Empowering Nurses at the Bedside and in Business

Stopping Negative Self Talk


Do you know that inner critic, the little voice in your head that doesn’t stop? The one that keeps saying, “Who are you to start your own business? Who are you to charge this kind of money? How can you grow a business when you’re having enough trouble finding time with your day job?”

The inner critic is there to keep you safe. In fact, many of the thoughts that you hear in your head each day are not your own. They are things that you heard from your parents or were indoctrinated in you by society. So, why listen to them?

The inner critic is from your reptilian brain, which was from our caveman days, when our ancestors would walk out of our cave only to be eaten by a saber tooth tiger or brontosaurus.

Even though you know now where we live is safe, we still can push that panic button at any time. The reptilian brain is designed to keep you safe and in your comfort zone because if you do start a business, you could get hurt. Or what if you don’t make enough money? What if you don’t get clients?

You can’t fail because there is no failure. As long as you are solving the problem that keeps people up at night, then you can’t fail.

Remember that there was a time when we lived in tribes where the men hunted the food and the women cooked the meals? People then acted as a community and worked together to get the job done. Every problem in the tribe could be handled by one of the tribe members.

However, in society today, money circulates and changes hands to fix problems. When we have a problem, we seek the experts who resolve it. For example, if we have a problem with our teeth, we go to the dentist. If we have a problem with our health, we go to the doctor. If we want to keep our money safe, we keep it in a bank.

Each of these businesses solves a problem and, as a business owner, you get to solve a problem too. Whether that may be helping attorneys with medical cases, helping people to improve their health by nurse coaching, we ,as business owners, solve problems.

That negative voice in your head is not real! It is designed to keep you safe and remember that voice is not even yours, so there is no need to listen to it. What I do with my negative self-talk is I can choose the pain or pleasure route. Of course, I chose the pain and I put a rubber band around my wrist so every time I had a negative thought I would snap it just to remind me that those thoughts are not serving me.

The more gentle way of doing this is to journal the negative thoughts and replace them with thoughts that are empowering. These techniques really work because you can’t just get rid of a thought, you have to replace it.

I can tell you when I used to do yoga, my negative self-talk would be. “What are you doing here? You’re older, you’re overweight and you can’t bend like a pretzel.” But now my inner critic is more like my inner cheerleader. “Oh, look how much further you can go to touch your toes today,” which, of course, is such a nice feeling.

So, let’s turn your inner critic into an inner cheerleader.

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