Recognizing and quieting your negative thoughts isn't always easy, but Mel Robbins has a productive mantra that can help us all feel a bit more joy in our lives.
The bestselling author stopped by Studio 1A on Wednesday to chat about a new survey that discovered that negative self-talk significantly holds us back from experiencing more joy.
We all deal with self-doubt, but the podcast host says there’s an easy way to flip these negative feelings around.
"First, you have to identify that you’re doing it...Second, you’ve got to interrupt it," she says.
For instance, you can give your inner critic a name like "Gina" and tell it to "Shut up" when it tries to rain on your parade.
"When you feel yourself shrinking, when you feel yourself pulling back or saying, 'I couldn’t do that,' all the excuses that you come up with, they may be legitimate obstacles. But you've got a brain and you can solve problems... You now aim your thinking at what you want instead of spending your time listening to Gina tell you what you can’t do," she says.
Once you take those two steps, Robbins says, it's time to "tell yourself something inspiring," yet "believable."
In these instances, Robbins likes to use this six-word phrase since it's a realistic yet uplifting mantra: "I deserve to feel good today."
It's also important to pass this attitude onto your children, Robbins notes.
"By the age of five you can predict whether or not a girl in particular is going to have a negative self image based on how mom talks about herself. So you have to model this by interrupting your own inner critic and inserting something inspiring," she says.
While you're at it, consider complimenting your children on something other than their physical appearance.
"Say, 'I love I love how passionate you are about this' because that's something you can control. You can't control what you might look like on any given day... but you can always control the energy or the passion or the work ethic or the loyalty or the creativity," she says.
Robbins notes that it's often easier to encourage this sort of positive thinking in others versus ourselves, but urges everyone to take on what she calls a "joy project."
"I want you to interrupt the inner critic. I want you to name it. I want you to start to tell yourself something inspiring and I want you to remember something really important: You're wired for this. Joy is your natural default and you deserve it. You get one life and I don't want you to spend it telling yourself some negative garbage," she says.
It's easy to feel discouraged and think that it's too late to rewire your brain, but Robbins says this couldn't be further from the truth.
"If you are hearing these words, it means you are breathing. It means you have time to experience joy. It means you have time to start doing the things that you need to do to make your life a little bit better. And that's what you deserve from yourself," she says.