Everyone has feelings of doubt, worry, or anxiety at one time or another. As a business owner or entrepreneur, these sensations may be all too familiar. Believing in yourself, like any other attitude, can be learned. Research shows that you can increase self-confidence by changing the way you talk to yourself.
We all talk to ourselves. Some of us have full-blown conversations right out loud. Others of us recognize a silent phrase now and then. But we all engage in some form of self-talk, whether it is the positive or the not-so-helpful negative kind.
“I should have done a better job”, “She’s so much smarter than me”, “I’ll never measure up”, I can’t do it”, and “I’ll always be this way” are just some examples of negative self-talk. This pattern of thinking influences both mood and behavior and can become a significant roadblock in the success of your business.
Change your Self-Talk
Changing your thinking is not as simple as saying something positive to yourself. Effective self-talk requires that you actually believe what you are saying. Use the suggestions below to balance you thinking and start feeling more positive about yourself, your world, and your future:
- Gather evidence to refute your negative thought; remember that your feelings are not necessarily based in reality
- Realistically assess your strengths and weaknesses. Instead of allowing your mind to produce negative messages about yourself, consciously override these thoughts with positive statements about what you’ve done or do well
- Consider that your lack of self-confidence could stem from lack of experience, and has nothing to do with your capabilities or skill level
- Emphasize what is going right – work on overcoming the basic human nature of focusing on the negative aspects of ourselves and situations
- Take an outsider’s point of view. Studies show that considering your progress from an outsider’s perspective leads to faster improvement
- Change your feelings by changing your behavior – smile, compliment others, accept compliments about yourself graciously, and take good care of yourself
Increasing self-confidence through self-talk is achieved through practice. Many of us have years of experience saying unkind things to ourselves. It will take some time to counter your negative self-talk with positive, supportive statements. Try writing the new balanced thought on a piece of paper and refer to it frequently throughout the day; especially before performance-based activities. Keep it up – feeling more confident in yourself will lead to better success in your business and an improved sense of accomplishment and self-pride.
About the Author
Rochelle Perper, Ph.D., founder of Therapy Changes, is a licensed clinical psychologist in Point Loma. She has established a caring practice focused on helping patients better navigate and manage life’s difficult transitions. Dr. Perper provides action-oriented therapy customized for individuals, families and couples. Her therapeutic approach involves helping people change their thoughts and behaviors from negative to positive in order to enhance their productivity and satisfaction.