Leah Carol - Washington DC- Life Coach - Negative Voice

We all have that ugly little “gremlin” in our head that loves to pop his head in whenever we are unsure about something. It tells us that we aren’t good enough, thin enough, and smart enough.

It also tells us things like “it’ll never work, so why bother?” “you’ll get lost,” “it’s all your fault,” and “you’re so stupid, why would you do this?” Just think of Uncle Frank from “Home Alone” living in your head.


The bad news is that the little gremlin will never go away. You’ll have him providing his (unhelpful) two cents for the rest of your life.


A lot of people try to drown out their negative self-talk with these things called affirmations. I’m sure that you’ve heard of them. If you haven’t here’s one definition I found online:


Affirmations are sentences aimed to affect the conscious and the subconscious mind. The words composing the affirmation, automatically and involuntarily, bring up related mental images into the mind, which could inspire, energize and motivate. Repeating affirmations, and the resultant mental images, affect the subconscious mind, which in turn, influences the behavior, habits, actions and reactions.


A lot of people believe in them and I even know a few people who have used them for years and SWEAR by them.  I mean, it makes sense, thoughts become things and actually SAYING your thoughts give them gives them more energy.


I feel affirmations work for more things more long term, like what you want to be, places you want to travel or things you want to experience.


In the short-term, however, affirmations don't always work. You may have tried to give yourself a little pump up, only to have it fall flat because you just couldn't believe what you said...AT ALL.

When this happens, you want to focus on simply neutralizing the negative phrase that pops up that's making you feel $h!tty, rather than trying to ignore your insecurity altogether. 


For example, let’s say you have an upcoming presentation at work to give and you’re quite nervous about it. The gremlin is really coming out swinging hard because you've never liked public speaking. It’s flooding your head with thoughts such as, “you’re gonna bomb,” “they’re gonna think you don’t know what you’re talking about” or “you're a terrible public speaker! Get out now!”


Saying an affirmation such as “I’m a world class public speaker” is not going to help you in the moment because you know it’s a lie. Sure over time, saying that everyday will likely have an effect on your behavior and you’ll probably become a world class speaker, but it’s not what you want to say if you’re nervous about going on stage in 10 minutes.


If saying a positive thought such as, “I’m gonna kill it tonight!” makes you feel good and doesn’t make you cringe, by all means say it, but if you feel like you are completely lying to yourself and you feel like a fraud saying it, I want you to try to just neutralize the negative thought: facts, things that can be proven.


“I’m giving a presentation,”  “I have spent hours preparing” or even “I can speak in front of people.”  


Sure you can follow it up with a positive phrase if you want, but nothing too crazy because otherwise you won’t latch onto it. “I’m going to give a presentation and I’m going to do a good job” or “I can do this.” That’s believable and won’t likely make you roll your eyes or cringe when you say it.

Another technique you can utilize is adding a "but" to the negative thought.

I'm a terrible speaker, but I am learning more and getting better everyday. 

Totally believable right. There's nothing wrong with that statement. 

The reason you need to latch onto your countering language is because your energy is your strongest point of attraction. When your energy is negative, you’re likely to attract a negative experience. The more you can tilt the energy needle back to neutral, or even the positive side of the scale, your energy will shift your experience or at the very least, how you feel. Even a neutral statement feels better than a negative one.


After all, feeling good is the primary intention.

Leah Carol - Washington DC Life Coach - Blog

Hey, I'm Leah! 

I'm a life and business coach helping clients create extraordinary change in their lives! 

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