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:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


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