Experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day. Shockingly 80% of those are negative.
Two months into building my entrepreneurial life, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many new people. Interestingly, I’ve also noticed a lot of negative self talk when people introduce themselves. Below are a selection of the statements I’ve heard. Maybe you recognise yourself in some of them.
- It has to be perfect
You have no doubt fallen into the perfectionism trap at some point in your life. It’s part of being human and in particular female. Perfectionism does not equal success. Striving for perfectionism sets you up for failure before you begin. You cannot be amazing at everything. Once you accept this, it may even be a great opportunity to finally outsource what you are not so good at or dislike or team up with a buddy / colleague who has the skills you want to develop.
2) I’m just a …
No one is just anything. Self worth comes from within – not your title, role, job description or similar. You are unique and have unique skills and competencies to offer this world.
3) I’m too old to be considered
Consider adopting the belief that age is just on paper. And you are as old as you think you are. My aunt started studying for an MA at 75. It’s becoming the norm to have several ‘careers’ during a lifetime. The retirement age is becoming a myth.
4) Not everyone has the opportunity to follow their dream
Wow! I stopped dead in my tracks when I heard this. If you go round thinking following a dream is for others and not you, then this will be your reality. Your dream will remain in your head.
I reflected on the beliefs behind the words above. As well as my own beliefs which might need a detox.
How to change your thoughts and beliefs
Beliefs are a self-taught prophecy. They are shaped by our culture, parents, habits and life experiences. Your thoughts and beliefs are not set in stone. You can change them and in turn change your reality.
How? Start your own thought catalogue!
- Observe and accept your thoughts and beliefs. Do not judge them. Recognise thoughts cannot hurt anyone.
- Start a thought catalogue. Write down the thoughts that catch your attention.
- Highlight all the empowering, supporting and motivating beliefs which you want to keep. Consider posting some of them around your home or where you will see them on a regular basis.
- List the thoughts you want to leave behind. For each one, include evidence that refutes these thoughts.
- Re-read your journal on a regular basis to remind yourself of your thoughts and beliefs.
Changing your thoughts and beliefs will not happen overnight. It will take time and patience. Change occurs in baby steps – one thought at a time. Believe you can do it.