Working Girl How-To: Banishing Negative Self-Talk


That Working Girl Can we all just be real for a moment? Negative self-talk is one of the things that I struggle with most, and have always fought long and hard to overcome. I've slowly come to accept that I err on the side of being Type-A, which brings with it a slew of quirks – perfectionism, the constant urge to overachieve, and incessantly pushing to be "better."

This has become exhausting.

However, I know I'm not alone. Over the years that I've connected with hundreds of talented and amazing ladies through That Working Girl, I've come to learn that a lot of us our pushing ourselves to the limit and not reaping much satisfaction due to negative self-talk and the never-ending pursuit of perfection.

After thinking over this repetitive behavior, I've had enough. Below are three ways that I'm learning to overcome my negative self-talk and, one day at a time, banishing it for good!

Always remember – you do not equal your job. This is something I've always struggled with, for as long as I can remember. Looking back, I believe it started in college, when I viewed being the editor-in-chief of my school's newspaper as my "big job" (I mean, I was paid for it, after all!) and took pride in leading the publication. However, I let every published typo, and every little printed mistake begin to tear me down. I told myself I wasn't a good editor, which somehow snowballed into I wasn't a good leader and, heck, I wasn't event competent. I've learned that the best way to combat this is by continually reminding myself that I do not equal my work. I'm much more than what work I produce and what I achieve (or don't achieve) during my 9-to-5. Mentally move beyond your work desk and realize that you are more.

Keep a folder of happy thoughts – they help. As Emily recently mentioned in her post regarding positivity, keeping a folder in my email filled with happy thoughts is very convenient when negativity starts to pop up. Whether it's a quick note from my boss saying "good job" on a recent project or excellent feedback on a design proof, these little things help keep my thoughts and mind in perspective during the workweek.

Mistakes aren't the end of the world. All in all, I try very hard to put things into perspective – a typo most likely isn't going to get me fired. Nor will a design that doesn't get approved. Nor will one missed deadline (although I don't recommend letting this happen more than once!). We're all human, and we're prone to making mistakes – big and small. As a society, we've all fallen way too far into the trap of believe that our worth lies in our job title. Stop chasing perfection – it's simply too exhausting.

Are you going to vow to ban negative self-talk from your life today? Leave your promise in a comment below, or tweet us at @HeyWorkingGirl