Beware of Negative Self Talk

Last week after 5 months I was fired from a job and company I loved. This was the second job I had that didn’t work out for me since leaving Dyn last March. For some reason after an almost 8 year run at Dyn I just could not find any career traction.

Here is the thing. I fully embrace the decision to be fired. I failed at the job. I failed to deliver customers, I failed to find partners, I failed to execute on the role I was given. The failure to execute is mine to own and I fully own it. I can accept that responsibility.

What I cannot accept. What I can’t fall into is the unclarity of negative self talk. Yes I failed, but I am not a failure. I will not wallow in self pity or self doubt. I will find new opportunities and move forward. That is my plan.

Over the past few days of reflection, I have found inspiration in several places.

First was in Denzel Washington’s “fall forward” commencement speech to Penn in 2011. The entire speech is an inspiration but the one line that spoke to me was “you will fail at some point in your life. Accept it. You will lose. You will embarrass yourself. You will suck at something. There is no doubt about it”.

Yes I failed. It sucks.

I am embarrassed.

The second point of inspiration comes from an Instagram post over the weekend from Tom Brady. It was a message to prospects participating in the NFL combine over the weekend. Once again, the entire post is great my inspiration came at the end where he shares “As @edelman11 always reminds me…”You can prove em right or you can prove em wrong!”

Tom Brady after a great season and championship shares a point earlier in his career where he could have accepted the negative. He didn’t. More important is he realizes that he needs to be reminded of this on a regular basis. The path is a long one and Julian Edelman helps Tom remember this point. It is entirely up to you.

Even top performers need to be reminded who they can be.

Finally, I am finding inspiration in several books I am currently reading. Conversations with God by James Melvin Washington, the story of the Caribbean People by James Ferguson, and Never Caught by Erica Armstrong Dunbar. These books cover the experiences of people from a past that have laid a path for me. It has helped me regain perspective. Each story is different but the point I get from each one is…

You will be OK. Learn from the past and move confidently into your future.

Today I scrap the negative self-talk and move into my next chapter. As a hard-working, uniquely talented, highly competent soul seeking to continue my journey. Happy to learn from a full recipe book of inspiration and guided by a fully realized faith in God and support of my family and friends. If you are starting your week feeling down. Find your inspiration and move forward. Fall Forward.

Here are the links mentioned should you seek inspiration too:

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