Cancerous thought that successful people quarantine, by Travis Bradberry of Talentsmart for LinkedIn (ME: I post this for my own benefit, though everyone can learn from these words).
Your self-talk (the thoughts you have about your feelings) can make or break you. They either magnify the negativity or help you turn a misstep into something productive.
Negative self-talk in unrealistic, unnecessary, and self-defeating, sending you into a downward spiral that is difficult to pull out of. All self-talk is driven by important beliefs you hold about yourself. Henry Ford said “he who believes he can and he who believes he cannot are both correct.”
Successful people possess the ability to control negative self-talk so it doesn’t prevent them from reaching their full potential. Here are some common thoughts that hold people back more than any others:
1. Perfection equals success (wrong!) When perfection is your goal, you are always left with a nagging sense of failure. You end up spending time lamenting what you failed to accomplish, instead of enjoying what you were able to achieve.
2. My destiny in self-determined. Blaming multiple successes or failures on forces beyond your control is a cop out. Life may deal you difficult cards to play, and other times you’ll be holding aces. Your willingness to give your all in whatever hand you’re holding is what will determine your ultimate success or failure in life.
3. I “always” or “never” do that. Since that is untrue, it’s just self-pity. It makes you believe you have no control of yourself and you will never change.
4. I succeed when others approve of me. You are never as good or bad as they say you are. Take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. Self-worth comes from within. ME: – and from God.
5. My past equals my future. Repeated failures erodes self-confidence. Most of the time these failures come from taking risks and trying to achieve something (if you aren’t doing these things, then shame on you). Success lies in your ability to rise in the face of failure. Anything worth achieving will require a little risk taking. You can’t allow failure to stop you from believing in your ability to succeed.
6. My emotions equal my reality. Take an objective look at your feelings and separate fact from fiction. Otherwise your emotions will continue to skew your sense of reality, and make you vulnerable to the negative self-talk that can hold you back from achieving your full potential.