You’re a garbage human being.
You’re not good enough.
You don’t know anything.
Nobody will take your business seriously.
You’re a bad mother.
Nobody really likes you, they feel sorry for you.
You’ll never have success.
These are just a smattering of the anonymous submissions I received when I as this question, “What are the not so flattering things you tell yourself?” Self-doubt is an ugly beast.
Self doubt is the enemy
I knew I wasn’t alone in the fact that I whisper similar things to myself on occasion. So the psychology major in me became curious. I posted the link to my little survey on Facebook preparing myself for no one to respond. But the responses were immediate and overwhelming. And undeniably heartbreaking.
Why do we speak this way to ourselves when we would never dream of uttering such words to our friends? Our mothers? Our daughters? Can you even? Imagine what instilling this sort of self doubt in someone would do to their lives, their business, their mind. Now imagine what the opposite would do.
First things first
The next time you start in with yourself, try to try to understand why.
Did something trigger you?
What was it?
Do your best to identify the roots of the issue and simply take note.
Try this powerful exercise I learned from a therapist friend: Face yourself in a mirror.
Speak the words out loud to yourself in conversation format and see what unravels. For example, “Do you really think you have what it takes to make it as a business owner?”
Answer yourself honestly and without hesitation. Don’t think of the right or appropriate answer. Blurt it out. Keep going and see where the dialogue leads. Yes, it’s super awkward to have a conversation with yourself. But what you may uncover is worth the weirdness.
What are you into about yourself today? There is always something. Get specific. Did you get a kick ass manicure? Did you finally approach that business prospect? Niiiiiiice! Slide these affirmations in the next time you get down on yourself. Praise yourself like the boss babe you are.
Take small but consistent steps in changing your inner dialogue. Change won’t come overnight, but it will come.
None of this easy. Especially when you’re busy trying to build an empire. But it is possible. It makes it easier if you’ve got the right tribe surrounding you. Always be in the business of lifting one another up. No matter what your business is.