We often confuse our thoughts with fact. I am a failure. That is stated as fact, regardless of its truthfulness. Creating space between ourselves and the thought can likewise create an opportunity to question the veracity of a statement. I am having the thought that I am a failure. The thought is coming to me and I am engaging with it, but it’s not me. So, what do you do with the thought?
Analyze it. Look for evidence to support and deny. You might come up with some evidence to support a failure, such as losing a race. But it is unlikely you would come up with evidence to support the idea that you are an outright failure. What is more likely is finding evidence of a failure, or maybe several, while also finding evidence for successes along the way. It is possible those successes might be lessons learned, recoveries, not quitting, or any other possibilities that do not involve winning a competition. Next time you are bogged down by negative self-statements, create space with “I am having the thought that…” and then take a few minutes to question the statement.