"The quality of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts." -Marcus Aurelius
What is the story you tell yourself? What is your internal dialogue? As humans, an approximate 80% of our thoughts are negative. Near 100% of the thoughts we have tomorrow will be the same as today. The words we use, and language we choose, profoundly influence our actions, motivations, and outlook on life moving forward.
We can get lost in a cycle of negativity in our heads, adding to an already downtrodden self-belief. We beat ourselves up for our shortcomings; a flawed dogma that proves time and again to backfire on us. The more we torture ourselves, the more unrealistic our expectations become.
For anyone who has failed at anything in life, the failure is a by-product of what you did or did not do as opposed to who you are. This is what differentiates between guilt and shame: "I did bad" vs "I am bad", "I failed" as opposed to "I am a failure". It is important to understand this. Separating yourself from the action will remove feelings of guilt & shame. Our self-talk should never be a detriment to our self-esteem, confidence, or emotional wellbeing.
When we are too negative and berate ourselves for shortcomings and failings it promotes shame. At the same time, either consciously or subconsciously, we also make excuses, justifications and exceptions for our thoughts and actions. Conflict arises from this dichotomy leading to further internal turmoil.
Change your internal dialogue. Confront your inner critic. When you have an open, honest conversation with yourself it puts thoughts into perspective. It moves us away from self-deprecating and defeating thoughts of shame, guilt, and martyrdom. It silences our inner critic. Once our thoughts are in perspective, we are able to approach the challenges of life with clarity of mind.
Talk to yourself like you would someone you love. Sometimes that someone you love needs a reality check. They need ownership, accountability, and responsibility for their actions. In taking responsibility for yourself, your self-reliance and determination will move you closer to your goals. We know that work capacity, reset capacity and a growth mindset are key to success.
Tough love is the promotion of a person's welfare by enforcing constraints on them, requiring them to take responsibility for their actions. Get tough on yourself to try harder, push harder, get uncomfortable and get it done. Whatever your "it" is, just do it. Get it done.
Set and follow high standards but don't get caught up in negative self-talk when those standards may be beyond realistic expectations. Be hard on yourself, but not judgemental. What you tell yourself can either build you up or tear you down.
Recognise mistakes and work on doing better. Prove yourself wrong. Our best should be all that we ask for: and expect of ourselves.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.