The Power of Self-Talk

One of the most powerful ‘tools’ you can use is that of self-talk; this is where you talk to yourself as if it were a friend, family member, or coach.  Self-talk allows you to hear perspectives from an outside source.

Self-talk can be done in both the positive and the negative. From a positive perspective, you can say affirmational words, such as ‘I rock’ or ‘I am extremely talented.’ Tony Robbins says to look yourself in a mirror and repeat ‘you are beautiful’ so those words ‘stick’ in your mind and reinforce positive patterns.

Self-talk on the negative side is when you challenge any negative, or derogatory, words or thoughts you are saying to yourself.  Dr. Daniel Amen says to talk to yourself as if a teenager would: “you’re really going to say that you aren’t good enough – remember the time when……..” Disrupting negative patterns will stop this behavior.

However, it’s not enough to stop a negative thought as we need to replace it with a positive. From a neuroscientist perspective, we need three positive thoughts to override one negative which is why the positive words need to come. Consistency is what give mastery, so the more you keep saying positive thoughts the more you will maintain positive habits.

Living in the right side of our brain is what creates a more satisfied and happier life, where you will take risks and move towards your goals and dreams.  Being creative through your passions or coming up with ideas, living in peace and love all elevate your mood and outlook. While you may have adversity, you won’t look at them as doom and gloom but as what they are, which will allow you to find solutions to deal with them and to let them go.

I’ve had clients who have used this technique and find their outlook as happier; they feel less-stressed and calmer. Those annoying co-workers may just be having a bad day vs ignoring them, or getting angry; family members who have hurt us in some way can now be viewed as hurting themselves so their actions are not taken as an attack; past failures can now be forgiven and new resolves to learn from them as the norm.

Self-talk is a powerful tool to use to delete negative patterns and to override fears you have.  An important step is to reinforce new behaviors you’ve developed so when you find yourself in a situation where you are holding back, you can remember a past success.

Our brains tend to hold onto negative thoughts, which then become predictors for the future; using self-talk to challenge that fear, and then remembering a past success, is what will move your forward. For example: as a child, do you remember when you were learning how to ride a bike? You started off with training wheels but then your parent said it’s time to take them off and ride without them; you may have said no, or cried when it was time, because it was scary and you didn’t want to fall. However, you did- but then you got up and tried again and again and, maybe, again, until you got it right.

When you want to learn a new task, and you don’t think you can, go back and remember your experience of learning to ride a bike but the success you had; self-talk comes into play “See, you can do it – you didn’t think you could but you did.” This will change your whole outlook to move you in the direction you want to go.

Start today to use self-talk when you feel challenged and see how it positively impacts your life.  Write down your new achievements as ‘proof’ – you will now be able to work off of them, as your self-efficacy and confidence increases , and to move you through fears that may arise.

Getting Through the Holidays Productively

We are now officially in the throes of the holiday season- parties, baking and buying gifts have now become the focus of many, with holiday parties on the horizon.  How do you get through the holidays productively?


These next couple of weeks can be a time of distraction for many. Finding the balance between keeping your performance high at work with enjoying the holidays can be challenging but, with some planning along with a good mindset you can sail through the holidays (and keep your sanity, too).

Make a list of all you think you need to do in the next couple of weeks: list it all – baking, shopping wrapping gifts, parties, travel plans (if going away) , as well as work tasks you have to get done. Don’t leave anything out (includes paying bills, cleaning house, taking the kids to activities, etc.).

Prioritize the list: now it’s time to give priority to the tasks you’ve listed; some suggestions include working backwards from the due date as this will help you to know exactly what is on the to-do list for each day; another would be to give an A-B-C rating (i.e. A- within 1-2 weeks; B – two weeks -1 month; C – longer).

Get out your calendar: plug in each activity on your calendar, whichever is your preference – physical planner, phone app, whiteboard, computer and the like.  Also set times in your schedule, as well as a timer to remind you of due-dates.

Check your mindset: you can either look at your “to-do’s” as an enjoyable part of the holidays or as chores that have to get done; mindset can determine how you make it through these next weeks. Stress can take it’s toll if allowed: good stress (eustress) can motivate you to get the list done or it can keep you down. Be sure to practice mindfulness practices, such as deep breathing or meditative practices, exercise, journaling, gratitude, and the like. Put on some Christmas music or movies to lift your spirits and keep you in the holiday mood.

Mindset will be your best friend, both at home and at work.  Begin each day with a gratitude statement and a determination for how you want your day to go. I’m not sure why it seems the holidays set off the stress alarm but, with some planning and a positive attitude, you can make it through merrily!

Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! or

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you and your family a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving. May your day be filled with fun times with family and friends, and relaxation. Enjoy your day!

If They Tell You No – Go Make Your Own

I love Cinderella stories; you know, the ones where an underdog makes it big in some way. Watching Dancing with the Stars last night, one of those emerged that I think those who own businesses, or want to, can take a lesson from.

The second runner-up was Lindsey Sterling,  a violin player who combines movement and dance in her act. What is really compelling is her story of how she became an ‘act.’ She said that she wanted to be a dancer but also liked to play the violin; her parents couldn’t pay for both so she stayed with the violin. But, as she got into her teen years, she fell into a depressive state and had an eating disorder; she gave up playing the violin.

But, once she got healthy, she picked it back up again and decided to add movement while playing. She auditioned for America’s Got Talent but was told she wasn’t good enough, and that her act would not attract people; a judge said her act was too ‘out there.’ She felt very discouraged.

However, she said that she remembered YouTube and decided to leap into making a video of her playing, which was quite a production, and gained over 200,000 views on her first one. Thus, a star was born. She puts on shows all over the world and now, Dancing with the Stars, which she almost won.

I think there are some lessons in here that we all can use:

  •  while life is not always kind, and there will be challenges, you can always pick yourself up and move on
  • people will criticize and reject you but it’s what you think that matters the most; Lindsey said that she had to learn to love herself first before she could love others, which included her violin
  • you can make lemonade out of lemons, just as Lindsey did; when she was told ‘no’ on the big stage, she went and created a video her way. She did not allow a rejection to keep her down
  • being true to who you are will attract people to you; Lindsey embraced her ‘quirkiness,’ of which millions of people find attractive, paying to buy here CD’s and attend her shows

I have to admit that I’ve never heard of Lindsey Sterling until recent weeks, as she was not on the radar for me as a dancer; but, the more time went on, the better she got and her performances were over the top. When she related her story, I became a fan.  Her story is inspiring and shows that following your own path can lead to greatness.

Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! or Visit our other blog at https://cysoaching .com or


6 Ways to Deal With a Disrespectful Employee

Do you know how to deal with a coworker or, worse yet, an employee who is disrespectful to you? This would be an employee who feels they can:

  • yell
  • withhold needed information
  • make ‘snarky’ comments
  • refuse to acknowledge you

The workplace today is stress-filled, as workers are dealing with more tasks which are leading to longer hours. It’s also filled with very differing personalities, each with their own perceptions, expectations, and way of working. Putting some of these differing personalities together can be a recipe for disaster.

But does this give someone the right to intrude on others, either in their actions or words? If we entertain that the disrespectful employee is dealing with a personal problem, perhaps an ill family member or having financial difficulties,  it could lead to such behavior. After all, each of us deals with our stressors differently.

However, this does not justify such bad behavior. So how do you deal with an employee who exhibits one of the behaviors listed earlier? Here are some tips for doing so:

  • Document the behavior: remember the rule “if it wasn’t written, it didn’t happen,” so keep a record of the situations as they occur, including:  the day/date, time of day, place occurred, the issue involved, and who else was an observer. Look at the situation from an outsider’s perspective to ‘see’ the bigger picture; we won’t see it when we’re thinking off emotion.
  • Communication is the best route, but when you (as the boss) are calmer; have the employee come to your office to discuss the events as they occurred and to hear their side of the story, asking what led to their adverse behavior (not why), which can uncover the basis for it.
  • Set rules and boundaries: reiterating and reinforcing workplace expectations and policies for insubordination will put the worker on notice, so to speak, so it is mutually understood that there will be repercussions if the adverse behavior occurs again.  Give the employee clear expectations for how they will make improvements, but include them in this plan and, then, have them sign it.
  • Find out what the employee needs to improve in their work to see if you can provide them; for example, if the employee has an ill family member at home then can you allow a staggered shift which would allow help to take over; can the employee take a break if they are feeling at the breaking point. You may not be able to accommodate them but trying goes a long way to feeling cared about.
  • You can refer the employee to seek formal counseling, through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) your organization contracts with; this can be either formally or informally, meaning that you can recommend them to go or make it mandatory. Both have differing workings as well as expected outcomes. The other option is to put them on formal Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), with formal steps that goes through your Human Resources (HR) department.
  • Be emotionally intelligent (EI)  – you don’t have to respond how the employee might be drawing you in to; you also need to check your own behavior and attitude towards that employee as you may be treating him or her differently or coming across defensive.

Dealing with workplace behaviors is never easy but it needs to be done; remembering that emotions come into play when adverse behaviors occur will go a long way to curbing them, but it also includes being empathetic and setting good boundaries. After all, other employees are being affected in some way, as well so stopping this type of behavior should never be tolerated, and it ends with you.