You can create a document like the following and fill it out throughout the day. This will help you identify patterns in negative self talk. Over time you will see areas which come up repeatedly. These are areas that you will have to be aware of your emotions and work on filtering them out on a constant basis.
|Missed workout class||Anxiety||I will never lose weight so why bother||I really have not tried 100% in the past to lose weight. I am going to focus and I will be successful in my weight loss goals.|
|Passed over for promotion||AngerDepressed||I am a loser that is why I was not promoted||I did not get promoted this time. Next time I will try harder and the position will be mine.|
Another way to rid negative self talk is through visualization. Sit in a quiet place where you can be alone with your thoughts. Visualize what your goal would look like when you finally achieve it. Note the positive feelings and thoughts that come to mind at this point. Visualizing is replacing the negative thoughts with positive ones in your mind. Both positive and negative cannot hold the same space, therefore if you replace the positive with negative then you will be on the path to success.
Positive affirmations also work well in combating negative self talk. After you have determined a few of your reoccurring negative thinking patterns, develop a positive saying. An example for “I will never lose weight; it has never worked in the past”. Write on a piece of paper “I will lose weight through hard work and determination” or “I am beautiful and I deserve to feel great”. Place the phrases in a location that you will see throughout the day and repeat it out loud several times a day.
As coaches we are there to help clients make positive changes in their lives. If a client has outline specific goals and over time fails to reach them then it would be beneficial to explore their self talk. We can assist our clients in recognizing any negative self talk (or subconscious beliefs) and teach them how this type of internal dialogue can limit behavior and sabotage goals.
It is human nature that what a person focuses on is what will emerge in their life. If a client is constantly participating in negative self talk they will never reach their goals. An example is a client who is trying to lose weight. After a month they have not been successful the coach starts exploring their self talk and discovers that the client is thinking “I have tried to lose weight my entire life and it never works”. This type of thinking will lead to the client sabotaging their weight loss efforts through behaviors like binging or being inconsistent in their workout routine. Through counteracting the negative self talk the client will be able to gain self confidence, learn to have positive thoughts about themselves and then be able to reach their goals.
As a coach it is invaluable to explore any negative self talk you partake. Identifying and making positive changes is an valuable experience in helping your clients do the same. If you have walked along the same path it is much easier to assist them in making changes and also being more empathetic in understanding how hard change may be.
- Why do you think it is important to uncover any negative self talk/unconscious beliefs?
- How do you think that negative self talk/unconscious beliefs may affect your clients?
- How do you think your negative self talk/unconscious beliefs could affect your coaching practice?
- What are some questions you could use with a client to help them uncover any unconscious thoughts that may be blocking forward progress?
- Think back to a time when you did not reach a goal. Can you remember any negative thoughts you were having at that time?.
- Pay attention to any self talk. Do you have any patterns?
Anando, 2012. It’s Now A Proven Fact – Your Unconscious Mind is Running your Life!
Cherry, Kendra, 2012. What is the Conscious Mind? http://psychology.about.com/od/cindex/g/def_conscious.htm
Gannon, Danny, 2012, How to Change Negative Thinking. http://therapyinmontreal.com/pdf/Change_Your_Negative_Thinking.pdf.
Oxford Dictionary, 2012. http://oxforddictionaries.com/