I hear what you’re saying, do you?

I spent some time with my friend Dorrie this past weekend.  We enjoyed some fresh shrimp and a blazing fire pit on a chilly fall evening. Dorrie is one of those people I just enjoy spending time with; she’s intelligent, funny, and the kind of friend who will and does go out of her way to help. Dorrie is a little over weight and she constantly makes reference to the fact that she never walks anywhere, she waddles. She constantly makes reference to her ‘fat butt’ or calls herself rotund.

For years, I have considered that Dorrie has been hurt by other people’s comments about her size and she was taking the strike first approach. She would say it before anyone could even think it. However, this weekend I realized that it has become so ingrained in Dorrie’s vernacular that it does not matter to whom she is speaking. Close friends or strangers we all are treated to Dorrie’s size comments.

Like many of us, Dorrie has spent so much time putting her self down that is it now an automatic response. I suspect that if I were to ask Dorrie for a self description her size would be top of the list, or be doggone close. You see the negative self speak has become so strong that she can no longer differentiate.

What negative things are you saying about you? What have you said so many times that you no longer notice what you’re saying?

Today I challenge you to make a list of those negative things you tell yourself. Write them out. Spend the entire day listening to what you are saying…and make the list.  Tonight when the sky turns to dusk take your paper and burn it. Once the ashes have become black, bury them. Let go of your entire negative repertoire of sayings. Then take out a fresh sheet of paper and begin a list of all your positive qualities. Keep this sheet with you, in your purse, your pocket, wallet or anywhere you can reference it often.

Change the words you are feeding your brain and see how you change your life.

 

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You Can’t Choose Others Thoughts but Can Own Yours

Today I am taking a few days off to celebrate my 14th Anniversary.

I still want to leave you inspired. So head on over to Chris Brogan’s Blog and read about untangling you life from those around you.

As Chris says ‘We can’t choose how our relatives feel about us. We can’t choose how our loved ones think about us and react to us. We can’t alter how those people at work speak about us when we’re not there. None of that is ours.

YOU OWN YOUR HEAD

What you can do, however, is work on yourself, is accept yourself as you are right now, is start to fuel your own personal inner fire of belief without any external sources. It’s not that you don’t value the thoughts of friends and people you love, but instead, that you accept them as simply that: thoughts and input from the outside world. If every time you speak to a group of people, they yawn and look away, accept that maybe you’re boring them, but don’t take it any further than that. Don’t read minds. Just take that information and decide what you want to do about it.’

 

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Stop Sabotaging Your Mood

Want to solve a problem? You can improve your problem solving skills by inducing a positive mood. If you can get yourself to a positive mood, you can improve your cognitive flexibility. Sound crazy?  A 2010 study in Psychological Science shows that inducing a positive mood can improve one’s cognitive flexibility.

The question then is how do you get into a good mood and how do you stay there?

Probably if you really thought about it, you could find the ‘trigger’ got most bad moods. Perhaps your spouse spoke sharply to you or you were unable to fit into your favorite outfit due to the five pounds you recently gained.  Consider in these examples the role that your thoughts play in all this. It wasn’t the event that was the root of your mood, it was the conversation you had with yourself related to the event.

You can learn to take responsibility and learn how to process information differently–in a more positive light.

Below is a video of Dr. Darryl Cross, an Executive and Personal Coach as well as a clinical psychologist.   In the video, Dr Cross explains how we get ourselves into this negative self-talk mess and more importantly he is even going to explain an exercise to get you thinking positively within in two weeks.

To be successful and mange and minimize negative self-talk you must:

1)     Become aware of your negative self-talk.

2)     Understand the origin of your negative self-talk and the mechanisms behind.

3)     Practice exercises that will slowly re-program you to process information in a positive light.

 

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Do you have Brave thoughts?

In July of 2011 I wrote a post about tuning in and listening to the words you use when you talk to yourself.  The title was You are Exactly what you Think and I am in need of a refresher. Want to know who you are? Tune in to the conversation inside your head. Your thoughts accurately reflect who you think you are.

I read a statement last week that said something to the effect that the worst thing someone could say to us in an argument is something we already fear (or know) to be true.  The voices in our head know the truth.  The voices know if we are procrastinating. They know when we lie (to ourselves or others). The voices also know how to trick us into believing untruths about ourselves.  This, my friend is where it all gets tricky; because our minds can spin an event to the positive or to the negative.

Does your mind always spin to the negative? Do you take every event and put yourself in the most negative position?

The good news is – you can change!

Sure, you learned a habit. Perhaps it came from your parents. Perhaps it is a defense mechanism. Why you developed it isn’t as important as discovering how you can change. It is time to embrace the new and improved (i.e. positive) you!

What I want to you start for this week is to begin a regimen of saying good things to yourself.

Make sure they are positive statements, not negatives masquerading as positives. For example, ‘I won’t be negative’ is a negative statement masquerading as a positive.

Ten times each day make a positive statement to you (and mean it). You will feel better about yourself by weeks end. Because you are what you think you are…think yourself into a more positive you!

Here are a few statements to get you started:

  • I’m making progress.
  • I can handle this.
  • I’m willing to try.
  • I am in control of this.
  • I am excellent at … writing/singing/problem solving
  • I have a fantastic … mind/talent/ability with people
  • I keep trying.
  • I’ll get it.

Tomorrow we’re going to talk about positive problem solving. So come back tomorrow.

 

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The oak tree is the purpose of an acorn

Big Oak Tree

Goals are like acorns

The oak tree is the purpose of an acorn. In my youth, rather than being that little acorn fulfilling a purpose of growing into an oak tree, I was forever stuck as a sapling. I was scaling down my dreams to fit what I could easily accomplish.

For years, I made the mistake of wanting enough. I wanted to make enough money to pay my bills. I thought I was not being greedy, I just wanted enough to live comfortable.  I got my wish. I always had just enough.  What I have come to realize is that I was limiting my dream. Are you living a life of enough? Or are you living the life of a towering oak?

The reality of life is that if you only want enough, it is all you will ever receive. Dream big! Not just in monetary terms but in all areas of your life. Expect the best relationships. Pursue your dream job. Follow your wildest dreams.

You are powerful beyond your imagination. Harness it! Set your goals high. Come on little acorn, you are destined to become the mightiest of oak trees.

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How to Stop the Voices

“You’ll never be good at math.”

“You would find a guy if you just wore makeup.”

“You’ll never make friends if you don’t lose weight.”

“Only stupid/lazy/boring/(fill in the blank) people do that.”

Sentences like these might sound familiar to you.  They are often said in one form or another by often well meaning parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors.  All they end up doing is becoming the voices you hear that keep you from following your dreams and reaching your goals.

Why do we listen to this external validation?  Mostly because it usually comes from someone we love and respect, so they can’t be wrong.  (This is not true, in this instance at least, they are wrong.)  Also the need for external validation is strong, we care what people think about us.

There are things you can do to break free for the negative validation that is holding you back.

1.)  Learn to recognize when your mind is replaying negative comments and stop them.  Think of something positive that you have accomplished.  You can train your mind to stop replaying that negativity and turn it in to something positive.

2.)  Meditation can be a great way to introduce positive internal validation to your brain.  Repeating positive uplifting statements will cement them in your thinking and you will start to realize that anything is possible.

3.)  Surround yourself with people that are great encouragers, not discouragers.   Having cheerleaders that believe in you will go a long way to erasing the negativity of others.

By turning off the negative comments made by others and believing that you are fully capable of reaching your goals, no matter what they might be, you will find that it is easier to stick to your plan and even exceed your greatest expectations.

“It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.” -Unknown

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