No. Won’t work. Never happen. Can’t be done. Bad idea. Too radical. Irresponsible. Stupid. Crazy. Immature.
Good managers banish these phrases from their dealings with subordinates. But how many of us – even the positive, happy and upbeat among us – let this negative self-talk run our own lives…without
us even knowing it?
Most of our negative “programs” work subconsciously, affecting our outlook on work and life. With attention, deliberation and effort, however, we can “reprogram” ourselves with productive self-talk.
As with most worthwhile things in life, this is simple – but not always easy. Fortunately, once we break into that level of awareness, we’re better able to recognize those programs and work with them.
Many of these programs were installed when we were kids. The chubby girl sees herself as a fat adult, for example. The shy boy doesn’t realize he’s grown into an outgoing, friendly guy. The kid who was punished for talking to strangers has a real hard time making conversation at company mixers.
But it’s not just what happened to us children that affect us, and our attitudes about ourselves, today.
Bad relationships – with a significant other, boss or co-worker – as adults also have an impact on us. The abused woman comes to believe she deserves it. The ridiculed employee loses faith in his own judgment.
If you can recognize your unhealthy reactions but can’t get past them, consult a mental health professional. And keep looking until you find a good fit.
If you want to change and can move forward, however, “all” it takes is effort.
How to change your thinking
First, you need to sensitize yourself to what your subconscious is telling you. Resolve to stop every time you do something – or don’t do something – without thinking. And then do it differently.
- Usually wash yourself with your right hand? Try your left.
- Follow the same route to work? Take a detour.
- Check your emails before you even get out of bed? Put it off; go outside and check out the weather instead.
- Start noshing as soon as the TV goes on? Wait a half hour.
The change doesn’t have to be monumental. It just has to be different.
Do it for a day or a week or a month until you consciously recognize most of the habits and patterns you follow. Not only will gain a greater insight into your own behavior, but you’ll notice that instead of just going through the motions, you’ll actually be living your life.
And that, in turn, will help open the door to a greater awareness of your basic programming.
Look again at the list at the beginning of this blog.
Every time you find yourself automatically making a decision based on one (or more) of those words and phrases, stop! Check the programming. Ask yourself:
- What drives that decision?
- Who installed the basic program and why? In other words, who do you hear when that little voice starts tearing you down?
- What purpose does it serve today?
- How is it working for you? Is it helping or hindering you?
Once you discover the accuracy and value of the programming, it’s up to you to decide what you want to do about it.
Maybe the program is appropriate, like the one that makes you to stop at a red light to avoid getting in a car accident. But maybe – just maybe – it’s conditioning that no longer serves a useful purpose (if it ever did) and simply slows down your life and your enjoyment of it.
It’s up to you if you want to change it.
What program would you like to change? Please add in the comments below.