”You can’t do that”
”It will never work for you”
”You know you are just fooling yourself”
Our self talk can be very mean, harsh and energy-draining. It’s often so that we speak harder to ourselves than to another person. Ever paid attention to how the mean and critical thoughts in your head sound?
Many people don’t pay attention to the quality of their thoughts, many just obey them as truth. There seems to be an invisible law that says: Everything you think is the truth and you need to do what it says!
Am I right?
A very wise man, Björn Natthiko Lindeblad is a fellow speaker colleague and friend of mine. He was a very successful business man in his early years when he got fed up with his life and decided to become a Monk instead. He lived as a Monk for about 17 years contemplating life and meditated to find his truth. Since a while he is back living in Sweden and now married to his wife Elisabeth. He travels around the country inspiring thousands of people with his messages. Roughly a year ago he was diagnosed with ALS and decided to make a last speaker-tour around Sweden with his speech ”Keys to freedom”.
Why am I telling you this?
Well, it’s essential for this blog post’s purpose. To give you an insight on how to trade self doubt for self empowerment.
Björn sold out his tour several times and tens of thousands of people came from far to watch the humble and wise business man gone from a monk to successful aspiring leader of self development. Björn is truly astonishing and his messages are no less. I attended the full auditorium of 600 people and sat down with excitement and expectations of a night to remember.
I’ve studied presentation technique and heard hundreds of times how important it is to move around the stage, work with your body language and time it with your messages to reach maximum impact. The rules of techniques are imprinted in me. If I don’t nail it myself meanwhile speaking I critically think: ”Carro, when will you finally get it?” ”how can you be so bad!”
I was used to these mean thoughts and politely listen to their every move.
There I was in the auditorium watching Björn, and he didn’t move around at all. He comfortably sat down in the chair placed mid stage, crossed his leg over the other and placed his hands in his lap. I sank deeper into the chair and took a deep breath. For a minute or two, I don’t know how long, the auditorium was silent and 600 people sat still as rocks.
For a bit more than two hours Björn sat in his chair and talked to us. He didn’t move around the stage like I’ve learnt, he didn’t move his arms and hands in different directions to ”give life" to his stories and to reach maximum impact.
It wasn’t needed. If he would have done that he most probably would have ruined it all! The moment was so full by itself because it was filled by one thing only, presence.
Presence of clarity, presence to lead, presence to say what your heart wants to tell. Not what the mind has thought or what the thoughts might be telling you to do.
Most often we run life by our mind and our thoughts. Meaning, every thought guides us in a certain direction. But what if that thought is not good but mean? What if it says: ”You can’t do that!” ”You are too young!”. We will believe it and this is not right!
I truly believe the more the thoughts are free to rule our life the harsher, mean and tough they can become. The harder it is to resist the mind's rules.
Now it’s enough. It really is. Your mind isn’t the leader. You are. The mind is supposed to support you, come up with resources, be of service when you tell it too. That’s why mental training is crucial to practice so you can be in control of your life, not the other way around. Many people suffer from self doubt and I believe it is because the mind has too much freedom to rule. It isn’t trained to be of service and to support you with what you need to learn, grow and explore.
”But wait!, my mind is harsh on me so I can grow!”
Maybe you feel this to be true, and if this is your truth I want to ask you: Is that working? Is that strategy to be so harsh on yourself working for growth? Or do you need to show up on the start line right now ready to make a decision to be in the lead with your mind as your greatest asset?
”Yeah okay … but how do I do that?”
Let’s start the simple way. During Björn’s speech he said something that will stay with me forever: do not believe everything you think.
So we will also start there: Do not believe everything you think.
When you find yourself thinking: ”You are not brave enough”Be critical to your mind and ask the question:
Can I really know that this is true?
Can I really know and be 100% sure of that this is true?
The point is to start feeling unsure of the ”right-ness” of that thought and instead start doubting it. The end response to that thought should sound something like: ”I doubt it!, I have been brave before so I will be brave now and do this”
These power questions will not only help you become the leader, but it will help you reduce self doubt and turn it in to self empowerment instead. Showing up for yourself and living your truth without being reduced by negative thoughts is the single most powerful action you can take.
You got this.