All this talk of positive affirmations (PA’s) got me thinking about the critical and close connections between PA’s and goal setting. Is there a serious connection between the two?? Absolutely!
PA’s really are the basics of goal setting. A goal is obviously something you’ve thought about and decided it’s important enough to act on. If you’re smart you will have written it down. If you’re really smart you will have also put a deadline on it. By doing this you’ve feed a message to your mind and reinforced it by making a visual note on paper and, yes, your subconscious, which has just been sitting there waiting for directions, is now being told what to do and what to believe.
So no matter what the goal is that you’ve stored in your mind and put on paper, the ever vigilant and very smart subconscious says “Ok … that’s what you want to do so we’ll do it!” Remember it doesn’t matter whether it’s positive or negative –your subconscious doesn’t care. It will get to work on it as soon as you plant the seed and keep working on it even while you sleep or think about something else. That sneaky inner brain obeys and thinks “I’ll keep at this until you call me off or change your mind and goals.”
Of course, if you feed it negative stuff or if you don’t keep practicing positive PA’s the subconscious (SubCon) will be just as content to let the negative PA’s dominate — remember it just doesn’t care–it’s job is to do what you tell it to do without question. That is pretty powerful stuff.
I’ve been thinking about my negative self-talk blog from last week and I figured we probably have more negative thoughts than we imagine so I did a bit of light research on it and, yep, there are a lot of ways negativity can seep into our thoughts.
The thing is, we constantly have this internal chatter where we comment on and determine how we interpret our circumstances. And a lot of us have this set of both conscious thoughts and less conscious assumptions and beliefs that lean to the negative side so that this internal chatter ends up being critical and, ultimately, demoralizing. And it’s very hard to get away from, unless you’re mindful of it:
- Next time you find you’re being critical of yourself, stop and find alternatives to “I’m an idiot!” or “I’m getting so fat!” such as “Next time, I’ll pay more attention and I’ll ace this!” or “I know I can eat better and I’m going to do that starting now!” This will stop you from what is called “Self-limiting talk” when the negative comments make you feel defeated and so you don’t bother looking for answers. Never accept defeat!
- Don’t jump to conclusions. “He must have thought I was a fool the way I keep blathering on!” or “I’ve never done this before. I’m going to fail terribly.” are your interpretations of situations but aren’t the actual truth. However, we make these statements facts in our mind by using this negative self-talk. Look at exactly what happened or will likely happen and keep your thoughts on the positive aspects of a situation.
- Stop using negativity when talking to others. What you say aloud becomes common chatter internally. When someone says you look good, don’t brush it off with an “Ugh! I feel like a whale today.” Instead say “Thank you. That’s sweet of you to say.” Or if you are used to saying “I’m just not good at that.” try saying “Someday I’m going to figure out how to do that!”
It’s those small but significant changes in our language both in our heads and when talking to others that a battle with too much negativity is fought and won. Just be mindful of what you say and what you think and turn negative commentary into positive, empowering statements!