What if I told you that someone was talking about you behind your back?

Not just anyone, but one of your closest friends. Your confidant. This person knows about your insecurities, fears, and the fact that you count your chicken nuggets before you eat them.

Here’s what she’s been saying about you:

“She’s not doing good enough work.”

“She never follows through on her ideas.”

“She has no motivation.”

“She didn’t push through.”

“She’s not productive.”

“She sucks.”

How would that make you feel? I know I’d be mad hearing those things from someone who’s supposed to have my back.

But, wait, let me give you another scenario. What if you were, in fact, the person spewing those negative words about yourself?

The truth is this: At some point, you have been that person.

We all Siskel & Ebert ourselves without even realizing how harsh we are about what we did or did not do.

We can easily hear when other people are being hard on themselves, but when it comes to our own self-talk, it doesn’t register the same way.

I’ve fallen into this trap before. My to-do list can easily get higher than my motivation. Then, I kick myself for not being as productive as I “should” be or not sticking to my “plan.”

But plans are the biggest trolls ever. They follow you around waiting for the right opportunity to trip you up when you least expect it. They laugh in amusement as everything spirals out of control like a once perfect set of dominos.

So, what do you do? Since we can agree that basically life happens, it’s all about keeping your goals in the forefront of your mind and continuing to remember your unique value.

How do you do that? Adjusting your mindset. It’s often underrated but just as important as your strategy, action plan, or to-do lists.

So, the next time your thoughts resemble a backstabbing friend, cut it out. Be a better friend to yourself.


PS. My latest article in The Muse “This Is How to Know if Your Personal Brand Is in Good Shape” is live. Check it out if you want to put your personal brand to the test. There’s a handy quiz included!

Marietta Gentles Crawford
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Marietta Gentles Crawford

Marietta Gentles Crawford is a writer, personal brand strategist, and author of "From Nine to Thrive: A Guide to Building Your Personal Brand and Elevating Your Career." With over 15 years' experience climbing through top corporate brands, she helps small businesses and freelancers communicate their brand message and stand out from the crowd.

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