Reframing Negative Self-Talk

This post is going to be a quick and simple one, and describes another tool which I gave to Callum when we did some coaching on the weekend.

As a beginner/intermediate, it can turn into a depressing time on the street if you let your negative self-talk get to you. That’s why you should identify the cues that lead to you thinking those things. For Callum, it was the sentence “my problem is that…” I hoped that by calling it out he would notice it more himself and let him insert that wedge between the thought and actually thinking it.

Once you identify the cue, you should then listen to the thoughts you have which are holding you back: “she’s not giving me enough signal,” “I’m not warmed up yet,” etc. Anything that holds you back from taking action where you really think you should. To note, though, I’m not saying you should be approaching non-stop, 24/7; this is moreso in those 50/50 cases where as you’re umming and ahhing and she’s getting away. In the long run by not pursuing the 50/50s you’re leaving money on the table with girls who would like you but just didn’t give you a strong signal to approach.

Now that you know the negative things you say to yourself, get out a pen and paper, and write down the self-talk, but reframed in a positive light, as if it was part of your identity already. For example, if you’re someone who struggles with AA and takes a long time to do their first set, you might write down (and physically writing it down is very important): “I am the type of person who approaches within the first 15 minutes of every session” or “I am the type of person who does the first set he sees.” I got this idea from the Charisma Myth (post earlier this week).

Let it lie for a week then come back to review your progress. For anything which is a recurring issue, rewrite the affirmation. This sounds cheesy, but really that’s what it is – an affirmation – so let’s not beat around the bush. I find that by focusing on straightforward actions and behaviours you can get away from the cringeworthy image of someone looking into the mirror and chanting “I am a ten” and will actually find this to be effective.

As always, with techniques such as these, they only hold as much power as you give them. So suspend your disbelief for less than five minutes and give it a go.

Yours unfaithfully,

Thomas Crown

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