Communication. It can build up your small business or tear it apart—the right kind of communication fuels optimism, hope, excitement, confidence, and small business growth. The wrong type of communication, well, let’s say it doesn’t paint a pretty picture of the future.
Late last week, I found myself in a critical conversation. I won’t get into the details but let’s say it was one of those chats that left me feeling deflated. If it weren’t for a tiny detail, I would have hung up the phone or walked out on the conversation. But, instead, I was in a passionate exchange with myself. Egads!
Have you ever had one of those conversations? You tell yourself everything you did wrong, point out all your faults, and whine about what’s not possible. But, of course, you have!
The words we say to ourselves are more damaging than words we exchange with others. This is because self-talk changes the way we see ourselves. It influences our performance, shapes our perception, and impacts our future.
The Science Behind Self-Talk
As many would believe, self-talk isn’t just a bunch of mumbo jumbo. Instead, from a neuroscience perspective, it shapes our internal modeling.
Ethan Kross, a psychologist from the University of Michigan, recently released a study in which pronouns used by people when they spoke to themselves silently – inside their brain – were researched. His findings were astonishing.
“What we find,” Kross says, “is that a subtle linguistic shift — shifting from ‘I’ to your name — can have potent self-regulatory effects.”
During his study, Kross had “nonfamous” people (i.e., you and I) divided into two groups. One group used the pronoun “I” as they prepared for a presentation; the other group used their name as if speaking in the third person as they prepared to talk.
The results were terrific. Those who used “I” in their inner monologue were much more critical of themselves and their ability to perform well. However, those using their name were much more supportive and encouraged how well they would do with their presentation.
Words Matter in a Mental Monologue for Your Small Business Growth
We all know negative self-talk contributes to stress. But, it’s a high price to pay. It affects our sleep, impacts our eating, interferes in our relationships, and grinds our business motion to a standstill.
If we don’t feel valuable to ourselves, we won’t benefit our clients. You may never realize your full potential the personal oration begins to change.
Start by monitoring your inner monologue—tune in to what you say to yourself. Change the dial. Speak to yourself as you speak to others, and have others speak to you. Develop different – and better – phrases to replace the ones used. And, by all means, know when to “zip it” when the conversation with yourself turns negative.