It has taken me nearly a week to sit down and write this post. Yeah, I have been busy, but that’s not the only reason this one was so hard to get out.
I learned this past week that I use negative self-talk to calm my nerves. For some reason I think that if I tell people about my flaws, my faults will seem to vanish or be ignored.
I completed my practical exam for my FIS (Fitness Instructor Specialist) certification that had expired many moons ago. This involved teaching my first full fitness class in almost just over three years. I had no idea I would be so nervous. Yeah, I am quite a bit out of practice and I think it was valid for me to be a bit anxious over the fact I was being graded on my delivery that day. I just had no idea how I was really being perceived when I thought joking about my faults was going to help my participants be comfortable, or understand me.
After the class was over – and I was nervous as hell about what I had just done – my Pro-trainer, who I have known for years, took me aside and said she was actually quite surprised to hear me speak about myself negatively and reminded me of something quite poignant:
“Every time you speak negatively about yourself to your participants, it chips away at you and the way they perceive you.”
So, in actuality, I was probably doing the exact opposite of what I thought I was doing – because when you start thinking this negative things and you try convincing people around you that they exist, they do. Sometimes those negative things only exist because they were created by you.
What is worse, is not only does this chip away the perspective of others, but it also chips away at you inside. We all know that there is a big difference between being humble and being self-loathing.
So, what would happen if we changed our dialogue a little bit? Yes, keep your sense of humour and humility, but instead of us apologizing for our flaws, we turn the language into something positive?
NEGATIVE: “I don’t know how to do this correctly.”
POSITIVE: “I am working on getting better at this.”
This seems like such a small difference, but I really feel like this could make such a huge impact on how we judge ourselves – which is something we do much too harshly at times.
Then what if we went a step further and decided that when someone is speaking positively about themselves we don’t see it as bragging, or annoying?
What is wrong with someone having pride or knowing that they are doing something right? I would rather sit and have a conversation with someone who is confident about their abilities or their progress, than someone I feel sorry for. We all know how negativity grows. It doesn’t just remain stagnant, it feeds off of everyone around it. Yeah, empathy for those suffering is a real thing and is valid, but sometimes we need to be around something positive for a change especially if it helps us grow and realize our own aptitudes.
Then what if we went even one more step further and when someone gives us a compliment we don’t shun it and make an excuse as to why we don’t deserve it? Why can’t we just say, “Thank you” and let it be? After all, this is how someone else sees you. If this is what they see, this is what you are for them. Let it be.
I think once we allow ourselves to grow from a place of positive reinforcement, we become what we desire and what we are meant for. Negativity only births resentment and makes us recoil.
It is time for us to think of ourselves in a positive light and to let that light shine.
Two of the most powerful words.
For what you put after them shapes your reality.
– Bevan Lee