This Destroys Your Confidence Levels
Have you ever noticed how you talk to yourself? You know – the chatterbox that’s always having a conversation with yourself in your mind. Sometimes – you just want to tell it to JUST SHUT UP!
It’s called your “self-talk” which is a result of your belief system. It’s a real chatterbox, and unlike a radio station, sometimes it’s truly hard to turn off. This self-talk (or inner dialogue) is a constant stream of positive or negative affirmations about the way you think. These inner thoughts either build or destroy your confidence and self-esteem depending on the thoughts you constantly feed your mind.
How Self-Talk Undermines Confidence
Many people are conscious that they have an inner voice that talks to them throughout the day. This self-talk and inner dialogue reinforce the beliefs you have in yourself. Your inner voice is like a coach, who can be supportive one minute and yell at you the next. When supportive, it builds your confidence levels. When not supportive, it naturally destroys your confidence.
Success in life and business is determined by how you talk to yourself. Tell yourself you will fail and you most certainly will. Tell yourself you will succeed and you most certainly will. How you talk to yourself determines your levels of confidence.
Consider these wise words of an old Cherokee.
The Wolves Inside Us
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves inside us all.
One wolf is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other wolf is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed!”
Which Wolf Will you Feed?
How to feed the “good wolf?”
You feed the good wolf in exactly the same way you feed the “evil wolf” – by constantly repeating or affirming everything in the positive. Consider what outcomes you want, and how you think about yourself, make sure you talk to yourself with positive self-affirming thoughts.
The Effect Self-Talk Has on Confidence
One-minute self-talk can be cheery and supportive. The next minute it can be negative and self-defeating. The problem arises when your negative self-talk outweighs your positive self-talk which plays havoc with your confidence levels.
When your self-talk is positive, it’s very beneficial as it bolsters confidence, and keeps you grounded, calm, and focused. Unfortunately – we are naturally attuned to the negative thoughts that go around and around in our heads. We tend to gravitate towards thinking to ourselves when things go wrong, “I’m not good enough” – I feel like a failure.”
When you talk to yourself like this, it will naturally destroy your confidence levels.
Negative self-talk is learned behavior. The good news is, with a little effort, you can train yourself to think more positively.
Build Confidence with Positive Affirmations
We all have a “wolf voice” inside us. Your negative self-talk is the evil wolf resulting in negative outcomes. Your positive self-talk is the good wolf resulting in positive outcomes. The thoughts you feed your mind with, are the thoughts that will win the day.
If you are constantly feeding your mind with negative thoughts, consider the impact this has on your confidence levels.
The problem is, when you consistently feed your mind with negative thoughts, your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between fact and fiction. It accepts everything you tell it as being true. Your inner voice can make or break the achievement of personal and business goals.
Therefore, if you lack confidence, it’s possible to rebuild your confidence simply with positive affirmations.
Confidence is a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
When I started my first business, I didn’t really know what I was doing. In spite of that, I had really good customer service and sales skills. I also knew something about pricing. As for business plans, marketing plans, and the like, I did not know what I was doing.
Two years into the business, I bought my first book on business. When I opened the book, a statement hit me right between the eyes. “80% of businesses will fail in the first year and another 80% will fail within five years.” Ouch! If I had read this before I started my business, I would never have opened the doors. I would have been too scared to take the risk.
What I learned was, I didn’t know I could fail – someone forgot to tell me. Because no one told me I could fail, (including the book) -therefore I had the confidence to succeed because I never thought about failure.
The problem with allowing your negative thoughts to consume your thinking is that they become a self-fulfilling prophecy. You repeat things in your mind concerning the situations and events in your life and business, often without even being aware of it.
Unsuccessful people have thoughts like…..
- No one will date me – I don’t even like myself…..
- I’m a failure, everything I try to do turns out badly….
- I’m no good at selling ……
- I’m a terrible manager …..
- I never make money …… it’s too hard ……
- No one’s going to pay that much for my products or services ……
- I hate prospecting …… no one ever takes my calls ……
- My staff are useless ….. they are always making mistakes ……
Yet successful people in and winners think positive thoughts like….
- I can do it……, I will nail that job interview ……
- I am a winner…… people love doing business with me ……
- I always know the right thing to say and do ……
- I am successful at everything I do ……
- I always attract and hire the best people ……
- My customers love to work with me ……
- I’m a fantastic boss ….. my staff respect and admire me …..
- It’s easy to make friends and find lasting relationships….
- I am full of confidence and everything I touch turns to gold….
Your self-talk works both ways.
It’s impossible to have a positive and a negative thought at the same time. If you are going to repeat words and thoughts in your mind concerning the situations and events in your life and business, why not choose positive words and thoughts that will help you succeed and achieve your personal and professional goals.
What Causes Negative Self-Talk?
The greatest obstacle towards achieving success in your personal and professional life is the inability to back yourself and believe success is possible.
Instead of focusing on your strengths (positive thoughts), you tend to focus on your weaknesses and limitations (negative thoughts).
Behavioral researchers have found that almost 75% of everything we think about is in negative thoughts not positive. According to Dr. Shad Helmsetter, the reason we concentrate on the negative rather than the positive has to do with the negative programming we received in our formative years.
“During the first 18 years of our lives, if we grew up in fairly average reasonably positive homes, we were told ‘no’ on what we could not do more than 148,000 times. If you were a little more fortunate, you may have been told ‘no’ only 100,000 times, or 50,000 times. However, for many, it was considerably more negative programming which determines how you think.”
If this is the case then it is no wonder we form a low opinion of ourselves and end up with low self-esteem and a lack of confidence.
Self-esteem can be defined as your internal belief system and how you respond to and experience life externally. In other words, self-esteem is the way you think and feel about yourself and others. Your self-esteem is usually measured by the way you act and the way you act is largely a result of how you feel.
Self-esteem is the foundation of your self-talk.
Each of us is born with the capacity to experience positive feelings and form a positive self-image of ourselves. However, it is also possible to learn not to like yourself and form a negative self-image leading to poor self-esteem. Either way, the feelings you have about yourself are largely a result of your life experiences and the influences in your life during your formative years. This often determines how you interact with others.
Low self-esteem is generally caused by negative emotional responses primarily from the experiences you had in your childhood. If you were constantly criticized by your parents, other adults, and or your peers, it’s likely you formed a low opinion of yourself. This knocks your confidence levels. As a result, you formed a low opinion of others and a low opinion of yourself.
If you are a leader, manager, or even a parent, chances are this is how you respond to others by repeating what you learned in your formative years. Imagine the impact this has in the workplace and your personal relationships and a key reason why people hire a life coach or business coach to help them build their self-esteem and confidence.
Your self-esteem can change, sometimes daily depending on what you are experiencing or how you are feeling at the time. You may feel confident in one environment and an hour later move into a different environment and your feelings of self will change. This inconsistency in behavior affects the people around you.
Self-esteem is both conscious and unconscious. It is an ongoing self-evaluation of yourself leading to a belief about what you can and cannot do. It also determines how you interact and responds to others.
Build your self-esteem – means you build your confidence.
What is the Impact of Negative Thinking?
In the workplace, if you continually criticize, condemn, and complain, employees will go through the motions. By not trying and giving up, they will learn to fail more often than they learn to succeed. This reduces their confidence levels and self-esteem. This is a continuous feedback loop that reinforces the belief they have in themselves that they too are a failure.
The same thing happens in personal relationships leading to break-ups and divorce.
There’s a saying, “misery loves company.” We love others to affirm the belief we have in ourselves. If we criticize ourselves, we will hang out with other critical people. It makes us feel good – because you find equally unhappy and negative people to hang out with. But who wants to hang around negative people other than other negative people?
To develop more confidence, it’s critical you start hanging out with positive and confident people.
The Benefits of Developing Self Esteem
Developing high self-esteem, on the other hand, means that you have a positive sense of your inherent worth as a person. If you have high self-esteem, you are more likely to persist and overcome any challenges you might face. As you do persist, you learn to succeed more often than fail. The result is, you gain more confidence and increase your self-worth.
High self-esteem manifests itself as having a great deal of confidence and developing a high sense of self-worth and self-respect which translates into more effective leadership and management and successful interpersonal relationships.
Developing high self-esteem is the key to success and can be learned, but it does not happen overnight. The key to improving your self-esteem is how willing you are at taking responsibility for your feelings, thoughts, desires, abilities, and interests and focusing on and accept your overall strengths.
You’ve heard the expression, fake it till you make it!
What about fake it till you become it. By practicing confidence, even if you don’t have it, you learn to become more confident.
To change how you think, check out Amy Cuddy’s amazing Ted Talk about striking up a power pose. Use this technique to improve your confidence before you meet with a new prospect, service a customer, make a presentation, meet with your bank manager, or even look to inspire your people. Check out her inspiring ted talk by clicking this link.
On a Final Note
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