How Recruiters Can Motivate With Healthy Self-Talk

Ever find yourself feeling defeated mid-month, like you might as well just throw the towel in? Like there’s no way you’re hitting that goal you set leading into the new month? Or you look up at the leaderboard and see so many recruiters ahead of you, but convince yourself there’s no way you’ll ever catch them. Welcome to negative self-talk. We all do it, but we don’t have to let it control our day, week, or month!

Being positive is hard for everyone. Even the most experienced recruiters out there engage in negative self-talk. Here are some things you can do to change your internal narrative next time you hear that voice telling you you’ll never be the recruiter you want to be.

  1. Recognize It. Most of us can get caught up in these negative self-talk loops because we simply don’t notice they’re happening. We start to see the wheels falling off and accept our inner dialogue as simply a reflection of how we feel. The first step is not to flip the switch and shift to positive self-talk. It’s simply to recognize its happening in the first place! Also, find some comfort in the fact that many, I mean many, recruiters out there experience this same thing. 
  2. Evaluate Your Inner Dialogue. Are the thoughts bouncing around in your head a reflection of reality? If they are and you need to act then do so, but more times than not they’re irrational thoughts which stem from fear. Fear of failure, or for some, the fear of success. Fear that you lack the talent to be successful. Fear that you’re letting down someone else you care about. 
  3. Arm Yourself. No, don’t run out and buy a gun! Arm yourself with positive thoughts. Maybe it’s a mantra you’ve found to be powerful to you. Or, maybe it’s finding opportunities to reflect on all that you have to be grateful for. After all...you have a job. Someone believed you possessed the skills to succeed at the job you’re in or they wouldn’t have hired you. Or, maybe you have a song that speaks to your soul and brings your mind back into focus on the task at hand. Whatever it is, find your thang. 
  4. Find the Funny. Something that has always fascinated me is the fact that most of us can find humor in just about anything. Perfect example, while in boot camp as a new Marine out at MCRD in San Diego (some of the hardest 13 weeks of my life), I was able to maintain focus by simply finding the humor in what was happening around me and to me. One example of this is that I had a DI (drill instructor) who would pray to the War God every night. He was very creative in his prayers, which always revolved around his wish for our country to go to war so he could go back to “work”, as he called it. When things got harder, and they did everyday, I’d remind myself of his prayer the night before. I’d laugh to myself, not outwardly of course or I’d pay dearly for it. But it allowed me a release from the negative self-talk bouncing around in my head at the time. Sometimes, we have to simply shift our focus to something else to get us where we need to be.
  5. Have a Real Heart-to-Heart With Yourself. Are you continuously finding yourself deep in negative self-talk? Are the expectations you have for your performance realistic? Maybe you need to consider the fact you’re not there yet because “there” isn’t gonna happen as quickly as you expected. 

The biggest barrier to your success as a recruiter may simply exist within the six inches located between your ears. We all engage in negative self-talk. Those who are able to manage negative self-talk are able to push through situations others cannot. Being great at anything takes drive and persistence and a plan. My intent with this article is to outline how this plan might look for you! Please share your comments and any feedback, we can all learn from your experiences. May your days be full of sunshine and rainbows and your mind remain strong in the face of adversity. And, simply, be great!


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