Be kind to yourself with positive self-talk. Productivity is often sliced in half because of time wasted on the ought tos and what ifs. This kind of thinking comes from worrisome conjectures distracted by past negative experiences. Daniel G. Amen offers a great read in Change Your Brain, Change Your life where he talks about his acronym for those nasty gremlins, ANTS (Automatic Negative Thoughts). When we understand our ANTs, we can appreciate how to reframe thinking so our actions can propel instead of inhibit our intentions.

Digging a bit deeper into the ANTS (Automatic Negative Thoughts) Danny Amen advises that an important tool for therapeutic self-talk is to be aware of your compound negative thoughts. Just like one or two ants are not going to bother you, a discovery of twenty plus ants can cause alarms to set off. He then identifies several ANT hills.

See if you recognize a couple of his examples.

#1. All or Nothing. Everything is black and white. If a baseball player strikes out, he may think he is the worst player ever, rather than thinking, the elite athletes make errors all the time; they learn from their mistakes. “If I work on that swing, I know I can get better at it.” Our thoughts impact our physical responses. Amin points out how the polygraph uses body reactions to assess the truths people are thinking. A more positive approach to your craft allows your body to relax and make corrections by believing you can improve.

#2. “Always” thinking.If my spouse is irritable with me, he/she is always yelling at me.” Or thoughts like, “No one every calls me”. Words such as always, never, every time, everything, etc., limit realistic possibilities that offer positive outcomes. Considering why your spouse might have been upset, allows you to reframe your tone and language next time so you can control a more positive outcome. And are you really telling yourself, no one ever calls?.

#3. Mind reading: The ANTs convince you the other person has a negative impression of you when the truth is that person might have had a personal issue going on when they corresponded with you. It is possible whatever tone, reaction you received had nothing to do with you at all, or that person’s impression of you.

Language matters and impacts our ability to process our physical and emotional outcomes. Reframing gives you permission to consider a fresh perspective. Kill the ANTs with acceptance of what a different lens might show. If you can use some Coaching on how to gain a fresh perspective on your ability to be more productive with positive self-talk, click on the link here: