I’ve been particularly sensitive to students and clients who utter the words “I’m bad” at this or that.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote Are You Walking the Talk?, in which I encouraged you to act on your words. Today, I ask you to think about the words you’re putting out into the world and those you’re saying to yourself.
Stop Defining Yourself in the Negative
Have you ever said any of the following?
I am not a salesperson.
I am not outgoing.
I am terrible at marketing.
I am bad at following up.
Sure you have. We all have. And we all need to be aware of how these are limitations we impose on ourselves.
Every time you use any of these sentences, or similar, you are giving up. You’re telling a story about yourself that will stick. You’re defining yourself in the negative.
These are self-fulfilling prophecies. You can’t say, “I’m terrible at marketing” without being terrible at marketing.
Whenever you find you’re defining yourself in the negative, remember that you have the power to shape your story. How you choose to define yourself will influence how others look at you and think of you.
Will you define yourself in terms of limitations and failings? Or . . .
Will you define yourself in terms hopes and aspirations?
Opt for the Positive
I am one of the last people who will pontificate about the power of positive thinking. It’s just not my thing. But I do know this . . .
The minute you decide you have limitations, you will be forever bound by those constraints.
Next time you catch yourself saying “I’m bad at X” or “I am not Y,” turn it around. Make it a positive:
- I get a kick out of sharing my art with others.
- I enjoy meeting interesting people.
- I follow up on opportunities that are important to me.
You’re only as good as you allow yourself to be.
This was first published on August 1, 2012, and has been updated with original comments intact.