On the Power of Self-Talk

leaves-smallThink about the things you say to yourself, out loud or in your head. Would you ever speak to someone else that way?

A few months back, I attended a leadership training in which we role played a very unique scenario. First, we described a time when someone put a great deal of stress on us. Our partner role-played as that person and we were charged with first responding as we did at the time, and then responding after taking a deep breath and centering ourselves, in order to notice the difference.

negative-self-talkOne of the participants chose to have their partner act out their own thoughts. Much like myself, this person was more impacted by their own thoughts than any stress caused by another. In the exercise debrief, we talked about how it felt. The partner who had to act out this person’s self-berating was on the verge of tears. He talked about how hard it was for him to talk to her that way, how he imagined saying those things to his wife and it broke his heart. Continue reading

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On the Fears that Follow Us

the_fears_that_follow_usEveryone has them. The fears that follow you through your whole life, nagging at you incessantly through every interaction you have. For most of us, those fears don’t even look like fears anymore. They have morphed into a part of our being, we explain them away as if they are just a part of our personality, just the way we are and that can never change.

For me, that fear is being boring or, as many of the people I knew in high school and college put it, “too adult”. I know, that is very broad and probably seems like something I could change easily with a bit of effort, the right clothes and a willingness to take on new hobbies or go out to the bar more often. In reality, whether I’m boring or not, the fear is there and the fear is the thing that is hardest to get rid of. Continue reading