Negative self-talk can literally demolish your efforts at building a private practice and it attacks all of us at some point.

The road to growing a successful practice is one of self-discovery. Building a small business will surface any skeletons in the closet.

Do any of these beliefs ring a bell…

Can I really do this?

I’m not disciplined enough?

What if I’m too weak?

What if I don’t know how to manage money?

I’m scared shitless. How will I ever get over it?

What if I don’t have what it takes to persist?

What if I’m an introvert?

People are depending on me…what if I completely fail?

On and on…

Here’s the thing colleagues…even if some of these thoughts have a grain of truth in them, it’s the repetitive nature of the thought and its corresponding behavior that really stops you in your tracks.

I know when I was building a practice I literally had negative self-talk hundreds of times a day.

So, it’s time to get real. If you want a successful practice, you’re going to have to deal with the negative self-talk. Not in a month. Not next week. Right here and now.

Here are 8 simple steps to destroy your negative self-talk so you can get on with your life, achieve your dreams and create your private practice.  If you don’t take this seriously and you put off dealing with this demon, you’re going to swim way upstream for a long time.

  1. Make a list of all of your negative self-talk. It doesn’t matter if it’s about private practice or not. List every single one.  You may have 10 or you may have 100. 
  2. Check off all of the beliefs that pertain to private practice. The key here is to not overthink this. If you have a belief that you suck, it’s likely going to play out in some way in relation to growing your practice.
  3. Create a spreadsheet and in the first column label it Negative Beliefs. Enter all of the negative beliefs that you checked off in a hierarchical fashion. For instance, if your strongest negative belief about yourself is “I’m introverted, which makes it really difficult to build a practice” place it in the first row. And so on…
  4. Label the second column Old Behavior. Starting with your strongest negative belief  enter the main behavioral response that results from the belief.  If your belief is, “I’m introverted, which makes it really difficult to build a practice” your behavior might be “never leaving your full-time job to pursue your practice.” 
  5. Label the third column New Behaviors. Create a different response. It’s hard to control thoughts. Instead of getting rid of the intrusive thought, “I’m introverted, which makes it really difficult to build a practice,” try to imagine new behaviors. Enter alternatives to never leaving your job. For instance, “I’m leaving my job so that I spend time marketing myself online in ways that don’t feel too exposing.”
  6. Label the fourth column Deadline. Set a date for your full behavioral change. Stick to it. Make sure when you recognize the self-limiting thought on a day-to-day basis, it’s time to take action with your new behavior. It might seem paradoxical at first, but change doesn’t usually feel comfortable.
  7. Label the fifth column Resolved Self-Talk. Once you’ve had consistent experiences with changing your behavior, enter a new belief that more accurately represents who you are. For instance, change “I’m introverted, which makes it really difficult to build a practice,” to “I’m introverted but I’m able to spend time writing blog posts and building an email list to get my name out there.”
  8. Label the sixth column Celebrate. Once you’ve resolved a particular negative belief, celebrate in some way. Go to a movie. Go out for a special meal.  Take a day of off building your practice to nurture yourself.  Enter what you did so you have a record of your wins!

Are you ready to destroy the negative self-talk and move on with your practice? You’ve got this!

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Keith Kurlander

Keith Kurlander is the founder of Higher Practice, a company dedicated to helping therapists achieve their highest potential in private practice. He has two decades of combined experience in business administration, group facilitation, teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level, yoga instruction and as a licensed professional counselor in private practice.

2 thoughts on “8 Steps to Destroy the Negative Self-Talk That Stops You from Building Your Private Practice

  1. I found you! Your article is just what I need. I am developing a therapeutic program that aims to accomplish a similar goal to yours. I have though that negative judgments of others lead us off course. And your definition of the situation is so similar. I would like to become a client of yours. I have been diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1996. But prior to my diagnosis I had been interested in mental illness and had developed a communications theory concerning negative judgments of others. My theory was confirmed by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Phd. But I would like to investigate your program and possibly add it to my practice. I am not a licensed therapist, but I have 99 college credits with a focus in psychology. Please respond.

  2. Thank you so much for this practice I think it’s going to resolve a lot of my bad self talk.
    Being a new buisness owner its a little crazy but I am up for the challenge. It has defenatly exposed all of my insecurities, and I am glad to finally face them and move on and actually really enjoy life.
    Thank you
    Jonathan Flint

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