I am a strong believer in positive thinking. And I have been for as long as I can remember.
However it’s easy, even for me, to fall into the trap of thinking negative thoughts about your ability to do something. The more often you think those negative thoughts, your brain starts to believe that’s the real truth which 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. Conversely, if you think positive thoughts and tell yourself what you CAN do, 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 finished my first marathon in April 2013 and I am doing my second in April 2014. If that doesn’t pass for being a “proper runner”, well ….
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? When you have ‘caught’ your negative thoughts, 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, 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.
So do share, what is your new positively phrased statement?