Have you ever thoughts like these before?
- “I’ve never been good with money.”
- “I hate budgets.”
- “I’ll never be a 6-figure earner.”
- “My market won’t pay premium prices.”
If you’ve ever heard these statements come out of your mouth—or even in your head—then you’re engaging in a damaging habit known as negative self-talk. By telling yourself these lies (and yes, they are lies) you’re reinforcing the beliefs that go along with them.
What you visualize and believe is what becomes true.
Tell yourself that you’re not good with money, and you won’t be. Believe that budgets are horrible chores to be reviled, and you’ll resist creating one. Convince yourself that you can’t earn a 6-figure income, and you won’t.
It’s not “the secret.” It’s a scientific fact. Known as a self-fulfilling prophecy, this kind of self-talk results in poor performance simply because we act as if it’s already true.
If you tell yourself that you’ll never be a 6-figure earner, you will not do the things that 6-figure business owners do. You won’t work to grow your mailing list (“No one reads my emails anyway”), you won’t increase your coaching rates (“It’s not like I’m some top-earning coach”), and you won’t build a brand worthy of a 6-figure income (“A beautiful brand isn’t necessary at this income level”).
By contrast, if you act and think as if you already are a 6-figure earner, you’ll approach your business quite differently. Your confidence level will increase. You’ll present a very different brand to your prospective clients. You’ll go out of your way to connect with those who can and will afford to pay your higher rates.
How to Combat Negative Self Talk
The first step toward changing your negative self-talk is to simply acknowledge that you do it. Tick a mental checkbox every time you catch yourself making negative statements, whether out loud or in your head.
Make a note of the ones that come up most often for you, and identify their origin if you can. For example, if your ex-husband continually berated you for your spending habits, chances are your “I’m no good with money” mantra can be laid right at his feet. It’s time to turn that thinking around.
The next time you catch yourself saying “I’m no good with money,” take a minute to recall 5 instances where you were good with money. Maybe you paid off your credit cards or saved for a house or built an emergency fund. Rephrase your self-talk to, “I used to be bad with money [if that’s true], but now I make smart choices to achieve my goals.”
Just as negative self-talk becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, so does positive self-talk. Reframe your thinking, and your business finances will certainly improve.
Anne Zarraonandia says
Paul-Very true! That same negative self talk is harmful to athletes competing in sports. If it comes out your mouth, those words go back into your head through your own ears. Not good. Being aware of it is the first step to changing this bad habit. Finance and sports and many other areas of our lives can be affected by this! Great post.
Thanks! It can be a vicious loop as you describe. Out of my mouth, my ears hear it, and it back it goes in only to get confirmed again. So now I will say it again, hear it again, and make it stronger. So I say it again, hear it again, and it gets stronger… You get the idea!
Great information Paul. I’ve always been a positive person. If something turns out different, I still try to find something positive in the outcome.
There is always something positive you can glean from any experience.
Julie JordanScott says
Such great information here! I have started a goal I renew every day about not complaining. That includes complaining in my interior about myself. It is so destructive! Thank you for the reminder and the tips to stop it.
You are welcome, Julie! Way to go!
Karen Sammer says
I love this message Paul. I often work with my clients to change the way they talk to and about themselves. It’s eye-opening when someone points out to you when you use self-limiting language, because we often don’t even realize it. Thanks for the reminder.
It can be a tough habit to break since we (me included) have been doing it for so long.
Dr.Amrita Basu says
Negativity is a problem in all spheres.Great reminder .
Let’s get out there and stop it!
Frances Cahill says
Thanks, Paul. This is a timely reminder for me. Negative self-talk is a habit? Deciding to do, be and think differently takes consistent effort. Like taking on the discipline of UBC, I am determined to take on my negative self-talk every time it appears.
Yes! It is all about the discipline… until it becomes a habit (and a good one)!
Jennifer Lancaster says
Very pertinent points Paul, and I’ll try to give myself a mental– or real–whack for negative thoughts. I’ve devoted a chapter to mindset as it’s so important.
No need to go hard on yourself, Jennifer! Just be mindful of it.