Do you ever talk to yourself? (Right now, you’re probably thinking: Hmm, talk to myself? Do I do that?)
Most people have an ongoing mental conversation with themselves. This is what many psychologists call self-talk. Left unattended, that conversation typically sways negative.
When I was younger, I used to be pretty hard on myself:
• “I can’t possibly deliver workshops and write a book.”
• “I can’t possibly work for that company, because I don’t know anything about the beer business.”
• “I can’t work out in the afternoon; I’ll be way too tired.”
• “I can’t possibly hold my own with this guy; he’s written 64 books.”
None of it was true.
My 3-Step Plan to Crush Self-Limiting Beliefs
1) Catch yourself in a negative thought. This requires cognitive diligence. You must think about what you’re thinking about — and not mindlessly scroll through Instagram or Twitter.
2) Disabuse yourself of this notion. I do this using my 82-year-old father’s increasingly cantankerous and challenging voice: “Yeah? Who says?” Immediately, something in my brain switches, and my next thought is: “Challenge accepted.”
3) Take action. Any action, no matter how small, just to get the ball rolling. There’s a great old turn of phrase that says, “Throw your butt over the bar and your heart will follow.” I really believe that.
I love to work out, and one recent afternoon when I was out for my typical 10-mile hike, I had about two miles left. Then a fleeting thought hit me: Maybe I should run the rest of the way. No, I can’t. I haven’t run in over 13 years.
That’s right: I used to be an avid runner, but once I turned 40, my knees hurt, and I told myself I was too old to run. I caught myself having this thought and — no kidding — I heard my dad say, “Yeah? Who says you can’t run at 53?”
I took a couple of steps. Then took a couple more. And bam: I ran home.
Far too many of us convince ourselves we can’t do it:
• “I can’t ask this person for a referral; he just bought a bike.”
• “I can’t call these people; they’ll think I’m sort of telemarketer.”
• “I can’t sell 18 units in a month.”
•“I can’t sell 300 units in a year.”