You’ll find a number of tips and expert advice when it comes to achieving your goals, but there’s a similarity at the heart of all of them: Believe in yourself.
It sounds cliched, but it’s actually easier said than done.
Whether you’re trying to write daily affirmations or adopting the baby steps approach to goal-achieving, at the core of each of these strategies is building self-confidence while being kind to yourself.
This is incredibly hard in a culture and society where people are always told they’re not good enough.
Overtly and covertly, from babyhood, we are told that we are not enough. Too fat, too thin, don’t enough money, not intelligent enough—the list is endless.
To counteract and reverse the incredible damage this can do, it’s a good idea get professional help from a mental health therapist.
Building a support network is one of the best and fastest ways to cognitive reconditioning.
Cognitive reconditioning is a daily, conscious practice.
The framework is simple: Speak kindly to yourself.
Whether this is done audibly, such as through spoken affirmations, or by changing the voice in your head, remember that it’s a constant and lifelong practice.
You’ll slip up, and that’s okay. Consider how you talk to yourself when you make a mistake or are faced with a challenge.
Do thoughts like, “I’ll never be able to do this,” or “I’m so stupid” run through your head?
Cognitive reconditioning is changing that voice and sentiment to be kind and encouraging.
Most people would never talk so horribly to a stranger, or especially a friend, as they do to themselves. But it’s a habit that’s hard to break.
The Role of Society in Cognitive Conditioning
We are conditioned to speak negatively about ourselves because of outside influences.
From abusive or neglectful relationships to the media bombarding us with what we “should” look like or be like, a single person stands little chance when it comes to maintaining a healthy self-image.
Without a healthy self-image and confidence, it’s pretty tough to achieve goals.
No matter how small or big the goal, we have to believe in our capacity to make it happen. Think about getting into college or getting a better job.
These are common goals, and it’s obvious that they require us to have a certain self-image and amount of confidence to achieve.
If we don’t believe we’ll get into the college we want, we’ll probably not work hard enough to meet the requirements.
We’ll probably not put our best efforts into the application.
In fact, we might not bother applying at all.
Cognitive reconditioning isn’t easy, and it’s not something that’s ever “completed.”
It’s changing how we speak to ourselves by making choices day after day.
For some people, this can be incredibly challenging. Mental health therapy can help us discover new avenues for changing self-speak.
This discovery process not only pinpoints what works best for us but helps us to build a support network.
When a professional is guiding you and giving you ideas and feedback, we feel like we’re not alone. Just one other person believing in this positive change can make all the difference.
The Power of Positive Self-Talk
Positive self-speak can also combat laziness and procrastination.
Many people cite these two issues as a big part of their life, and they can stem from a number of factors. However, the lack of confidence is one of them.
“Laziness” rarely means a person simply has no motivation—why don’t they have the motivation?
Perhaps they don’t believe that what they need or want to do is feasible or reasonable.
When that’s the case, it’s no wonder they simply avoid it or put it off. Changing how they perceive themselves can change the real-world outcome.
It’s a symbiotic cycle and one that we have control over.
There’s no way to avoid the negative outside influences entirely, but there are avenues to minimizing the damage.
Stop reading celebrity sites or following Instagram models that make you feel bad about yourself.
“Inspiration” in media is usually code for going to the extremes. Assess relationships and decide if they’re actually toxic.
Many relationships are maintained because of familiarity or convenience.
Ask yourself what influences in your life are actually harmful and consider options for minimizing or removing them.
From the inside out, achieving goals is possible, but it starts with a healthy foundation.
The Foundation for Positive Reconditioning
If you want to achieve your health goals, whether they’re physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual, it starts with a solid framework.
Not every “trick” will work for every person, so trial and error are necessary. However, here are a few strategies:
We’ve already trained ourselves to speak to ourselves and think of ourselves in certain ways.
However, those ways have been shaped by society and often negative influences.
We have the majority of control over how we’re conditioned as adults. If you take charge positively, it will influence every facet of your well-being.