Ashley is a certified transformational coach on a mission to share the power of coaching with anyone who is ready to get into the driver’s seat of their life and create positive change. Here she shares with us a few answers to questions asked from our community on IG.
How important is self talk in creating positive change and propelling forward? Any tools to do that? It sounds easier said than done.
This is one of my favourite topics because so many of us struggle with negative self-talk and were never shown how to practically manage it. The way you speak yourself is fundamentally important in helping you to create positive changes in any area of your life. Our minds can become riddled with limiting beliefs and unhelpful commentary when we begin to consider stepping outside of our comfort zone and making changes in our lives. I like to refer to the negative voice in our minds as our inner critic which can be the source of self-doubt, lowered self-esteem, even shame and sadness. The good news is that when you become aware of the way you’re speaking to yourself, you can begin to challenge your limiting beliefs and gradually begin to change them. Try this exercise to help get your mind working for you instead of against you so you can do more of the things you want to do and start creating changes in your life.
Example situation: There’s a speaking or presenting opportunity at work - something you’ve always wanted to get better at.
Identify the limiting belief: I shouldn’t do it, I’m terrible at public speaking/presenting.
Notice how that belief feels: sadness, low confidence, shame.
Challenge the belief: Does it help me to think this way? If not, what is a different, but more helpful way of looking at this?
Reframe: This is a huge growth opportunity for me and every mistake, every experience is an opportunity to grow in my career and as a person.
Notice how this new belief feels: I feel lighter, more excited and less pressure to be perfect.
How do you let go of limiting beliefs that make you play small and doubt yourself?
I think almost all of us struggle with this to a certain degree and before we can start letting the limiting beliefs go, it’s important to investigate the beliefs further.
I would recommend answering the following questions either by writing down your thoughts, thinking about it, or talking outloud to yourself (the latter can be strangely powerful).
Where or when in your life do you notice yourself playing small?
Another way to look at playing small is the fear of being seen and not being enough. What am I afraid of people seeing?
When you feel yourself playing small, what are the underlying beliefs or stories you’re telling yourself?
Limiting beliefs are often a response to a past experience that creates the belief, the voice of a key figure in your life who may have been critical or hurtful in some way in the past, or an unhelpful narrative we’ve been fed in our society. Where do you think your limiting belief comes from?
What do you miss out on and what does the world or your community miss out of by holding onto this belief about yourself?
What could this situation or your life in general look like if you didn’t hold this belief?
What’s a different, but more helpful belief that you could begin to practice thinking?
What are 3 bite size disciplines I could do everyday that would help me to dream and visualize what new possibilities could be.
I want to first say that there’s no right or wrong here, and you may have to experiment a little bit with what practices or disciplines truly help your mind to expand into new possibilities. Some of these can be done daily, but I think when it comes to dreaming and visualization we want to make sure it doesn’t feel like a rigid to-do list but rather a pressure-free, creative process. Here are a few different ideas that have been extremely helpful both for me personally and for my clients.
Write down your thoughts. If you’re not a journaller this might take some getting used to but just 5-10 minutes a day of letting your mind wander and dream can be powerful. Free writing can be powerful, but if that feels challenging at first here are a few prompts you can use:
What would your ideal day look like?
What have you always wanted to do?
What would you do if I knew you wouldn’t fail?
What do you want to be remembered for?
What lights you up? What brings your energy down?
What did I love doing as a kid I’ve stopped doing or forgotten about?
Who inspires me?
Give your mind space to wander and think about possibilities throughout your day. We are constantly filling empty space in our lives with social media, music, podcasts, TV, work, texting etc. When we’re waiting in line somewhere, walking somewhere, doing the dishes, so many of us turn to our phones or some sort of new input. We don’t give our minds the space to just daydream. I think that’s why people say they have “shower thoughts” or that all their creative ideas come to them when they try to go to sleep because often that’s the first time we’ve allowed ourselves to hear our own thoughts and ideas during the day. Reflect on what you’ve discovered by writing down your thoughts.
Look out and listen for the little nudges from life that you feel pulled towards. I think of this as wisdom or internal guidance system. I fully believe that the answers to a lot of our questions or uncertainty in life are within us. Notice what or when in your life you feel light, energized, excited and joyful. Take small steps towards the things that make you feel that ideal state of being and see what happens.