I’ve written before about the things we say to ourselves that are very bad for our confidence: “Good things never happen to me”, “I’m not good/young/old/clever/whatever enough”, “I can’t do that”, “I always fail” etc.
And I’ve told you that these things are a load of rubbish, not even true. Good things do and will happen to you, you are good/young/old/clever/everything enough to achieve the things you want in some way or another, you can do it and you wont always fail…
…but some of you wont have believed me.
You may have thought “That’s all very well and very nice of her to say this and everything, but she doesn’t know me. I know that these dreadful things about me are true…I have PROOF!”
So today I want to talk to you about this “proof” of the crappy things you believe about yourself.
So I’m just going to come right out and say it. You do not have proof.
What you have is a load of things that you have noticed that you have decided to accept as proof. If you hold these horrible rubbish beliefs about yourself you are expecting things to not work out, so when they don’t work out (and sometimes even when they just go a little bit off track), you notice and say to yourself “There, I knew that would happen, that always happens.” but that’s not a fair test, because you haven’t taken into account all the things that are going quite well or where things are going ok. And the reason you haven’t taken them into account is because you haven’t noticed them. The reason you haven’t noticed them is because you’re not looking out for them. All these things that go right haven’t crossed your mind.
It’s a bit like when you decide to buy a certain model of car and then suddenly you notice them everywhere, are there any more of these types of cars around compared to before you considered buying them? No, probably not, you’re just noticing them because you’ve tuned in to them.
So it’s not a fair test to only look at the failures you’re tuned into and ignore the successes and therefore it’s not proof.
Thinking about fair tests brings me around to the other thing I wanted to say, and something that occurred to me the other day at work. You see, I work in IT, and working in IT you find yourself involved in lots and lots of testing and what you’re trying to do is to prove that your new piece of software works.
That involves knowing how it should work and then trying it out to make sure it does. If it doesn’t work then you fix it and then try again.
What it does not involve is deciding something doesn’t work, giving it a go, finding that indeed it doesn’t work and then doing nothing about it apart from maybe trying it again a bit later to find it still doesn’t work…and then saying “That never works”.
No, no, no!
The only point in re-testing things which you already know haven’t worked for you before is to find out where the problem is AND THEN TO FIX IT!
Then when you think you’ve fixed it, you test it again, this time to prove that it DOES work (sometimes it’ll take you a few goes to get your changes just right…I work with some pretty kick ass people and it even takes them a few tries sometimes).
So try to stop noticing things which only prove that the negative little voice in your head is correct, things aren’t working out. Don’t use it as proof things always go wrong. That you’ve done the same thing a few times and it hasn’t worked out yet means just that, it hasn’t worked out YET. Probably BECAUSE you’ve done the SAME thing a few times without any changes.
So, take some time, have a think about what you could do differently next time and give it another go. This time try to prove that you CAN do it.