Executive Coach Executive CoachExecutive Coach
Scott Eblin offers his take on lessons in the news and his advice on your pressing leadership questions.

Mindful Mondays: Be More Gentle with Your Self Talk


Do you say things to yourself that you would never say to someone you care about? Most of us do from time to time. Some of us more than others.

We chastise ourselves when we don’t live up to our own expectations. We berate ourselves when we make a mistake. We kick ourselves when we forget something important.

That voice inside your head that’s saying all of that is often called the inner critic.  I prefer to call it the itty bitty sh***y committee. Whatever you call it, it’s important to not let it run amok.

Here’s why.

Our thoughts control our feelings. Our feelings lead to our actions. Our actions determine our results. If your thought monologue about your own performance is consistently negative, you’re going to end up feeling pretty bad about yourself. That’s likely to lead to sub optimal actions in the future and results that no one is happy with.

The pattern then repeats itself. You can break the pattern by talking to yourself as you would someone you love. One way to get started with that is to do what Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson suggested in their classic, The One Minute Manager - “Catch ‘em doing something right.”

On this Mindful Monday, why not pay attention to the quality of your self talk?  If you observe that it’s mainly critical, stop and ask yourself, “What’s going right?”  Great, that’s one thing. What else is going right?  I’ll practically guarantee you there is more than one thing.  How can you build on what’s going right?

The big idea is that by being more gentle with your self talk, you’ll get better results. For more ideas on how to mindfully do that check out this post on Three Ways to Silence Your Inner Critic.

What’s your experience? What works for you on keeping your self talk productive instead of destructive?

Executive coach Scott Eblin’s goal is to help you succeed at the next level of leadership. Throughout the week, he’ll offer his take on the leadership lessons in the news and his advice on your most pressing leadership questions. A former government executive, Scott is a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and is the author of The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success.

Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.