The following is an excerpt from my latest St. Louis Post-Dispatch career column.
If we’re being honest, we would all admit some time or another we talk to ourselves.
One of the most common times for a little self-talk is when you’re driving to work on Monday morning, thinking out loud about what needs to be accomplished this week. Or maybe you’re replaying the weekend that just ended.
For some of us, this is a healthy, enjoyable moment. But for others, it’s a destructive experience with a negative impact on the week ahead.
What you say to yourself when alone, the conversations and conclusions you make about yourself and others, can make a positive or negative impact on how you perceive yourself — and thereby how you act and feel emotionally. It’s like the law of physics — what we focus on expands! So, if the things you say are negative, you will feel overwhelmed or anxious. If you find yourself saying positive things, then your actions ahead will bear fruit.
So the key seems to be our focus. And to honestly assess whether or not your self-talk focus is in a healthy state, you should ask yourself the following:
1. Am I focusing on the solutions or the obstacles?
2. Am I focusing on the opportunities or the deficiency of others?
3. Am I focusing on what I can change or what I can’t?
4. Am I focused on how I can help others or what I can get out of others?
After answering these questions, what do you do if your answers suggest you’re focusing on the negative too much? After all… READ THE REST OF THIS COLUMN HERE.