Those stupid things you think about yourself pollute your mind, limit your achievements and corrupt your confidence. For some reason, the loudest voice you hear, the one that speaks with the most authority and does the most harm to you is not your mother’s voice, it is your own.
Here are six of the most popular stupid things people say about themselves.
Stupid Thing No. 1: The Perfection Deception. It goes something like this, “If my performance is not perfect I am a total failure.” You re-live every performance and brood over all the ways you screwed up and in the process beat the life out of yourself for not being perfect. Well, you’re not perfect so get over it.
Stupid Thing No. 2: The Mini-Maxi Mistake. This is when you maximize the bad things that happen while at the same time you minimize the good things that happen. It is as if the good things you have done never score as high as the bad things. You might say something like this, “I know I closed five big deals last week, but I lost one on Thursday and I feel like a failure.” For some reason the bad things that happen to us or the mistakes we make almost always get a more extended review and have a more permanent impact on us than the good things that happen to us.
Stupid Thing No. 3: The Emotional Lie. You already know that a lie is the opposite of the truth, right? Then why is it you accept your emotions as truth? Let me tell you something, your emotions are not reliable. I remember hearing Debbie Boones sing, “It can’t be wrong if it feels so right.” We’ll Debbie was wrong about that. Many things that feel right are wrong and many things that feel wrong are right. So be slow to accept your emotions as truthful. Just because you feel ugly or old or too tall or dumb or whatever, does not make it so.
Stupid Thing No. 4: The Exaltation of Should. Think about all the shoulds and oughts you have in your vocabulary. “I should be doing this; I ought to do that; I am supposed to be doing whatever.” “Should” statements more often reflect the expectations of others rather than what you want or you desire. Something is NOT wrong with you because you do not meet up with all the expectations of others.
Stupid Thing No 5: Self-Applied Negative Labels. What are the negative words you use to describe yourself? Do you call yourself lazy or ugly or dumb or unlucky or a loser? Think about it for a moment, why would you call yourself names like that when you would never speak those words to a good friend? Self-applied negative labels stick. Only you can un-stick them.
Stupid Thing No. 6: The Compliment Brush-off. When someone pays you a compliments your hair style you say, “Oh, I need to call my hairdresser and get it shaped.” Do you know what you are supposed to say when someone gives you a compliment? “Thank you very much!” How hard is that?
Remember what Forrest Gump’s mother taught him? Stupid is as stupid does. So take a moment and review this list one more time and determine to no longer be stupid when it comes to the way you think and speak about yourself.
Next week: Five Quick Steps to Stronger Self-Confidence