Yesterday’s post focused on why it’s worth bringing awareness to your inner monologue, but what if you’re not sure how to change the negative space your thoughts have become?
I’ve found the three simple steps above to be really effective in transforming the headspace of both myself and my clients. But the most important and final step can be tricky. When looking to put a positive spin on your initial outlook, avoid shifting to complete and utter positivity because your brain won’t buy it.
For example, if a reoccurring negative thought is “why do I always make these dumb mistakes?” Avoid shifting to “I always get it right,” because that’s simply not true. You are human. You won’t always get it right, and that’s ok!
You want to avoid something like, “I make mistakes but it’s ok,” too, because it may not feel “ok” to you.
Instead of opting for this kind of toxic positivity, opt for an optimistic yet realistic spin like “Sometimes I get it right but when I don’t, I don’t blame myself.” This opens yourself up to the learning opportunity this shortcoming was meant to teach you whereas the negative self-talk would block your ability to critically reflect in this way.
It’s not your fault, but it is the way the brain is wired. When the amygdala (part of the old brain responsible for our stress response aka flight, fight, or fright) is firing, it is impossible to access your prefrontal cortex (the “new” brain responsible for logic, reasoning, and learning new information). Therefore positive self-talk isn’t just important for your self-esteem and confidence but for your personal and intellectual growth as well. The more you know!
Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or comments as you work toward transforming your own inner monologue.