Wednesday, December 30, 2009

You're Better Than That!

Most of us do way too much negative self-talk. I'm not good enough. I'm bad at math. I'm a terrible public speaker. I'm not organized. I'm not qualified. And on and on and on. So, there's this quote that basically says, "whether you think you can or you can't - you're right." You'll just continue on being unable to do whatever it is that you've convinced yourself over the years that you can't do.

So, why all of this negative self-talk? Isn't it bad enough that others are going to say bad things about you? Even those things don't need to be true. They're only true if you make them true. If not, then it's just silent noise.

A consultant once asked me what one of my worst qualities was as a manager. I told him that I had huge stacks of paper in my office that gave me anxiety over worrying that something important wasn't getting done. Now pay attention to what's next because it's so simple and so obvious. He told me to get a piece of paper and write down the exact opposite of my negative self-belief. So, I did.

I don't keep huge stacks of paper in my office and I don't have anxiety because I'm doing the important things.

Just thinking about that felt so good. What a load off! Next, he told me to write down 10 ways to make that new, positive statement 100% true - and I did.

Since then, I don't keep huge stacks of paper in my office anymore. I just work the best ideas from my original 10-point list. The beauty of this very-simple idea is that it works on just about everything. I joke that the only thing I can't make it work on is being taller. That just is what it is. But it does work on most other things.

So, every time you find yourself saying something negative about yourself, remember that you're better than that. Write down the opposite and make a 10-point list that will help you make the new truth a permanent reality.

You are good enough. You are good at math. You're a great public speaker. You are organized and you are qualified. You do not keep huge stacks of paper on your desk (and neither do I). This paradigm shift will change your life. You will find amazement in all of the things you're good at when you give yourself a chance to be great.