Our weekly Team NLP blog where you’ll find inspiration and actionable advice on how to build healthy habits, resilience and connections in our unprecedented times.
I hope you found last week’s ideas about keeping motivated useful. This week I have been reflecting on the latest Government news about potential further lockdowns and restrictions. For many the six months we have spent dealing with covid-19 has chipped away at their level of self-confidence and self-esteem – especially if you haven’t worked as you are still on furlough, you have seen your business deteriorate or you have lost your job. These major events chip away at our identity and what we believe we are capable of. This week’s email and blog contains some ideas about how to stay positive and a useful practice for remembering how great you are!
Pay attention to your thoughts about challenging situations. This includes what you tell yourself (self-talk) and your interpretation of what the situation means. Your thoughts and beliefs might be positive, negative or neutral. They might be rational, based on reason or facts, or irrational, based on false ideas. Ask yourself if these beliefs are true. Would you say them to a friend? If you wouldn’t say them to someone else, don’t say them to yourself.
Your initial thoughts might not be the only way to view a situation — so test the accuracy of your thoughts. Ask yourself whether your view is consistent with facts and logic or whether other explanations for the situation might be plausible. Be aware that it can be hard to recognise inaccuracies in thinking. Long-held thoughts and beliefs can feel normal and factual, even though many are just opinions or perceptions.
Also pay attention to thought patterns that erode self-esteem:
- All-or-nothing thinking.You see things as either all good or all bad. For example, “If I don’t succeed in this task, I’m a total failure.”
- Mental filtering.You see only negatives and dwell on them, distorting your view of a person or situation. For example, “I made a mistake on that report and now everyone will realise I’m not up to this job.”
- Converting positives into negatives.You reject your achievements and other positive experiences by insisting that they don’t count. For example, “I only did well on that test because it was so easy.”
- Jumping to negative conclusions.You reach a negative conclusion when little or no evidence supports it. For example, “My friend hasn’t replied to my email, so I must have done something to make her angry.”
- Mistaking feelings for facts.You confuse feelings or beliefs with facts. For example, “I feel like a failure, so I must be a failure.”
- Negative self-talk.You undervalue yourself, put yourself down or use self-deprecating humour. For example, “I don’t deserve anything better.”
Now replace negative or inaccurate thoughts with accurate, constructive thoughts. This process will help…
Self-esteem flourishes when it receives regular nourishment. This process teaches you how to feed your self-esteem to ensure that it continues to grow. It is important that you select only positive qualities as you go through the following steps.
Step 1: Remember a time in the past that you felt really good about yourself. What three qualities did you most admire about yourself back then?
Step 2: What three qualities do you most admire about yourself now?
Step 3: Imagine a time in the future when you have achieved your goals. What three things do you most admire about yourself at that point in time?
Step 4: Think about a person who loves you. What three qualities do they admire most about you?
Step 5: Think about a colleague at work who respects you. What three qualities do you think they admire most about you?
Step 6: Take the 15 words that comprise your answers, write them on a large piece of paper, and hang them somewhere where you can see them every day. Then write them on a smaller piece of paper for you to keep in your handbag or wallet. If you notice yourself drifting back into any negative thoughts about yourself, look back at the piece of paper and remind yourself of all your best qualities.
To your success…
Lindsey and Team NLP
If you would like to know how NLP can help you to emerge from lockdown with renewed clarity and energy sign up to our next free webinar ‘Change Your Life with NLP’ on the 23rd September at 7pm.
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