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How Successful People Banish Negative Self-talk

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  • Monitoring their negative self-talk. They pay close attention to their inner dialog in order to recognize negative thoughts more quickly. They notice how negative thoughts influence their choices. Perhaps they’re shying away from shouldering a big project for fear of failure. They then ask themselves: “Are my feelings reasonable?” And then they choose to focus on their strengths — strong analytical skills, good collaboration with colleagues, the ability to meet deadlines — rather than their weaknesses. This helps give them the optimism and confidence they need to get the job done.
  • Believing past failure does not predict future failure. They analyze what may have gone wrong in the past and how these issues can be avoided in the future. They believe they can choose not to repeat old, ineffective patterns of behavior and thinking. They do this, in part, by recasting their mental dialog. If their inner conversation goes like this: “I’m hopeless—I left an important statistic out of the fourth-quarter report,” they turn it into this: “I’m human and I made a mistake; I’ll be more careful next time.”
  • Telling themselves they are strong and capable. Often, they repeat affirmations such as these: “I feel confident in my ability to manage the travel budget / create a PowerPoint presentation….” “I’m willing to take risks to grow and change.” “If something goes wrong, I’ll handle it.” “I am a worthwhile person, mistakes and all.” “I deserve success.” They make it a habit to say these statements aloud, repeatedly, with both enthusiasm and conviction.

What’s more, successful people set realistic goals and standards. They focus on the good in their lives as much as possible. Eventually, many of these individuals are able to stop their negative inner dialog entirely.

Try some of their tactics today and see if you can’t eliminate your own negative thinking—for good.

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