Is Your “Self-Talk” Putting You Down?

by on February 25, 2015

Is Your “Self-Talk” Putting You Down?

Young female biting her nails.I often am asked what it is I do as a coach.  While there are a number of things that I can share in terms of what the coaching process is about one of the key ones that I and other good coaches do is listen to the words of those we meet.  When listening very closely, it is common for us to hear a lot of “negative self-talk” from individuals.  That can be particularly troubling when you know the person that you are listening to is trying to accomplish a goal, (land their next job, achieve a certain grade in school, reach a certain weight target, etc.).  I’m all for being realistic in pursuit of goals.  However, when it involves putting oneself out there, needing to make connections and impress others to move forward, the last person who should be bringing up your shortcomings, is you yourself.

The largest majority of my coaching time is with those in transition, job search for the most part but also acclimation to new environments or places in which they live.  I have yet to meet a person who does not bring a number of positive attributes to any situation.  However, I have seen individuals look at a job description, have 6 of the 7 qualities wanted as part of their backgrounds and experience, yet feel their not qualified for the job because they don’t have the seventh.

As individuals, we often get the search process backwards.  We’ll look at the requirements that are listed and look to “fit ourselves to the requirements.”  That is what happens when we chase “specific openings” and don’t target “wider options.”  For example, getting back to those in job search, the focus is to encourage the searcher to develop a “marketing plan” of themselves and what they offer.  The plan when done well lists the key attributes and skills they possess.  It will indicate the type of responsibilities they seek and can demonstrate the ones they are able to handle.  There is a focus on the locations they may choose to share those talents.  And, they’ll break the plan down into industries and companies that they’re targeting to contact.  Those companies are ones that ideally they know have need for such skill sets.  How do they know that?  They’ll know others work at that company possessing those talents and abilities.  They’ll have seen on the company’s website that careers in that discipline are part of what the company looks to attract and employ.  May the company have an opening at the moment?  Perhaps, they do not.  However, they’re still a target to include, because our candidate knows one never knows when an opportunity becomes available for someone with such abilities.

Yes, you may not have worked in a particular profession or role in a while.  You may not have the degree listed on the job posting.  However, do you have appropriate work experience?  Are there other companies that are more flexible, (perhaps midsize or smaller companies that will look to get to know you as a person as opposed to dismissing you right from the start)?  And, yes it can get discouraging if you appear to have to overcome greater odds than other candidates just to get an opportunity to speak to someone about your qualifications.  However, there are always those who can use your talents if you allow yourself to look hard enough to find them.

Don’t be the one talking down about yourself.  For each negative you may come up with about yourself, what is a positive that you can identify which offsets it?  What are the overall positives that you can put together about what you offer?  That is the person you should be presenting toward that goal or target you are looking to achieve.  Don’t make the judgment for another about yourself before you give yourself a chance.  Listen closely to your “self-talk” and look to make the shifts in mindset which will move you ahead.

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