We all have experienced, at one time or another, that tiny voice inside our head that tells us we can’t do something or that we’re failures.
But once we start listening to that tiny voice, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If that voice tells you, for example, that you won’t give a successful presentation, then you may decide not to even try to prepare – and you actually give a rotten presentation.
Beverly Flaxington, behavioral expert and career coach, says she often has heard from successful professionals that those inner voices plague them with doubt, anxiety and stress. That may be surprising because if you’re successful, what do you have to be worried about?
“What I see is that people will often hear their mother’s voice, or a teacher’s voice, “who criticized them in their childhood and “they may have never gotten over that,” she says. “It’s much easier for them to fall into old habits and believe that they’re going to fail.”
Flaxington teaches such professionals how to practice “positive self-talk” that can turn that nasty little voice into one that is an inner cheerleader. It’s not a “Pollyanna” outlook , she stresses, but rather one that looks at the reality of the situation and turns that defeatist voice into one that is positive – or at least neutral.
For example, let’s say the boss walks by your desk and he’s in a bad mood.
“He doesn’t say ‘hello’ to you, and your inner voice begins to say ‘you (see more here)