What to do about the never ending chatter in your head?
Oh that incessant mind chatter – do you have it too?
I still do from time-to-time and luckily I can process my way out of it without doing too much negative self-talk. Just last night I got myself into a whirlwind of self-doubt by reviewing a conversation where I received feedback on a survey that wasn’t to my expectations. Even in the post-workshop conversation with attendees, they did not indicate what showed up on their email survey. This can definitely put you into a mode of: what did I do wrong, how could I have done things differently, does this cost me a relationship with the company that referred me, what can I do to make it up and the questions continued for a while until I said STOP!
First of all, any speaker or workshop facilitator never likes to get negative feedback because we would like to think we can please all the people all the time – even though we really know better. I have learned to look at the negative and see what I can learn from it – what and where can I improve next time, which is what my colleagues do as well.
But that doesn’t make us immune to waging war on ourselves!
The negative mind chatter is one of the biggest issues to keep people from doing what they are meant to do. It is the biggest killer of all time – killing dreams and causing lots of self-doubt. It may seem like a constant battle to tame it, and at times even for me who wrote the book about it. Yes, even I have to listen to my own message!
So here are some tips I use to calm the war between my ears:
- Stop it – I even say it out loud sometimes to get my own attention diverted.
- Breathe – take several really deep breaths with a focus on your heart – that gets you out of your head and into your heart (and you don’t want to do battle with your heart).
- Perspective – step back and look at things from a different perspective – for me looking at the results of the survey, it seemed like different people took the survey than participated in the workshop. So what might have caused them to give different feedback? That is one of hundreds of workshop survey evaluations I have received where the results have been excellent. Most of us tend to focus on the negative instead of looking at the positive results where we have made a positive impact.
- Think positive – begin changing the negative to positive. Similar to taking perspective, remind yourself of the good stuff you do or have done.
- Be creative – start thinking about what you really want to accomplish (whether it is related to the situation that got this war raging or not) and create a plan of where you can make changes to get it done – what you need to do, who can help you, and how you might be able to get it completed.
Yes, that is exactly what I did and came up with a new plan to market my presentation (a different one from the survey) and what I need to say to help spark interest. (More about that soon as I continue to refine my plan.)
You can do the same thing; take the same or similar steps so as not to participate in the war between your ears.
Always remember, Your Chatter Matters!