Self-talk. It’s the voice that keeps us on track when we decide to not to buy another new top at Target. It’s the voice that keeps us on track when we choose to make dinner instead of ordering takeout. It’s the voice that makes Z and I question the choices we’re making as we build our future.
Financial choices are difficult enough to make when you are surrounded by loved and support. When that support isn’t there you feel as though you’re continually defending your choices against some else’s perception. That constant state of defense makes it hard to maintain your motivation. Answer the same question enough times and you start to ask it of yourself. That’s when you know it’s time to make a change. No matter where the doubt is coming from there are steps you can take to keep your self-talk positive and productive.
Know what you want.
Sit down with yourself (or your partner) and get clear on your goals. Make a list, make a plan, make a dream board, the medium is secondary to the message. Clarify what you really want, what you’re working towards, and what steps you’re taking to get there. Having a clear message allows you tell yourself, and others, exactly why you’re following the plan you are.
Make it visible.
Once you’re clear on your goals put them someplace where you will see them every day. Increasing the visibility of your goal increases your motivation to achieve it. That increased motivation makes it easier to change your self-talk when negativity starts to creep in. I have my goals for the year in my bullet journal and I’ve broken those goals into action steps that I track each month.
Take charge of the conversation.
When you feel people in your life are criticizing your choices it’s usually coming from a place of love. Help them show that love in a way that’s productive instead by telling them how their criticism makes you feel. If you can’t find a supportive compromise then set conversational boundaries. Recognize when you can’t have a productive conversation on a topic and change the subject when it comes up. You may not be able to change the perspective or concerns of those around you, but you can limit their opportunities to voice those concerns to you.
At the end of the day, your goals are only as strong as your motivation to reach them. Focusing on your goals and seeking support from those who care about you allows you to keep to change your internal message. Aligning your self-talk with your goals makes that voice in your head work for you, the way it’s supposed to.