How Negative Self-Talk Undermines Success

What you visualize and believe is what becomes true, whether positive or negative. What is sometimes referred to as self-fulfilling prophecy is actually a scientific fact. Do you find yourself saying things like:

I’ve never been good with money.

I’m not good with numbers.

I hate budgets and expense reports.

I’ll never make a six figure income.

If these are the kind of things you say in your own mind, or out loud to other people, you’re engaging in a detrimental and damaging habit called negative self-talk, also known as “stinkin’ thinkin’.” Every time you repeat these harmful statements, you reinforce the beliefs that go with them. If you tell yourself you are not good with money, you won’t be. If you convince yourself you’ll never make a great income, the odds are strongly against you that you will. By emphasizing how much you dislike doing budgeting and expense reports, you’ll continue to avoid doing them and consequently struggle financially.

Negative self-talk results in poor performance and dismal outcomes because we act as if those statements are already true and that it’s all that we can expect of ourselves. If you really believe you’ll never reach or exceed a six-figure income, you won’t do the things that six-figure income earners do. If you believe “no one will read my emails or blog posts anyway,” you won’t put forth the effort to build your mailing list or increase your blog’s readership.

In contrast, if you think and act as if you’re already a six-figure earner, or that you already have a large following, you’ll approach and treat your business quite differently. As your confidence level increases, you’ll present your brand to prospective clients as if it’s what they’ve been waiting for their whole lives! You’ll begin to seek out connections with those who will appreciate what you offer and can afford to pay your higher rates.

Combatting Negative Self Talk

First you must recognize and acknowledge that you engage in negative thinking about yourself or your abilities. Try to catch yourself making self-deprecating statements, either in your mind or out loud. Make a note of which negative phrases come up most often and then try to identify where those thoughts originated. For instance, did a parent tell you that you would never amount to anything? Did a teacher say that you would not be successful in a certain field? Did your spouse or a friend chide you for your spending habits? Where did your poor self-concept come from? What other people may have thought about you is their opinion and not set in stone.

It’s time to recognize that you have the power to change your thoughts and change your life. It’s time to turn self-defeating thinking around and see yourself as capable and worthy.

The next time you catch yourself saying, “I’m no good at [fill in the blank],” take a moment to recall some instances where you succeeded at it. Maybe you created a product you’re really proud of. Maybe you paid off a loan or credit card debt. Perhaps you helped other people solve problems. If so, rephrase your self-talk to something positive.

“I used to be bad at ______ [if that’s true], but now I make smart choices to achieve my goals.”

Get in the habit of saying, “I’m always in the right place at the right time.”

Just as negative self-talk becomes self-fulfilling prophecy, so does using positive affirmations. Reframe your thinking and you’ll soon be doing the things that foster success. Your mindset and business will improve dramatically!

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