How to Stop Negative Self Talk That Sabotages Your Business Growth

By Kimberley Borgens

Self-talk can show up in both positive and negative forms. Most often we pay more attention to the negative self-talk and rarely hear ourselves give that positive cheer.

The times when you do a fist wave “yes” because you reached a good goal, got a new client, and accomplished an important task. You did it! You do a momentary celebration with some positive self-talk and then brush it off and move to the next thing. Do you dwell on that positive? Does that keep you up at night? Does it make you feel bad because you achieved that? No! But when something doesn’t go well, you didn’t yet achieve that goal or that potential client said no to your offer you dwell on it, let it keep you up, and will go over it many times trying to figure out where you went wrong.

The truth is you are the one who gets to decide if something was positive or negative. You have the power to change your feelings about what just happened.

Example: I have worked with many clients on this little thing I call the “100 No’s”. I have a handout that I give to clients who have a hard time following up with people because they don’t want to be rejected or told no when they follow up. With this form, they get to practice following up with people and celebrate every time they get a no or feel rejected by a potential client/customer. Helping my clients change their beliefs about what is right or wrong in business.

Many times negative self-talk comes from comparing yourself to other people and other businesses. But are you comparing yourself fairly?

How frequently are you comparing yourself to others?

You know the talk that you are hearing in your head.

In business you might be hearing:

  • Not smart enough
  • Don’t know enough
  • Can’t do it right
  • Can’t get the sale
  • No one trusts me
  • No one can afford me
  • No one has the money

Personally, maybe you are hearing:

  • Not skinny enough
  • Not strong enough
  • Not talented enough
  • Not pretty enough
  • Not disciplined enough
  • Not brave enough

Are you getting caught in this cycle of “Not Enough”?

I am a successful and powerful businesswoman! I have accomplished many things in life and have learned many lessons. I have moved up in business and have some wonderful personal relationships. Yet I still sometimes go to the not enough thoughts. Not enough time, help, or enough skills in technology to do that is what will come to my own mind.

The question I would put out is this “What scale are you measuring yourself on?” Are you comparing yourself to the hope of perfection? (I have a mini-course on perfection if you need that one busted up.) Are your successes rarely enjoyed? Do you constantly have the drive that you must do or be better? Do you see something that you did not do well as a failure and then focus on that?

If you have given 100 percent of your skill and knowledge to a project and when it is complete you look back and see what could have been done differently how do you treat yourself?

You can look back and decide that the job you did was only 97% worth and the 3% that you didn’t put in or was distracted for is what you focus on as not enough or maybe even a failure.

Have you allowed the influence of others to determine who you are or “should” be?

Negative self-talk comes from past lessons. Things you may have heard in your youth and interpreted in your youth create a negative effect and it is showing up in your adulthood.

Is now the time for you to start comparing yourself fairly?  The next time you get in the mood to compare… Stop and see what scale we are using. The scale that your parents set for you? The scale did your teacher, preacher, or mentor set for you? When you are feeling like you are not enough ask what scale are you using? Maybe it is the perfect scale that you are using unfairly because perfection in human beings does not really exist!

How do you stop the Negative Self Talk?

Start by paying attention more the positive self-talk.

Begin listing your achievements and if you have the need to compare them to others then compare them to people who are the same age, social background, culture, and who have learned the same lessons in the same ways as you! Oh, Wait! There is no one else like you!

If you are comparing your physical beauty to someone else that does not live in your body or your lifestyle? You can’t make that comparison either.

Notice the negative comparisons you place on yourself and how much energy you put into worrying about them. If you were to release that energy and put it somewhere more productive where would you put it? In your relationships with your spouse, kids, friends, or at work, your business? How about putting all that on yourself? You are as smart as you are. You will make mistakes and it is a positive when you are willing to learn from those mistakes. Do not hold back the real you from playing full out because you do not see yourself as enough!

Some things to think about and journal on could be:

  • Is it possible to accept me and treat myself in a loving and compassionate manner, regardless of my accomplishments or lack of accomplishments?
  • When did I decide I was not enough and why?
  • Do I need to be outstanding, special, or unique?
  • Am I looking to prove something? And if so, to whom?
  • Why do I think failing at something transforms me into being a failure?
  • What would my life be like with a fair comparison?
  • Can I be satisfied with the progress, not perfection?

How do you stop the negative self-talk that sabotages your business growth? You make an effort to listen for positive self-talk. You shift your thinking to what would better serve you and focus on the lessons you are learning. You practice getting no’s so you can let go of the old belief that no means you are not enough. And you put conscience focus on what is going well for you each and every day. That is why some people will do a gratitude journal each day. Go to bed with the positives in your day as your last thoughts and those negatives will be less likely to keep you awake.

Final thought: Did you know that the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart by the age of 12 was more successful by any standard in music composition. Mozart spoke 15 languages and composed numerous major pieces of music, including an opera. He was still a child! I would not want to compare myself to that!

Kimberley Borgens

About the author

Kimberley Borgens was married at 18, a mother at 19, and divorced at 20, she has journeyed from being a single mom on welfare to recognizing her strengths, fighting for what she believes in, and successfully building 5 thriving businesses with hundreds of employees and million-dollar budgets. Kimberley is a speaker, business mentor, and coaches her clients to transform their small business into a thriving business. Kimberley is living her own legacy as she inspires and motivates women to be fearless, become more like a CEO of their business and life, and enjoy the freedom they've dreamed of. She knows what it's like to start from nothing and build a strong solid business and she can help you too.

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