Have you ever looked in the mirror before giving an important presentation and said to yourself, ‘I can do this!’? How did using those words make you feel? Empowered? Excited? A bit of a fraud?
The power of positive thinking is not a new concept so, when it comes to career progression, is it really possible to talk yourself to the top?
It’s important not to underestimate the power of the language. If we were to hear a recording of all the thoughts that pass through our minds each day, we’d be amazed at the amount of self-critical or potentially negative language that we use. Does this really make a difference in the grand scheme of things?
Yes, I believe so. How we frame our thoughts, the language that we use have a direct impact on our experiences.
Think about it.
You’re about to have a supervision meeting with your line manager. If you approach the meeting saying to yourself, ‘I’m so not looking forward to this, I bet he’s going to talk about that mistake I made last week, I’m never confident in his presence’ the words you are saying (negative) affect your feelings (negative) and, therefore, affect your experience at that meeting (quite likely to be negative).
On the other hand, if you were to reframe your thoughts and say to yourself, ‘Ok, what kind of positive outcome would I like from this meeting? How can I talk about what I have learned from that mistake? When am I at my most confident — how can I emulate that in this situation?’ then your feelings and behaviours around the meeting will be taking a more positive direction. The chances then that your experience of the meeting will be positive are far greater.
Talking yourself to the top is not about continually repeating motivational mantras in front of the mirror. It’s about developing an awareness around the language you’re currently using, and being open to reframing it in a way that will support, rather than hinder you.
‘Anytime words alone stop you doing what is important to you — change the words’ Moshe Feldenkreis
Tania Watson is the founder of Creative Coaching and an executive coach, organisational consultant and leadership specialist. Creative Coaching is a successful company dedicated to the development of senior leaders in organisations through one to one coaching, intact team development and group facilitation. If you or someone from your organisation would like to have a no obligation conversation about how Creative Coaching may be able to help, please email Tania directly at email@example.com.