Managing Your Self-Talk

A big part of who we are at The Forte Factor is dedicated to helping our clients be the best version of themselves. To discover, develop and live their strengths. To work toward their definition of happy and successful.

To do all this requires you to be aware of your world, aware of yourself and, perhaps most importantly, being self-managed, recognizing that sometimes your strengths may be too strong for a specific situation, and your liabilities may be unchecked.

In a recent article by psychologist Joan Rosenberg, she talked about five irrational thinking patterns that can negatively impact how you think and feel about yourself. Reading through these thinking patterns, it reminded me of the importance of self-talk. Tuning in to who you are is a challenging first step to the coaching experience. It requires you to tune out the rest of the world and be completely honest with yourself to identify your strengths, your liabilities and what makes you happy.

For those of you who take the time out of your day to tune in to your self-talk, how much of it is negative?

Your negative self talk is that sneaky voice seems to come from nowhere, challenging your confidence and making you think twice about something you’re about to do. “You’ll never be able to make that sale.” “You don’t belong here.” “You are not good enough.” “You are completely out of your realm here. You don’t even have a senior title.”

At The Forte Factor, we call this your Super-Committee – the negative, critical and unproductive self-talk our inner critic is all too eager to share. Our Super-Committee challenges our confidence and competence, reminding us of the times we’ve failed in the past. Though its motivation is positive (it really just wants to protect us from things that didn’t work in our past), it can keep us small, stuck and afraid to go for the things we want in work and life if left unchecked and unmanaged.

So how do you manage the Super-Committee? It’s all about your self-talk.

Everyone has had some failure in life. Whether big or small, it can elicit the same uncomfortable feeling every time you think of it. So, embrace the failure. Recognize what happened and own the mistake (this is part of being human). Work through your feeling of discomfort. Ask yourself: what can this experience teach me? And how can I be better next time? Challenge yourself to be completely honest and identify what worked and what didn’t work. Don’t judge it. Simply notice and learn from it.

You’ll find your Super-Committee can be a bully. Similar to not giving bullies any ammo to make you feel bad about yourself, working through uncomfortable emotions and situations allows you to shift your self-talk from negative to positive. You can’t feel like a failure if you see yourself rebounding from the situation bigger and better.

One thing I love that Joan Rosenberg says is that it’s your decision how you think about yourself and how to you talk to yourself. You always have the choice to make life what you want it to be. If you choose to be happy, you have the ability to make that happen. Take control of your life. Start with how you talk to yourself.

Take Action
Think of something that happened to you recently that made you particularly uncomfortable. Think about that event and focus on the emotion(s) you felt. Take a few moments to reflect. What happened? Why did it elicit the type of emotions you felt? What did you learn from the event? How could your Super-Committee try to use this event against you in the future?

Manage your self-talk and your Super-Committee by being self-aware. Nothing can quiet the loud inner critic more than being confident and clear about who you are.

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading The Value of Setbacks

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