One of the biggest obstacles we’ll face in our lives is our own inner critic. Every one of us possesses this voice in one form or another. The inner critic generates negative thoughts like, “I don’t have enough experience to take on that project; I’m not smart enough to run the business; I’m incapable of success.” It reinforces our insecurities, undermines our self-confidence, and causes us to limit ourselves. It makes us our own worst enemy.
The only way to get rid of these negative automatic thoughts is to challenge them. Ignoring them doesn’t work. When you hear yourself thinking, “The boss is avoiding me—I’ve been trying to get time on his calendar all week,” change your thoughts instead to, “My boss isn’t ignoring me, he’s been so busy he hasn’t had time for anyone.” The good news is that research has shown that offering a substitute idea—even if it’s only marginally plausible—can stop these negative thoughts cold.
The next time you realize your thoughts are going in a negative direction, take action and create another explanation. You’ll save your energy and time, and you can create a much happier experience for yourself.
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