Is your self-talk holding back your ability to innovate?

Coach Consoling Dejected Football Player

We are taught from an early age to mind our language and be careful about the way we talk to other people but do you ever stop to think about how you talk to yourself?

As children we become accustomed to phrases such as:

Don’t talk to me like that.
Don’t do that.
Be careful……
Stop day dreaming – get on with your work

These are just a few of the many, many little saying sayings and phrases that we pick up and that our elders impress upon us so that we become “good” children and people.

As we grow older the words of wisdom we hear become more wide reaching in their influence. Here are just a few examples:

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst
What’s the worst that can happen?
You must manage people’s expectations
Get real!
Get down to earth
Be realistic
That’s nothing but a pipe-dream
You’ve got to live in the real world.
Don’t push the boat out too far.
Don’t go out on a limb over that.
You’ve no room to talk.
Who do you think you are?
You don’t want to do that
That’s not very practical.
Life wasn’t meant to be easy.
Nothing in life is free.
A fool and his money are soon parted.
All good things must come to an end.
All that glitters is not gold.
Beauty is only skin-deep.
Beggars can’t be choosers.
Easier said than done.
It never rains, but it pours.
Jack of all trades, master of none.
No-one’s indispensable.
The bigger they are, the harder they fall
There’s one law for the rich and another for the poor
Trust is the mother of deceit

These phrases are usually used by well meaning friends, family and associates to keep us safe, on the straight and narrow path that minimises the risk to ourselves and to some extent them.

These little sayings become part of the way in which we view the world. Especially if we hear them at an age where we are at our most impressionable and they come from the people with most influence over our lives. Parents, teachers, friends.

As we take on board these words of wisdom they become embedded in our psyche and they become a filter to the way in which we view the world.

As we grow and mature do we challenge these thoughts? Only when we come up against a situation which challenges them for us:-

A trusted supplier comes to you with a proposition to become a reseller of one of their product lines. You do all the due diligence but there’s a niggling thought at the back of your mind.

It looks too good to be true” or maybe “What’s the worst that can happen?

These are valid thoughts that serve to make sure you make informed decisions. The principles behind the rules of accountancy derive from this prudent thinking BUT if you allow these thoughts to take over they become stifling, limiting factors on your ability to grow and develop. They become brakes on your energy and drive to innovate. Because – innovation is risky and quite understandably you are mostly taught not to take risks. They are the earliest lessons you learn.

Do not underestimate the authority of your inner voice. It holds great power over your ultimate actions and the choices that you make.

The trick is to listen to it, hear its message and then question it.

The decisions you make about the future can only be based on how you see the future, your self-talk comes from the past.

The future is risky because it is going to be different to the past.

Don’t allow your self-talk to limit the way you innovate in your life, business and relationships.

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