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Do you ever hear that voice inside your head tell you things like...

“I screwed up again, I'm worthless.”
“I can’t do this, I was never able to do it, it's not going to work now.”
"I am nothing compared to those people."

Self-talk is a normal process that happens to most people. Yet when self-talk becomes negative and is used to reinforce an irrational thought or idea, that's a problem. Each time you allow that inner dialogue to play out those phrases you are making it stronger, increasing your stress level, and limiting your thinking and potential.

So what's the solution?

Re-framing

The process of re-framing is fairly simple, but requires a real commitment on your part. Begin by consciously identifying the type of inner dialogue or language you use daily. Take a mental note, or even journal, about the negative words or phrases you use at the end of the day. Ex: I can’t, I don’t know how, this is impossible, I always get this wrong, etc.

Now really pay attention to the times when you use them again. What are the triggers? Note where you are, who is with you, what time of day is it, and what you're feeling at that moment.

As you notice yourself saying something negative in your mind, you can stop your thought mid-stream by saying to yourself “Stop”. Saying this aloud will be more powerful, and having to say it aloud will make you more aware of how many times you are stopping negative thoughts, and where. Then dig deep down inside yourself and rethink your assumptions. Are you assuming something is a negative event when it isn’t, necessarily? Stop, rethink, and see if you can come up with a neutral or positive replacement.

Negative self-talk, or self-limiting thought, also will lead you to stop looking for solutions. For example, notice the difference between telling yourself you can’t handle something and asking yourself how you will handle something. Doesn’t the second thought feel more hopeful and lead to more creativity? Don't let negative self-talk become a self-fulfilling prophecy, because it will.

By re-framing using some of the examples above, you're challenging your irrational ideas, thoughts and generalizations--yes, and those voices that tell you you're hopeless, or always do things wrong!

By re-framing negative beliefs to more positive ones consistently over time, you'll also develop optimism and increase your self-confidence. Both skills will help you to perceive yourself and the world differently. I would even suggest choosing your words carefully. When you tell yourself something is ‘difficult’ or ‘unfair’, it will probably become a drag to have to deal with it. Instead, tell yourself it’s a ‘challenge’, or a ‘test.’

But don't take only my word for it. Here's a great quote from Albert Einstein on re-framing:
“Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.” ~ Albert Einstein

Your Coach,

Marcel Schwantes
(423) 238-2045
coaching@marcelcoaching.com

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