• Challenge Those Negative Thoughts

video-camera

I was asked to do a short training video and talk about the work I do at my company.  Just two or three minutes, so not a big deal.  I could have given the assignment to some one else, but I had not done this before so thought it would be a good experience.

I approached this as I would public speaking. As an introvert I seem to do well if I am prepared, have expertise in the subject, and am passionate about the subject.  When I accepted the assignment I knew I was an expert and passionate.  I also knew I could get prepared.

To prepare, I wrote my script and practiced reading my lines and recorded myself.  I really don’t like practicing with others so it worked well just to record myself with my office door closed.  The recording helped to tweak my script and also make sure I was within my allotted time frame.

Then the day came and I was a nervous wreck. I had practiced, got a haircut and a new shirt, and I should have been fine.  These negative thoughts came pouring into my head, like what if you do a terrible job at this?  What if your message is not as intended?

I did not let these thoughts stay for long.  I chose instead to reframe these thoughts and change and replace them with more positive thoughts.  For example, I changed “what if you do a terrible job at this?” to “You care very much about the topic and you did your work practicing.  You will do great!”  And “what if your message is not as intended” to “You are the expert here and you know this subject well and know very well what others need to know.  You have given a similar presentation many times.  You are the person for this job.

Michael Davidson writes in A Practical Guide To Reframing Your Thoughts And Making Yourself Happier, “You are free to reframe literally any thought you ever have into something more positive.”

Davidson states there are three types of thoughts to reframe:

  • Limiting beliefs
  • Wishing that something acceptable were better
  • Specific problem areas

He lists three principles when it comes to reframing our thoughts:

  • The first basic principle is that events or situations do not have inherent meaning; rather, you assign them a meaning based on how you interpret the event.
  • The second principle is that every thought has a hidden “frame” behind it. The frame is your underlying beliefs and assumptions that are implied by your thought.
  • The third principle is that there is a positive intention behind every negative thought.

As an introvert, I have many thoughts and it is easy for them to go negative.  Using techniques like these, I have learned to challenge thoughts that would prevent me from doing something worthwhile or stop me from enjoying the experience.

I think the little video shoot went well.  I have not seen the video yet, but I do recommend using the teleprompter to my fellow introverts.  It was a good experience and maybe now I will do more in the future.  If I had not challenged my thoughts I might not have done it in the first place or I may not have done well or enjoyed the experience. But I’m glad I did it, and it turned out to be a good experience for me.

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