one can succeed when someone is constantly putting them down. Don’t let yourself be the one who is tearing you down.
Why does it matter?
My stepdaughter is currently on the swim team. She wanted to join for two years, and now that she has, she discovered she hates it. We are making her fulfill her commitment to her coaches to be part of the team for the full season. Last week, her coach asked her before practice if she was going to swim fast. She replied, “I don’t know.” Then, her coach gave her some valuable advice: “If you tell yourself you are going to swim fast, then you will, but, if you tell yourself you aren’t going to try to swim fast, then you won’t.” So she finally said, “Ok, I’m going to swim fast.” And she did! For that practice, she was the fastest swimmer in her lane, but to keep being so, she must tell herself before each practice, “I am going to swim fast today.”
We create our own realities by what we tell ourselves. If I tell myself I am not going to succeed at a particular goal, I have already set myself up for failure because I no longer expect to have success. We won’t surprise ourselves by succeeding when we told ourselves we couldn’t. To succeed, you must keep telling yourself that you can do this, it is possible, over and over until you make it happen.
As you go throughout your day, right down the negative thoughts that go through your mind regarding you self-image and self-worth. At the end of the day, sit down with your list and write down a positive affirmation to replace each of those negative thoughts.
You have to be your own cheerleader to reach your goals. By letting negativity take over, you are sabotaging your goals without even realizing it!
On Thursday, we will look at evaluating our goals and changing them when they no longer fit our lives.