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Research indicates that when you're down and out and force yourself to say positive things to yourself, you end up feeling worse.
Using possible thinking involves reaching for neutral thoughts about the situation and naming the facts. "I'm a fat cow" becomes "I'd like to lose 10 pounds. I know how to do it. " The facts give you a lot more choices and directions you can go in.
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Self-criticism often leads us to catastrophize minor issues. When negative thoughts intrude, take a few deep breaths, then narrow it down and imagine yourself putting it into the smallest box possible.
Decrease self-talk by imagining what someone you trust would say to you about it. Or if you use the same wording you use to self-criticize to criticize a friend in the same situation.
A simple semantic tweak can actually change your outlook. Instead of telling yourself, "I'm not good at this, I can’t do it," train yourself to say, "I think I may not do it. "
Slow down self-criticism by questioning your initial thoughts. The more follow-ups you ask yourself, the more you dilute the shameful moment.
Naming it something goofy adds a bit of levity, which helps break through the emotional hold that anxiety has on you. Over time, this short circuits the whole anxious cycle.
Shame works better if we keep it secret. So find the courage to do the counterintuitive thing and tell someone what happened -- invariably those conversations end with laughter.
It's freeing and relaxing to stop holding yourself to insanely high standards. Success overwhelmingly requires failure and perseverance, not perfection.
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One best motivates oneself, while in distress.
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