The language you use in your thoughts (self talk) and when you speak to others holds the power for building your confidence or undermining it. Have you noticed that the little voice (ok maybe it’s a loud voice for some of you) in your head rarely stops? Did you know that that your inner voice is affected by the language you use when you are talking out loud? Did you also know that you can influence your inner voice and get it to be more supportive of you?
Yep – it’s true … your outside voice really does affect your inner voice. Your language shapes how you experience any given moment. Mind your language by being aware of often you use dis-empowering phrases will help your mind use language that builds your confidence.
Here are some examples of dis-empowering phrases that you may not be aware you are using. Some of them are very subtle. Even little things have a powerful impact on your confidence.
- “I don’t know what to do!”
- “I’m stuck.”
- “This won’t work.”
- “This is too much for me.”
- “I’ll never get this.”
Your sub-conscious mind believes everything you say – out loud or in your head. Everything you say – whether it is true or not. So, when you say either to yourself or to someone else, “I don’t know what to do”, your sub-conscious mind believes it and operates based on that belief. You will be stuck. It won’t work. It will be too much for you. And, you’ll never get it.
By changing your language to a positive statement such as “I’ll have to figure this out” you give your sub-conscious mind something to focus on that it can solve. Your sub-conscious mind loves to solve problems. It will go to work helping you figure it out so you will know what to do. You will move forward. It will work. You will be able to handle it. And you will get it.
Language isn’t just thoughts and speech. Emotions are part of our language. How do you feel when you say “I don’t know what to do”? Confused? Helpless? Incompetent? Lost? Alone? Angry? Frustrated? That’s a lot of negative emotion.
How do you feel when you say “I will figure out this out”? Hopeful. Focused. Determined. Energized. That’s much more positive.
Pay attention not only to the phrases you are using, but also the emotions you are feeling when you are talking to yourself and to others. Practice changing your language to evoke positive emotions.
Here are 5 more examples of confidence-breaking phrases and their confidence building alternatives:
“I’m afraid my horse will spook” becomes “I admit that I have a fear my horse will spook. What help can I get to work through this?”
“I hope I don’t fall apart in the show” becomes “I have prepared myself and my horse well for this show. We will do our best.”
“I can’t do what my coach wants me to do” becomes “There’s something I’m not getting yet. I can ask for more help and I can practice more. I know I will get it eventually.”
“I’ll never get these transitions right” becomes “We’ve only been working on these movements for a short time. It takes time to get them consistently.”
“I can’t afford riding lessons or training” becomes “This is something that’s really important to me. I need xx dollars. I just need to figure out a way to make that extra money.”
Whatever you change the phrase to must ring true for you. Don’t just re-phrase a negative into a positive by saying the exact opposite and then pretend everything is rosy. If you are afraid of something it’s ok to admit you are afraid. Empower yourself by saying something like “I am afraid, but I will get help”.
To build your confidence, you must be honest and realistic. State the facts and the action you can take at the same time. Mind how you feel and create a positive emotion.
Develop more awareness for how you talk to yourself and how you talk with others. Notice how often you use dis-empowering, negative phrases. Keep a journal (in a book or your favourite digital device). Record your negative talk and then re-write them into empowering phrases that build your confidence.
Mind your language and your mind will support you in building your confidence.
Share your negative language and how you are re-phrasing it in the comments below.If you would like to help spread the word about a better way to work with horses, please share this blog with 5 friends, send a Tweet or post on your Facebook page. The horses thank you. You’re welcome to use this article in your newsletter or blog as long as you include my credit information: Written by Anne Gage, Confident Horsemanship (www.annegage.com). I would also appreciate it if you’d send me a copy for my media files. Anne Gage Confident Horsemanship www.annegage.com www.facebook.com/ConfidentHorsemanshp Facebook Group – Horseback Riding Solutions with Anne Gage www.twitter.com/AnneGage