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Practicing Leadership: The Things You Tell Yourself…

You can’t be convinced of your capabilities in the moment if that’s the only time you reinforce them. 

I’ve never bought into journaling. Who has time?

Daily affirmations? Too woo-woo for me (and too much like the SNL sketch from years ago.)

Gratitude statements? Seems like an unnecessary thing to add to my to-do list.

Then I gave it a try. All of it.

Nothing happened, at first. I kept at it because I’m not a quitter and if I’ve decided to do something I’ll stick with it. And then I sat down to write a couple emails, ones that I’d put off for weeks because I wasn’t convinced I had the credibility to make my ask, and the things I told myself and written down every morning came back to me… Things like “I’m talented. I’ve had success with this and I’m grateful to be able to share my expertise with others.”

The emails were sent with a renewed level of confidence, and the psych yourself out moment was avoided.

Here’s what I learned: It’s amazing what happens when you tell yourself you can do something over a period of time.

Previously I thought talking yourself up was something that happened “in the moment.” For example, you’re nervous about delivering a huge presentation but you remind yourself you can do it right before you step to the front of the room. That’s not how it works. It’s a little like going through the motions and trying to make yourself feel better for a quick second.

Journaling might not be for you.

Affirmations might be to woo-woo.

Gratitude statements might seem redundant.

You don’t have to do any of those things, but do remember the results of being strategic in the conversations you have with yourself are worth it.


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