Negative, destructive words feel awful and have the power to destroy self-esteem. If you have heard all your life, that you “cannot do anything” or that you are worthless, most likely you will act upon it and not trusting yourself to accomplish anything good or meaningful.
Unluckily those negative words from others can become part of your inner voice – echoing the destructive patterns again and again. Very often you won’t even be aware that this self-talk exists as you are so used to it.
So let’s examine your self-talk a bit. What do you think about yourself when you fail in a task?
“Clearly. This is me. I am a failure.”
“Must have been a bad day. Next time I’ll be better.”
“I was unlucky.”
Your thoughts reveal patterns that run unconsciously. And these underlying thoughts will determine whether you will try the same thing next time or whether you draw away from opportunities.
Let’s use another example: What do you think when your friend got a present?
“I never get a present.”
“Wow, that’s cool.”
The situation is about a friend. And yet, it is possible that your self-talk can only involve yourself. It reveals wishes (I would like to have a present, too), fears (I don’t have anyone who gives me a present) or envy (I am jealous that my friend got a present). All this self-talk is not bad per se. It is a key to your inner wishes and longing. You can use that self-talk to examine what you really want.
In addition, you can evaluate whether these sentences benefit yourself or make your life harder. Check on your self-talk and the situations it unfolds and be honest to yourself: Do you want to keep thinking that way?
Since you are a human being, you can actively choose and change what you are thinking. You can change. And by changing your thoughts, you will generate an impact on your speech, behavior and choices.
Especially in a leadership position it is crucial to check on your self-talk from time to time, because you will speak and act based on your personal perception of the reality. If you have given into a self-destructive thought pattern, the result will be visible in your leadership behaviour.