People tell me that I am always so positive. And that my positive energy inspires them and helps them find their own positive thoughts and energy.
It’s easy for any of us to fall into the trap of thinking negative thoughts about your ability to do something. Once you fall into the habit, it becomes more and more difficult to change your mindset. The more often you think negative thoughts, your brain starts to believe that’s the real truth and in turn, this affects your confidence and ability to get past that limitation. Sometimes our negative thoughts are based on very old evidence, perhaps something a teacher said at school, or a mistake you once made at work. Sometimes it is based on an avoidance strategy. Perhaps a fear of failure, or even a fear of success.
The good news is, that if you think positive thoughts on a regular basis and tell yourself what you CAN do, what experience you DO have, then guess what, your brain takes this as the truth, and over time, your confidence and your ability WILL increase.
For example, I used to think to myself: “I’m so slow, I’m not really a proper runner”. However I have now run two marathons, and I have a place again in London Marathon for April 2015. I am one of my running club’s group leaders, regularly leading groups of runners, and also act as a run leader for a local sports shop. Additionally I am the course leader for a zero to 5k hero running course that runs every Spring and Autumn. Yes by now, I have convinced myself that I am a “proper runner”, but I tell you, it took me a long time.
Why did I think like that? I don’t really know but I am guessing it’s because at school I was not one of the fastest. But then I was also one of the very youngest in my class (a birthday at the end of August) and my best friends had birthdays at the beginning of the school year. At primary school, a year is a big difference in physical development.
What changed my self-belief? I started telling myself every morning and every evening “I am a proper runner who trains regularly and is getting stronger and faster every day”. Today I know that I am a proper runner.
Now it’s over to you … I want you to spend the next few days listening out for your negative thoughts. You may not even be conscious of them however if you listen carefully, you’ll catch them. What are you telling yourself that you can’t do? What do you want to do but you are scared you won’t be able to? What do you want to change?
Once you have started to catch those negative thoughts, decide which one you want to deal with first. Then I want you to rephrase them and turn them into positive empowering statements.
“I am too shy to make new friends at the playgroup” becomes “Each time I go to the playgroup, I get to know the other mums a bit more”.
“I am completely disorganised and can never get everything done” becomes “I get more organised every day and I achieve so much in the time available”.
“I am too slow to join a running club” becomes “I am getting faster at running every day”.
Once you have your positive statement, write it out. Yes, write it out, three times on a clean piece of paper. Every morning for the next 21 days, look yourself in the mirror, and say your statement out loud, three times over. Repeat in the evening, and repeat it to yourself before you go to sleep. I know, you might feel a little foolish, but believe me, this works.
Share below, what is your new positively phrased statement?