Wow, you really blew that! How could have messed that up so badly? You’ve totally shot your opportunity now! Might as well dust off your resume. Have you ever noticed that once a negative thought takes hold, it’s really easy to spin down a seemingly never-ending negative spiral? Our brains are like Teflon for the good stuff and Velcro for the bad. Every one of us has an inner critic who will seek out every opportunity to knock us off balance.
One of my favourite ways of stopping the spin of the inner critic is to give him/her a name and then, once s/he starts raging, politely tell him/her to shut up. (Or use whatever colourful language you like). Your thoughts are NOT facts. They are simply thoughts. Naming your critic allows you to provide some distance between the reality of the situation and the story that the critic is making up about it (and you). My critic’s name is Fred and when I first started this practice he was really loud and held me back from all kinds of things. Today he’s more like a little Freddie and, although he still pops up, I am much better at putting him in his place.
What will you say to your critic next time to stop the spin?