Every day I talk to accomplished, high achieving women leading in their industries and almost everyone is dealing with negative thinking on some level. Whether it's finances, work-life-balance, or maintaining positive relationships, negative thoughts can make us less confident, less ambitious, and less likely to take action.
And if you've ever heard you're a perfectionist, promotion ready, talented, or high achiever but still feel inadequate or like a fraud, you've likely faced imposter syndrome.
If that's you, I want to help you take action, be more confident and attack negative thoughts in your life. I've been writing about the steps to thinking more positively about your life and address the immediate issues that can trigger negative feelings, stress, and anxiety.
How you view your beliefs about yourself and your life will determine the goals you are willing to set and what actions you'll take to make them happen.
Why not recognize your self-sabotaging thoughts and learn how to correct them? The first step is noticing them. Some common self-limiting thoughts are:
● "I'm not executive material. I don't look like a CEO."
● "I messed up my chance. I don't deserve another."
● "People like me don't get those types of jobs."
● "I can't do that. I'm not qualified."
● "I wish I could do that, but I know I don't have the money to do it."
If you noticed some of your limiting thoughts in the examples above, here's how you can take steps to GET UNSTUCK from negative thinking:
1. See yourself differently. Avoid comparing yourself. If you see yourself as "poor" financially, ask yourself, compared to who? Surely if you're reading this you have access to the internet and are already more privileged then others. This first shift is critical because if you allow yourself to think you are "less qualified," you won't advocate for yourself as you would if you felt deserving. Instead, try thinking of any gaps between where you are and where you want to go as opportunities to learn, grow, and be innovative.
2. Take action. When you continually move towards your goals, you'll gain the momentum to keep going. Rather than get stuck thinking you can't achieve success, decide on the steps you'll take to take to ensure you do.
○ Let's use the example of feeling less qualified. What if you asked your boss for recommendations on where to focus to be ready for the next level in your career? By getting more information you can be confident your actions will have your desired impact and avoid wasting time over complicating or over correcting.
3. Be your own best friend. Self-love is the best love. You go with you everywhere, so give yourself the benefit of kind words and staying optimistic. Practice noticing negative thoughts, like "I can't..." and replacing them with positive affirmations such as, "I can do this."
To build your confidence, take action! When you find yourself saying you'll "never" do something, SHIFT your words to say that you can, and then do it. If you take action, you can turn those negatives into positives, and boost your self-esteem. Trust that you can accomplish, succeed, and win over self-limiting thoughts. You've done it before, you'll do it again.
Your Guide to Notice, Stop and Change negative thoughts.
Step 1: NOTICE thoughts that don't serve your goals.
When I try to explain this concept of positive thinking to my young children, we start by talking about our beliefs and our understanding of good and evil. We believe that the universe wants us to do good, love others, and help everyone. To help them notice the different thoughts, we categorize them by the ones inline with doing good and the ones that make them feel bad, doubt themselves, or could hurt others.
Don't get stuck spending too much time analyzing your negative thoughts or you'll increase the chances for fear to hold you back. Instead, be curious about how you can change your thoughts to positive. Get aggressive and attack those negative thoughts.
For example, maybe you feel like there's no way to maintain your balanced lifestyle and get promoted, and you wonder if it's worth trying at all. Ok, yes, it can be challenging to take on additional leadership responsibilities, and you might need help, but that's normal stress we all face. A negative thought could go to the extreme and say: You'll NEVER be able to lead ANYONE EVER. You aren't leadership material.
Step 2: STOP, and ask yourself, "Is what I'm thinking, true for me?"
If you have any examples that support your positive belief in your ability like getting hired and successfully advocating for yourself, it's easier to notice the lie.If you've ever led ANYONE, the negative thought is not true. Celebrate the vigilant protection of your energy and encourage yourself to reject the idea. Remember progress, not perfection! The danger is if you don't notice, and the idea takes root.
Step 3: CHANGE your thoughts to POSITIVE.
If you believe it, it will be so! We are a sum of our thoughts, why not turn that power into positive energy that drives you towards the things that you want in life? Use positive affirmations. When you realize your thoughts are turning to be unrealistic or untrue, replace them with what you want to be true.
For example, my career challenges and enables me new opportunities to grow as a leader.
Congratulations! You are one step closer to Getting Unstuck and negotiating your worth! Don't fear failure. Learn from your mistakes. Instead of getting stuck in your past, think about what you learned from each experience.
When you apply the Getting Unstuck affirmations to your life, you'll see the possibilities that are all around you. You can do anything you want. Release those self-limiting beliefs right now so you can start embracing the good life ahead of you. Take action and apply the tips from this lesson:
● NOTICE NEGATIVE THINKING. Make a list of detrimental, self limitive thoughts holding you back this week.
● SHIFT TO POSITIVE THINKING. Create a new list of positive thoughts and create affirmations to get unstuck.
● TAKE ACTION. Read your statements out loud when you first wake up and at bedtime each night for 10 minutes.
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