Truth Bomb Tuesday: Many people do this, but I’m not having it.
Why do we engage in defeatist self-talk?
There are lots of types of negative self-talk? There’s criticism, shaming, ridiculing… so many ways to hate on ourselves. It’s astounding really.
But today I just wanted to look at defeatist self-talk.
This is something I hear a lot with students in the first year or so they spend with the I Love Real Estate Community.
It’s stuff like,
“I don’t have what it takes to be an investor.”
“I’m just not good with money.”
“I’m don’t have the smarts to make good money investing.”
The thing you notice about talk like this is its absolutist. There’s no nuance – no measure of degrees. It’s absolute and total.
I’m too stupid to be an investor and there’s absolutely nothing that can be done about it. Nothing.
Now, when I point that out, obviously there is nuance there. Very few things in this world are set in stone. And I promise you that if you can read and write and do basic maths, you can be an investor. No doubt about it.
But talk like that doesn’t leave any room for change – there’s no skilling-up, there’s no role for mentoring, there’s no room for experience playing a part over time.
Nope. You’re fundamentally stupid and there’s just no changing it.
So what’s going on here?
Why do we offer ourselves such limiting beliefs? And why do we buy into them?
The simple answer?
It feels good.
Yep. True story.
It feels good to say, there is absolutely no way I can do this. I am cosmically destined to fail.
Even though that statement of belief limits us to a mediocre life, it still feels good to say it.
When we throw in the towel and give up the idea of success in any shape, there’s a sense of relief that follows.
We don’t have to try now. Trying won’t help. We don’t have to work hard. Working hard won’t help. We don’t have to take risks and put ourselves out there. That won’t help either.
Nope. They won’t help because nothing will help.
Phew. We can let go of trying and the pressure to try.
And that feels nice.
So that’s why we do it.
Now, it is a short-term hit. Like a little taste of sugar or cocaine.
But we have to recognise that quitting feels good… in the moment.
Like addicts breaking a habit, we have to be willing to say no to that short-term hit, and sit with the discomfort of having to try; of having to apply ourselves; of having to take risks and put ourselves out there.
And this is why I have zero-tolerance for defeatist statements like this.
You’re not being humble. You’re not being self-deprecating.
You’re selling out your future for a short-term hit of relief.
And it’s not ok.
I see you.