Recognize Your Negative Self-Talk

Research suggests that the average person has about 50,000 thoughts per day. Each thought can trigger a chemical reaction in your body, creating a strong correlation between what you think and how you feel. 

Of all the thoughts we have, those that are most influential are the ones we create ourselves. We each have an internal voice that sends us messages, day in and day out, affecting our perception of things. Our thoughts "talk" to us, often distorting the truth about ourselves and the situations we find ourselves in. Examples of negative self-talk are, I always mess up; I'm not good at this; I don't fit in; Everyone's out to get me, and so forth. Negative self-talk can be debilitating and send you into a downward emotional spiral.

Learn to recognize and take control of your negative self-talk. Pay attention to thoughts that produce strong negative emotion. Challenge the veracity of those thoughts. Are you being categorical ("I always..." "I never..") versus situation-specific? Are you judging yourself too harshly? ("I am an idiot.") Are you playing the blame game? ("They're making me behave this way.") 

When you get clear on your negative self-talk, you free yourself to re-program some of the perceptions that could be standing between you and success. 

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Don’t Let Emotion Drive Your Actions

In an environment of intense speed, instant communication and high stress, it's easy to react to situations emotionally and “in the moment” instead of taking the time to think them through and rein in emotions that might be spinning out of control and clouding your judgment. ‎Sometimes situations that require our patience can feel so infuriating, uncomfortable or inconvenient that we jump into action just to alleviate our internal turmoil or get it off our plate. In this era of electronic communication, people have come to expect instant responses.  In an emotionally-charged situation, don’t take the bait. More often than not, giving yourself that extra day, week or month to calm down and diagnose a situation before moving forward is all you need to stay in control, sort out what's really happening and determine the best response to the situation.

Giving yourself the gift of a pause can help you gain clarity and perspective and take control of emotions that could lead you in the wrong direction if you were to let them dictate your actions and decisions. Today, consider how you can wait for the dust to settle before you make your move.  

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