Ditch the Trash-Talk!

skyeteam leadership development

A member of my team is just back from a whirlwind tour of the US, 6 cities in 10 days.  Very satisfied clients, outstanding feedback from the 150 leaders who participated in the programs with comments ranging from

“This is going to make a real difference to how I do my job”

“I now understand what it takes to be successful”

“I thought this was going to be a waste of time, this was the BEST, program I have attended, top shelf!”

And yet, when back at the hotel, my team member was telling themselves

“I’m no good because…

“I can’t because…

“Morag is going to be disappointed because…”

“[insert some examples of your personal trash talk]

When I listened to the stories I was both surprised and amused (especially at the last comment) as it couldn’t be further from the truth.  I have the UTMOST faith and belief in my team, I trust them implicitly, and I KNOW they are exceptional at their jobs.  Not only are they amazing and successful at what they do, they help me to be better at what I do.

The irony is, I came home from work one day last week and said to my husband “Am I really a successful business woman?” He did the only thing he could – and laughed.

Trash Talk is insidious, our inner thoughts and self-talk, especially when we don’t share the thoughts that undermine our confidence with others.  According to research, the average human being has around 50,000 thoughts a day and most of these are negative! Each of the thoughts we have triggers a chemical reaction in our bodies that impacts how we feel and behave. Without talking to anyone else we can talk ourselves into a dark hole of self doubt, one that reduces our self confidence and can cause us to operate from a position of fear, of helplessness.

  • We worry about the past and what we should have done.
  • We question our abilities and worry about being caught out as a fraud.
  • We worry about the future and what might be.

Most of our thoughts are not a true picture of reality.  And yet we often make our decisions based on our inner trash talk.  It’s not that thoughts of the past, present or future aren’t important.  It’s that they often don’t reveal the truth about the opportunities in the here and now.  Just because something was true in the past doesn’t mean it’s true now.  Just because something might happen doesn’t mean it will.  And when we have had a great day and our thoughts turn to how we are not contributing – SHUT UP

The learning is simple.  You don’t have to believe everything you think.

Oh and when you find yourself trash talking yourself, find an understanding soul (like my husband) who can give a quick dose of reality, and laugh at the idea, it may just help you to laugh at yourself and to rediscover the strength within you.