The next time you say to yourself, ‘Hey, you suck. You know that?” picture saying it to your best friend.
I am not accusing you of talking to yourself. I just happen to know that we think to ourselves, moslty about ourselves, all of the time.
We think about how we might fail.
We think about the obstacles that will stop us.
We think about the people who would laugh if they knew our biggest goals.
We think about the people who would do a better job.
It is not our fault that we think this way. Our brain is hardwired to focus on the negative over the positive. Neural pathways fire at any evidence of a threat because noticing threats increase our ability to avoid them. Our brain thinks it is helping us.
Thanks brain, but no thanks.
An obstacle-focus will save us from a lion’s mouth, but it will not save us from writer’s block, an approaching deadline, or a competitive interview. We can call this style of thinking football-coach motivation: using aggressive criticism to motivate. It just doesn’t work for some of us, especially ladies. We need encouragement to thrive. We need affirmations and constructive criticism.
A tip for our next self-deprecating moment:
Disguise each thought with a gnarly football coach accent. Then, imagine directing each word at a best friend.
Seems ridiculuos right? It is not as ridiculous as saying it to yourself over and over and over and over… without learning to make it shut up.
If you do this for a week, I guarantee that you will be more motivated… and your negative-nancy brain will thank you for the break.
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To brains that sound more like cheerleaders,