Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words.
Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions.
Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits.
Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character.
Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.
— Chinese proverb, author unknown
Negative self-talk can KILL your ability to take action (and ultimately reach your goals), so what can you do when you are feeling down on yourself?
I like to use the following technique, that flips those negative demons into positive affirmations:
- Take a piece of A4 paper and a pen, and 10 minutes of solitude. Draw a line down the middle of the paper.
- On the left hand side, list all your negative thoughts – your worst fears, your doubts, your worries, that things that you think on those really bad days… Really go to town with this, and get them all out. Use extra sheets of paper if you need to!
- Now – on the right hand side of the paper, take those statements one by one and flip them from negative to positive, and write out the opposite as a new, helpful affirmation. So ‘People will laugh at my ideas’ becomes ‘People will love my ideas’. ‘I don’t know how to do this’ becomes ‘I know everything I need to succeed’. Don’t worry if they seem unbelievable at the moment – you can work on that!
These statements on the right are now your positive affirmations, that you can read daily to help support you into a positive mindset. It’s a speedy version of ‘fake it till you make it’ basically. If our thoughts are to become our destiny, make sure they are ones that serve you well!
One final, symbolic step in this process – tear the sheet in half down the middle, put your positive affirmations somewhere safe, and now rip up the left hand side. You won’t be needing those any more, thank you!
Let me know how you get on and comment below – what’s your new favourite affirmation?