7 Day Positive Self-Talk Challenge: Day 1
7 Day Positive Self-Talk Challenge: Are You In?
As soon as you start to set goals for yourself, do you suddenly have nagging thoughts about how you aren’t up to the task or how you simply aren’t qualified to carry it through? I want to throw down the gauntlet and issue a challenge right now to focus on positive self-talk for the next 7 days. Are you in?
We all have negative conversations with ourselves. In fact, I had one this morning. My friend and I met for a quick coffee before yoga. Once again we were talking about our struggles with our weight and our beliefs about our bodies. Our insight today was that we are tired of having this conversation with each other and with ourselves. We know what we need to do, so why aren’t we doing it? Why do we continue to sabotage our success?
I had a similar realization about my business recently, why do I look for distractions or spend time on activities that won’t make me money or attract the right clients? I spent the last week looking deeply into what is going on with me right now. One of my big ah-ah moments was that I was not paying close enough attention to my thoughts or to my spiritual practice. When I allow myself to feel disconnected or isolated, I can get scattered and disillusioned.
If we don’t attend to our inner needs for acceptance, connection and love, we get stuck, fearful and overwhelmed. We don’t believe in our own ability to be successful. We fall into patterns of self-judgement and distraction.
What are your favorite methods of distraction? I have one client who isn’t getting enough sleep because she is staying up late at night watching television shows on Netflix. I have another client who says she can’t make progress on her business until she cleans her office. Most of my clients are members of the cult of perfectionism – incapable of taking action until they think a webpage or offer is perfect.
Here is a SoulCollage® card I created that represents the shadow side of one of my favorite distractions: over-eating. By creating this visual representation, I was able to laugh at myself, honor this aspect of myself and pay attention when I fall into this particular form of distraction. You can’t ignore your tactics for distraction, isolation or self-criticism. You have to acknowledge them, look at why you are indulging and then decide whether to continue or choose a different plan of action.
If you struggle with self-judgement and distraction, you need to change the way you respond to your inner dialogue. Instead of obeying your negative commands, you can use positive self-talk to counter the negativity and overcome nearly all anxious thoughts. Positive self-talk can help you stay present and focused, as well as grateful, for what IS working in your life right now. When you are feeling positive, you have the energy to make decisions and take inspired action instead of feeling distracted or overwhelmed.
Setting Goals and Sticking to Them with Positive Self-Talk
Are you initially filled with excitement when you first set goals for yourself? Are these thoughts then followed by self-doubt and self-defeating thoughts that stop you in your tracks before you even get started?
It can be difficult to make the most of your life when you are constantly talking yourself out of being a success. It can be frustrating and discouraging to have these thoughts constantly plaguing you. Many of us, in fact, don’t even realize we have them! All we know is that we don’t have the confidence to stick to our plans and reach our goals.
But there’s another way!
Positive self-talk is an effective way to set goals and ensure that you stick to them, even if you have never been able to do this before. The way this works is that you decide what goal is important to you, and then you plan the logistics of how you are going to attain this goal. Your plan should include a timeline and some milestones that you can celebrate along the way. It doesn’t matter if this goal is personal or professional. And it’s okay if you don’t know how you are going to reach your goal; part of using positive self-talk is trusting that the right actions will become clear as you move towards your goal.
When self-doubt starts kicking in, you will respond with affirmations that prove your success without surrendering to the negative pressure. Since you’re reading this article, it’s clear that you’re no quitter and you’re certainly not a failure, so start believing in yourself!
Re-Programming Your Mind with Affirmations
Affirmations are essentially positive statements that re-program your mind for the positive. The moment you have a self-defeating thought you’d be able to counter the negative with a motivating statement. An example of a positive affirmation is: “I am worthy of great success,” or “I see myself in the winner’s circle.” What this does is replace negativity with thoughts that will help you move toward your goals instead of further away from them.
Positive self-talk is easier to implement than you might think. You may not be aware of the severity of the negative dialogue currently within your mind. However, once you begin with positive self-talk, you will suddenly realize that you are self-sabotaging the goals you set for yourself from the minute that you make them. This process can open your eyes to exactly how much this inner conversation has been interfering with your life. You’ll feel hopeful that you can now set goals and surpass them.
Here’s how to get started with positive self-talk:
1. Pick one goal to focus on for the next 7 days (even if you know it won’t be completed by then, we are focusing on progress not completion.)
2. Write down the goal on a piece of paper and list any action steps you know you need to take.
3. Create a timeline over the next 7 days listing what actions you will take and when. Part of re-programming our minds is committing to our own success at the spiritual, emotional and physical levels. How committed are you?
4. Ask someone to be your accountability partner or let this 7-day blog series with me be the place you come to share your successes and challenges.
5. Get out a blank sheet of paper and some colored pens or markers. Make a list of all the reasons you think you CAN’T reach your goal.
Here are some examples from a previous class where we focused on ourselves and creating powerful I Am statements.
6. On a clean sheet of paper, turn all those negatives into positives, creating a list of affirmations that you can continue to write out, repeat and focus on this week.
Example: Negative statement – I don’t have enough money. Positive statement – I have all the money I need to reach my goal.
7. Pick two to three of the most powerful affirmations that you created and commit to saying them 7x in the morning and 7x in the evening.
Come back here tomorrow to share your progress plus for each of the next 6 days, I will share some different affirmations that you can use to reach any goal plus some additional creative ideas for how to use affirmations as part of your daily practice.
Are you ready? Share your thoughts below if you are committed to stopping the negative self-talk and focusing on the positive!
My goal over the next 7 days is to find 5 new in-person speaking opportunities! There is nothing stopping me but me.
I realize (in dismay) that I’ve been indulging in negative self-talk when I hear the same thing come out of my childrens’ mouths. This post has been so helpful to me! Thanks so much!
I know, right? I am always dismayed when I hear my kids judging themselves or each other and I hear myself. Reminds me to be ever so watchful of language. I was at a yoga class this morning and a young woman is about to leave for college for the first time and is rightfully feeling anxious. I watched others try to comfort her and tell her it’s going to be okay when really, she just needed someone to say her feelings are okay! I have started to gently police my own language and focus on staying positive. It makes a huge difference.
This is an excellent post, Minette. Thanks for sharing it. I am guilty of negative talk because I have little self-confidence. While I’m getting better at it, I still sabotage myself in different aspects of my business and my life. I sometimes need my husband to tell me the good and point out where I’m wrong (although I don’t like admitting to that). I’ll definitely try out your steps and see if that gives me the boost I need.
Thanks for your honest sharing Alexandria! Best of luck on your journey.
Fantastic post! Funny thing is, I’m very positive with others, but very negative with myself. I really need to work on that. Thank you for these steps!
Good luck, Kristen. Remember that it’s a practice that takes time to build. Be gentle with yourself.
[…] Welcome to day 2 of the 7-day Positive Self-Talk challenge. Yesterday I talked about how we are our own worst enemies. The words “Be You” in the image above may spark more self-doubt than self-love. I asked yesterday, “Are you initially filled with excitement when you first set goals for yourself? Are these thoughts then followed by self-doubt and self-defeating thoughts that stop you in your tracks before you even get started?” If you answered yes to those questions, go back and read post number one and see if you are willing to take the Positive Self-Talk Challenge. […]
I love this. I do negatively talk to myself, and compare myself to others; something I’ve been trying to train myself to STOP doing. I like the challenge; it’s a great plan. 🙂
Thanks, Amalia! Remember that it’s a day by day practice. Negative self-talk is so ingrained in us that it’s hard to stop. I try to over-balance the equation by making time for positive affirmations daily and for looking at myself in the mirror and saying them.
[…] to Day 3 of the 7 Day Positive Self-Talk Challenge. You can read Day 1 here to learn more about this challenge and why positive self-talk […]
First thought in my head: I would love to do this! And then: you’ll see nothing will come of it, so you might as well not even try.
grrr. I am going to do the challenge starting tonight at 20:00!
Christien, this is such a normal response that so many of us experience. Notice the negative thought, then shift it. Take it one day at a time and celebrate your brilliance 🙂
[…] week I have been talking about the importance of positive self-talk to help us improve our lives and our businesses. I issued a challenge on Monday to spend 7 days […]