You are sitting in the meeting with the managers discussing how to move forward with a project. The boss turns to you and asks your opinion. You hear yourself say it before you even realize the words coming out of your mouth. “I know this is a dumb idea, but…”

Words have power. Adding a diminutive to your verbiage can undercut the confidence you want to portray in the work place. The words in your head, that daily monologue that we all carry around can, over time, affect how we view ourselves. As much as we believe we are keeping those negativities to ourselves, negative self-talk can ultimately affect how others view us as well.

Our internal words and thoughts will manifest themselves outwardly, regardless of how hard we try to hide them. The first step towards changing this dynamic is to first be aware of the negative self-talk. If one truly believes their ideas are not worth sharing, or their contribution is not important, then others will perceive that as well. Being aware of the internal negativity is a start.

Think of your passive aggressive neighbor or that snarky co-worker. Do you let them treat you the way you treat yourself? If someone else is using bullying language towards you, you would walk away. Do the same for yourself. When you catch your mind spinning into the negative spiral of “not good enough” give yourself an affirmation phrase. Answer the thought with a counter. “They hired me for a reason. She asked my opinion for a reason. I deserve to be here.”

Think about your job interview or your resume. These are the moments in which one must highlight one’s accomplishments, where one must truly put forward one’s best presentation. Do this every day. Give yourself the same treatment you would to a good friend. Stand up straight. Look people in the eye. It may feel strange at first, but as you make adjustments to your inner monologue, the differences will begin to manifest in your outer life. Positive self-talk may seem like a small detail, but once you believe your own self-worth, others will start to believe it as well.

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