Irish author and psychologist Jodie Rogers applies key psychological concepts to the modern business world in her new book The Hidden Edge: Why Mental Fitness is the Only Advantage That Matters in Business.
Here, she offers practical advice on how to avoid the trap of negative internal dialogue and create new habits of thought that can empower you for good.
Would you talk to your friend the way you talk to yourself in your head? No. You would not tell anyone that they need to lose four kilos or that they’re pathetically behind at work. So why do you think you can talk to yourself that way? These five tips will help you zip your inner self-critic’s lips and focus your energy on positive endeavours – like strengthening your mental fitness.
RECOGNISE THE TRAP
A big part of changing your self-talk tendencies is to recognise when you’re spiralling. If you find your thoughts wandering into a negative place, remember that you’ve had years of brain muscle memory and habit forming around negative mind chatter. It doesn't have to be your default mode anymore. Recognise that you are falling into old thinking traps and stop yourself.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
If you want to feel good physically, eat right. If you want to feel good mentally, think right. By practising positive self-talk daily, you will start to create new neural pathways in your brain. At first, it will feel forced and unnatural, but stick with it and create your new and optimistic normal. No need to stare at yourself in the mirror and gush over yourself, just give yourself a little reminder of what makes you unique, valuable, and fabulous.
When you find yourself thinking “I’m not good with technology” or “I’m a horrible cook”, change the dialogue to a positive and proactive statement. Examples: “I’m getting better with technology; I just need some dedicated practice” or “I love cooking when it’s with a friend or my partner.”
BE YOUR OWN ALLY
If you think “I can’t keep a clean house” or “That promotion is out of my league”, practice saying those exact words but insert your favourite person’s name in front of the phrase. Example: “Sam, you can’t keep a clean house” or “Wendy, that promotion is way out of your league.”
If the statement feels inappropriate for someone you love and respect, remember that you deserve that same admiration, and switch up your internal script.
Henry Ford famously said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” There’s so much truth in these words. If we manifest a life focused on our flaws and weaknesses, we will live out those lies. If we can change our habits and show ourselves the love and respect we so graciously give others, our minds will be wonderful places to live.
Jodie Rogers is a human behaviour consultant, founder of Symbia and author of The Hidden Edge: Why Mental Fitness is the Only Advantage That Matters in Business out now. SHOP it here.