How do you exercise your ANTs? I’m not talking about the ones in your back yard lifting 10x their body weight; they are already pretty ripped – but rather the ones in your head.
Are you paying Attention to Negative Thoughts (ANTs)?
ANTs emerge in different forms of self-doubt, judgment, and worthiness. And these are just some of the feelings that I felt when launching my coaching practice almost two years ago.
Even though I was offering sessions at first for free, I still had to be mindful to my ANTs!
Am I good enough?
Who am I to do this?
Do I have the experience?
Am I worthy?
Whether you’ve ever launched a program, product or service in the past is irrelevant. But does this line of self-questioning sound familiar?
The enemy you know
There is no way to avoid negative thinking. We don’t actually have much control over our thoughts at all.
They just pop into our mind without permission and have a direct impact on how we feel, which can have either empowering or dis-empowering effects.
Positive thoughts that generate confidence, determination and motivation are empowering.
While dis-empowering thoughts create barriers to personal growth and roadblocks in achieving goals.
Holding you back from your true potential.
Although thoughts of self-doubt are out of your control, you can learn to reduce the effects by minimizing the time it takes to let them go.
When you make a mistake, you need to exercise your ANTs.
Attention To Negative Thoughts
Negative thoughts are especially destructive when they become a source of anxiety.
That is why it’s important to exercise your ANTs on a daily basis, to make it a habit.
“You cannot change what you do not see.”
Without awareness, negative thoughts become impossible to overcome, which makes the first step in making any change, recognizing the feelings that are holding you back.
When I announced my new coaching program to my email list, I hadn’t noticed a few small mistakes and typo’s.
But still, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell happened? How could I send something that had errors in it? What does this say about me?
Which only brought on further feelings of doubt, thinking nobody will ever sign up now.
But then I began a 4 step process to help get over it.
1. Exercise your ANTs
Self-awareness comes first. Identify with the negative feelings you’re experiencing and their cause.
—> For me it was “you’re not good enough, because of your lack of attention to detail.”
2. Forgive yourself
You’re not perfect and never will be. If you hold yourself to a standard of perfection, you’ll always be let down.
The longer you hold onto negative thoughts will only increase the likelihood of making another mistake.
—> “Ok, I messed up – I won’t let this happen again.”
3. Plan for the future
Make a plan to avoid making this step in the future.
Don’t be afraid to create a list to refer back to. Writing it down on a piece of paper will help you remember the steps you can take to avoid falling into the same trap.
—> My plan for the future: Use both Microsoft Word and Grammarly programs to check my writing for all online posts and emails.
4. Celebrate progress
Strive for progress over perfection. Improve yourself today to be better for tomorrow.
You’re bound to make mistakes again. And when you do, focus on making progress.
If you make the same mistake, over again, ask yourself “how can I plan to do better in the future?”
The best-set intentions don’t always work out on the first attempt. You might and probably will fail, but that’s ok.
With enough experience and practice, you can learn to avoid repeating mistakes.
How do you deal with negative emotions and thoughts? Do you beat yourself up and hold onto those feelings or let them go?
Try exercising your ANT’s throughout the rest of the week.
Minimize the time spent dwelling on thoughts that do not serve you and use the steps described above to get over any mistakes you might make.
Your goal is for progress, not perfection. Look at overcoming harmful feelings by exercising your Attention to Negative Thoughts.