Becoming your own biggest fan could be the answer to success.


Becoming your own biggest fan could be the answer to success.

I’m terrible in meetings. I hope I can do better next time. I’ve made a mistake. What will I do? I’m a failure. Life is such a struggle. I will never get through this.

Sound familiar? Let’s face it, every single one of us is guilty of worrying (a lot), doubting our abilities, putting ourselves down and focusing far too much on the negatives. But how much of this is affecting who we are and how we behave in everyday life?

One thing I often forget is this; I am in control of who I want to be.

No matter what happens around me, I am in control of the level it affects me and how I choose to handle it. The things I consistently tell myself shapes who I am. So that leads to the question, why do I put myself down so much? Would I ever tell a friend that everyone is judging them because they handled a situation terribly? Of course not, so why do I tell myself that?

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Over the past six months I made the decision to stop focusing on the negatives about myself, stop the self-criticism and become more encouraging.

I’m no expert on the subject and there are of course plenty of self help books that guide you through the process, but I wanted to share one technique that has been most effective for me and is something I’ve found I can use for any situation…

Talking to myself.

Sounds strange? I thought the same when I first started trying it. But here’s an example of something that you might think to yourself:

I’ve made a mistake. What will I do? I’m a failure.

How about I change this to:

I’ve made a mistake. I’ll handle it. It’s a learning opportunity. Next time I’ll do this differently.

Many argue that repeating certain words and phrases is the most effective way to train your self-conscious mind to believe it - so the more times I repeat a positive thought, the likelihood is that it’ll stick. However this isn’t easy and takes consistent practice. I’ve tried numerous times to say phrases in the morning, lunch and evening but keeping the habit is difficult. Plus, it’s not something you can see immediate results from.

One thing that I find works better for me is talking in second person, like I’m talking to a friend. For example, before I go to sleep I usually reflect on the next day and say something like:

‘Emma you are going to complete this task tomorrow and once that’s finished you’ll feel accomplished.’

I actually used this method to get me through my first half marathon just over a week ago.

I was nervous and worried about whether I’d achieve the finish time I’d set myself. I struggled with training, the furthest I’d run was 10 miles, and in every single session I had to stop and walk at least once.

Guess what happened on the day? I ran the whole race and didn’t stop once - I couldn’t quite believe it. The atmosphere and crowd played a huge part of course, but the key thing for me was my own self encouragement. After every mile I said to myself the following things:

‘You’re doing great Emma.’

‘That mile was easy, you’ll smash the next one.’

‘Keep it up, don’t stop, I’m so proud of you’.

‘Think of that post-race prosecco, you’ve got this!

It may sound a little strange but during the race I was my own biggest fan, and it worked!

Consistency is key. Only now can I look back and see a clear difference to who I was a year ago. The irritating negative voice does still pop up in my head. But by putting in a small bit of practice each day, whether that’s changing those ‘I hopes’ to ‘I will’ or saying a positive sentence to start the day, becoming my own biggest fan has been my best decision yet.