With International Women’s Day on our doorstep, it’s timely to reflect on the collective progress we’ve made in disruptive global change.
From movements like #metoo sparking a cultural global moment to leading brands cutting ties with politicians, directors, photographers and brand ambassadors who have been named and shamed in allegations of sexual harassment, women are stepping up and being heard.
This confidence to step up is indicative of a bravery mindset, reflective of the internal dialogue, or the thought patterns, that we empower ourselves with. These thoughts are both conscious and subconscious and form our actions and attitudes and can also be the reason for underlying stress, anxiety and negative self talk. These thoughts can be the enemies robbing us of joy and the very basis of why we lash out, indulge to excess and sabotage ourselves along with the internal stories and justifications we wrap around ourselves, to soothe and comfort.
Our view of the world is created by these “internal stories” or the mental dialogue, running through our minds. This can often steer into the territory of being ‘good enough’, or being ‘worthy’. It can be about our abilities as capable mothers, wives and girlfriends, or about being smart enough or belonging. Our inner voice can often be critical and judgmental, recalling stinging comments from our youth or unwarranted observations over the course of our lives that often belittle and try to make us feel ridiculous and not ‘good enough.’
Studies show that we, as women, routinely underestimate our competence, compared to males of the same level of experience. This thought process, which is easy to fall victim to, damages our confidence and self-efficacy and threatens our future successes. When we repetitively have these critical thoughts of incompetence, of falling into a comparison trap, or of not feeling worthy, we are signalling these exact messages as affirmations, which then become hardwired in our brain – just like brushing our teeth or tying our shoelaces. We don’t necessarily realise we’re engaging in these thoughts and in turn, we’re unknowingly turning them into our beliefs.
Our thoughts are a powerful insight into our future. When I see the journey my clients take, in taking control of their mental blocks and negative thought patterns after years of trying to address their stress and anxiety, I see them gain confidence and control over their health. They may have, like many of us, the information on how to reduce their stress, or how to lose weight and what to eat, yet they find that it’s in fact their thoughts, that “internal dialogue”, often subconscious, that is holding them back in implementing positive change. When we address these mental blocks and triggers in what’s actually stopping us, we create an empowered state to be able to ingrain strong habits and behaviours around our individual health and wellbeing goals. This is the key to real, fundamental long term success.
Here are my Top 3 Tips this #IWD to #pressforprogress and Stop our Thoughts From Holding Us Back;
1. Practice Positivity
Practicing positive self talk rather than constant negative observations, criticisms and comments re-wires our brain in a way that shifts our mentality to a much more positive one. Ways we can do that is whenever we have a negative thought creep in, such as “I’m not good enough”, replace it with a positive affirmations like “I am worthy and deserve this”. It’s also powerful to sit with that original negative thought of “I’m not good enough” for a brief moment, pause and reflect on why you might think that. Using a positive psychology framework, my clients build on their own strengths and self awareness and experience the effects of being less anxious, much more positive, confident and satisfied with their lives.
2. Fear Blasting
Many of our thoughts come from a place of instinctual fear that the brain has been wired for to historically keep us safe from predators. Now in our modern society, unwarranted fear can hold us back from doing the things we love and deserve to experience. The Philosopher Seneca, practiced a sort of ‘fear mongering’ exercise where he would identify his biggest fear and act it out over a period of time. This can be a useful exercise to identify for yourself what that fear would look like, and how we can prevent it from happening. We can find that this practice of ‘unpacking’ the fear by deconstructing it down to it’s basic elements, takes away it’s power.
3. Be Guided By Your Strengths and Values
It helps to recognise our own strengths as these will guide us to what comes naturally and effortlessly. By guiding ourselves with our unique values in the daily situations we encounter, we are living from a place of authenticity and integrity and in turn, are more aware of our deeper purpose and intrinsic value. By identifying my client’s strengths and values, they gain a much stronger understanding and self awareness of themselves and what makes them not just survive on auto-pilot, going through the motions of life, but THRIVE!
Create your empowered future this International Women’s Day with the help of a fully Certified Health Coach in my 4 Week ‘Happy Tummy, Happy Mind’ Health Coaching Program. And to celebrate I’m giving away one FREE spot! If you would like to deal with your mental triggers around nutrition, anxiety, stress and frustration enter for FREE below. Entries close this Sunday 11 March at 12am AEST and winner will be notified via email at 12PM Monday 12 March AEST.