How to tame the lion of negative self-talk.
The brain is brimful of neurons, between 15-33 billion in fact, making it an organic super computer. It regulates your energy, balance, senses, breath and more, all without you even being aware it’s doing it. Simultaneously, it provides the cognitive abilities to understand, assess, anticipate and act.
Until around 12,000 years ago, before the domestication of plants and animals, our brains had daily problems to solve that required both our dexterity and vigilance. We were hunter-gathers. The provision of food, water, clothing, shelter and safety were the order of the day.
Fast forward to the modern day. Advances in agriculture, education, medicine and technology see survival as a given and abundance as the new norm. Where we once hunted animals, we now hunt jobs and supermarket coupons. Our problem solving abilities have shifted focus from survival to sustainability.
The truth is, the human mind is still hard wired for survival. Our brains continue to function as our ancestors’ with similar capabilities to continually process surrounding stimuli that feed us impulses for our survival.
We are innately equipped with a cerebral lion of powerful thinking to assess opportunity and threat.
The problem is that this lion no longer needs to solve problems constantly. We have leisure time. We have time to reflect, ponder and plan. Yet, in these moments, the mind may continue to roar undesirably. The result is that not all thoughts are helpful, particularly those that cause us anxiety.
The trick is to accept the roar of negative self-talk and to have faith in your ability to temper the thinking beast. The next time you find yourself being overly self-critical, judgmental or worrisome, ask yourself ‘Is this thought helpful?’
The question’s effectiveness lies in its simplicity. It forces you to process the thought, not suppress it. The result is a deliberate decision whether to use or discard the thought. Repeating this simple technique is a great confidence booster to your decision making and keeps you firmly in control of the lion in your head.
Business Growth Coach
PS: This is something I wrote for my mailing list. If you dig it, sign up to get my articles by email.
PPS: Have you overcome self-criticism or doubt recently? What did you do? Leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you.