This article is an excerpt from The Top 10 Traits of Highly Resilient People: Real Life Stories of Resilience Show You How to Build a Stress Resistant Personality, published with permission from the publisher.
Positive self-talk is an effective and essential tool when it comes to becoming more resilient, because it helps you to overcome the influence of your negative inner voice and your inbuilt negativity bias.
Generally speaking, we are not brought up to see ourselves as the incredible individuals we are, because growing up, we are taught to focus more on the areas where we are lacking. As children, most of us were told to ‘knuckle down’, ‘pull up our bootstraps’ and work harder. As adults, this means many of us subconsciously believe we are not good enough, a belief which is reinforced by our inner negative voice telling us stories.
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You may be an extremely positive person, but your brain will still constantly look out for potential threats to your survival, registering negatives much more quickly than positives. This makes you predisposed to feel the pain of loss far more acutely than you ever experience the joy of having the same thing. Your brain has evolved to react and learn quickly from negative experiences, whereas happy ones barely register, so you have to work harder to overcome your negative beliefs.
World leading psychiatrist and neuroscientist Dr. Daniel Amen created a wonderful approach to help his patients retrain their brain to notice more positives than negatives. Recognizing that his patients unknowingly let their Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) run rampant in their head, he created ANT therapy to help them eradicate their ANTs with positivity spray.
To stop the nasty little gremlin in our head from littering our brain with ANTs and robbing us of our confidence, we have to learn to disempower our thoughts. They have only as much power as we give them so we need to remember this and learn to catch them before they deplete us of our joy.
Reframing and recognizing that the negative thoughts are assumptions and stories is a powerful way to start disentangling from them.
The wiser part of you that knows how capable you are will support you as you start to identify and question each thought. As you do this, remember that you are like every other human. We all run stories in our heads without realizing it and this doesn’t make us failures or weak people. It is how we are wired to make sense of the world.
The types of stories you are likely to have running habitually in your head are likely to include things like:
“I’ll never be good enough for my partner.”
“I’m such a mess. I’ll never be good at anything.”
“I’m always late.”
“I’m lazy and unmotivated and there’s no point starting anything.”
None of these stories is helpful or encouraging and when a story reinforces negative feelings about yourself that are not necessarily true, they deplete your life force energy and demotivate you. These kinds of thoughts also rewrite reality because they automatically add assumptions to your experiences. Without realizing it, you may judge others based on your own erroneous thoughts, fall into rumination because you feel inferior, or create non-existent scenarios in your head.
No matter what your inner voice says, you have not failed, you are enough and you do have what it takes to build your resilience and thrive, rather than just survive. When you learn to identify, challenge and disprove your negative thoughts, you will be able to replace the voice in your head with positive, supportive and compassionate thoughts instead.
The story presented in this chapter by Joana Soares provides wonderful insights on how to replace the negative voice in the head, along with the doubtful and pessimistic thoughts with positive self-talk and an empowering mindset. Despite being the youngest author in this book, Joana possesses a level-headed wisdom that will inspire you to look at your life with fresh eyes and stay positive on your life journey.
Get your copy of the book today and start building your stress-resistant personality.
Soon you will be able to take my new resilience quiz to find out which of the 10 traits you need to build up now.