Enjoy this excerpt from our new book, Healthy Leadership.
You talk more to yourself than to anyone else in the world. You are the only one who is with you 100 percent of the time.
The conversations you have with yourself have an overwhelmingly high impact on your mindset compared to conversations with others. If you are not your biggest cheerleader, you might just be your biggest enemy.
To better understand the tone of your inner dialogues, begin by asking yourself, “Would I talk to my best friend the way I talk to myself?” or “Am I giving the support, confidence, and hope to myself that I give to others?”
Most people realize that they are much harder on themselves than others. If you talked to others the way you talk to yourself, your friendships would change, and you would likely have fewer friends.
Instead, Julie gives herself real high fives. She says, “Good job, Jules!” and slaps her palms together high in the air to reinforce self-positivity, congratulating herself for a job well done, from the outcome of a coaching discussion to finishing the laundry.
A simple high five can help with self-motivation and positively affect your self-evaluation. Cheer for yourself the way you would for your favorite sports team or your child during a competitive event.
You are always with yourself, so encouragement and affirmation are always options for your internal conversations . . . if you choose.
In the face of challenging circumstances (and we all have our share), the words you choose for that conversation with yourself will directly impact how long you will find yourself in those situations. Use your words to change your situation, not to describe it.
The moment you speak something—good or bad—you give birth to it as an idea, an expectation, or a desire. By controlling what you say and how you say it—using positive words with enthusiasm—you help to change your physical and mental state.
We remember the year we started our business. We spent a lot of time talking ourselves up. Like most start-up businesses, we had our share of challenges, disappointments, and adjustments.
We recall many well-intended friends asking, “Hey, how’s your business coming along?” We could have described our situation by saying, “Gee, it’s been a tough year. We have had to really dig into our savings to keep things going and it’s been a lot harder than we thought it would be to convert existing business relationships into paying customers. Also, it’s a lot more work than we thought it would be.”
That type of response would not only drag our friends down, it would have also planted the seeds of doom for our business. Instead, we chose to use words to change our situation. We talked ourselves up in response to friends’ inquiries.
We reframed our situation and said things like, “We feel good about our prospects and are confident that we are doing the right things that will pay off long-term. Most importantly, we are passionate about our work, and that’s a victory.”
Our words planted the seeds of the success that was to come. Tell people how you want to feel, and it won’t be long before you do.
You can also choose your words to reframe your perspective. Small words can change the way we see the world and can even be mind-changing. For example, think of something you have to do today. Maybe you have to take out the trash, you have to recruit a new team member, or you have to make an important presentation to a customer.
Now, whatever it is you have to do, reframe it as something you get to do. So now, you get to take out the trash, you get to recruit a new team member, or you get to make an important presentation to a customer.
How does changing one word change your perspective? If you are like most people, it turns an obligation (have to) into appreciation (get to). When thinking about “getting to” do something, your mind becomes filled with gratitude (a positive emotion).
You can quickly think through all the reasons that you are fortunate to “get to” do something that you either took for granted or disliked doing. A one-word difference can change your perspective and your world.