What you say to yourself can make a difference in your life every day. It’s been clinically proven and supported by research that you can change your future or the way things come together by how you think about them. International executive coach and motivational speaker Monica Guzman talks with William Morales about how to deal with our self-talk and focus on our accomplishments in order to keep up with what we’re supposed to do. Don’t miss this episode for more insights on self-awareness, affirmations, and getting yourself a mentor, a coach, or a spiritual advisor.
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What You Say To Yourself Can Make A Difference Everyday With Monica Guzman
Dealing With Our Self-Talk Everyday
I have Monica Guzman. She’s an international executive coach and motivational speaker with over twelve years of experience in the corporate education and business sectors. Monica’s passion is helping professionals at all levels in the areas of personal branding, leadership development and public speaking. Monica is the author of Good Is Not Good Enough, an eBook that provides a blueprint for professional success. Monica, thank you so much for being on the show. How are you?
Monica, with motivation and personal branding, all of this that you cover, is that something that you fell into or did it fall into you?
Both. I have a background in Counseling Psychology so I combined the understanding of human behavior with business and here we are. At the end of the day, people want to work. They want to be successful regardless of what industry you’re in. At its core, it’s about us being human, what makes us tick and what gets us going.
I want to jump right into it. We go through motivation. We look at programs, audiobooks and TV. We get pumped up for a little while and then it seems like we go back down to that original level. Why? I know it’s a loaded question. For me, in the moment, I’m pumped up. When I get home, all of a sudden, I might hit reality with, “I still got a 9:00 to 5:00. I still got to do this. I still got to do that.” Is that something that you experienced in your life with your clients, friends and colleagues?Ask someone what did they do well today. Click To Tweet
We all experience it. I experienced it myself because we’re human. I’ll be very frank with you. You know my style from my YouTube videos. I’m very different. I will say I believe that we are way too easy on ourselves. We allow ourselves to get lazy. We need to learn how to scold ourselves in a way and say to ourselves, “We need to get back on track to be able to fix whatever is going on up here so that we can make sure that we are conducted and we stay on track.” We do it with our children. We say, “You have to read more. You have to get your grades up,” and we’re hard on them. For some reason, we become adults and we become way too flexible with ourselves and what we need to do. We think that we have so much time. We think that we can do whatever we need to do tomorrow. We get too secure. We become overly secure in our relationships and in our position with our company. We think that we are the best thing in the world and we are. We must never forget that there’s always a competitor out there. Even if that competitor is you, someone else is willing to do what you are not doing every moment and every time that you allow yourself to be lazy.
How do we combat that though? As you said, we should be harder on ourselves. I agree there because sometimes in the real estate industry, I’m like, “I should have made that offer,” or “I should have done this.” The money mistakes I made, I mentally keep it on the Rolodex. In this way, I don’t do it again. Is that something that we should do in our everyday lives? Should we journal stuff? How would we keep up with what we’re supposed to do?
Journaling is a fantastic idea. A lot of it comes with a tremendous amount of self-awareness. We don’t walk around on a typical basis looking at ourselves enough. Why do we what we do? Why do we say what we say? It’s important that we are constantly looking at ourselves, the way we think. What’s that initial thought when we first opened our eyes in the morning? Is it a positive thought? Are you thinking, “Here we go again?” What are you thinking? It starts at that moment and travels throughout your day. You have to get accustomed to catching ourselves thinking unrealistically, pessimistically and making these statements about ourselves and our business that are not going to help us.
It takes practice and it’s a skill like anything else, but once you start to catch it and be aware of it, we can then start to change the narrative and catch ourselves, making sure that we can fix it. I had a coaching client and I said, “What’s going well lately with business?” She said, “Things aren’t perfect so nothing is going well.” You can see how that’s not a healthy way to think. You need to catch yourself first and ask yourself, is that realistic or appropriate? You can change that so that you are now saying, “I have some things I need to work on. I need to focus, but X, Y, Z is going well.”
Is that ingrained in us where we might use a negative phrase and we don’t know that we are using it because that’s something that we might have grown up with or we heard someone say? Is it someone in our past or even our present that said, “That’s not going to work. I don’t know why you would do that?” I was at a networking event and I remember I was talking to this person in real estate about working directly with owners or what’s called for sale by owner. He’s like, “How many of those can you get?” It was a little negative thing because he’s a banker. His business is trying to get loans for people, but my business is trying to deal with the owner. There was a clash there. Going back to what I said, is that something that’s ingrained in us? Is it the people that we’re around? Should we watch who we talk to, what we read or what we listen to?
It comes from many places. I’m excited that you brought that up. It could come from the way you grew up. If you grew up with a family who would always tell you, “Why are you trying that? You’re not going to have the money. You’ll never get there.” Those things are ingrained in you. If you’ve had experiences perhaps with an employer, a mentor, a friend or a loved one who tells you, “Why are you trying that?” I’ve had people where their spouses will even tell them, “Why are you wasting your money on coaching?” yet it’s changed their lives and their businesses. You cannot listen to anyone else but yourself. It could be the way you grew up, the people around you or your experiences. If you don’t catch it and decide that you are in charge of your future, you have to also be convinced of the fact that whatever you think, that is your reality.
I understand that people have research. They have data to support their negative thoughts, but there’s so much power and this is clinically proven and supported by research that you can change your future or the way things come together by how you think about them. I’m not saying that we should be unrealistic or overly bold in how we think. We should be realistic but it doesn’t hurt to reach for the stars. It doesn’t hurt to switch up the way you think and make it more realistic but hopeful. You’re not going to lose anything, literally nothing. The only thing it will do is because of the way our brain is programmed, you will be much more inclined to do positive things, to develop positive relationships because you are saying things to yourself that are realistic, but they’re very hopeful. There’s no harm in that. We have to literally reprogram our brains to constantly do that on a regular and daily basis.
How do we do that then? Is there an exercise you would recommend or something that you teach where we could remember, “Yesterday was a bad day but tomorrow is going to be better?” Is this something that we say to ourselves all the time? Do we repeat what you call the affirmations? Do we work on that? Do we say to ourselves, “It’s going to be a great day?” What would you recommend? What would be 1 or 2 steps for someone that might be going up and down in emotions to all of a sudden get themselves out of that?
We have to first understand and believe that we are intrinsically capable and worthy of great things. It has to start at the bottom. That’s what coaching is all about. It’s trying to find out where in the world these thoughts came from because you can’t put a Band-Aid on it. There are many pieces involved. You can’t simply say over and over again that it’s going to be a great day. At the end of the day, if you hate yourself or you don’t believe in your business, nothing is going to happen. Figure out first where it may have come from. If you’re struggling, that’s where you might need to get yourself a mentor, a coach, a spiritual advisor, someone to help you resolve those issues. You have to look at what your strengths are. What’s great about my business? What’s great about me?Whatever you think, that is your reality. Click To Tweet
One exercise that can be helpful there, and I do this with a lot of my clients, is I ask them to ask three people in their lives to describe them using five words. I always jokingly say, “I’m not responsible for divorces or child custody.” What you will find is that the people closest to you, and typically I say someone in your personal life like a colleague and hopefully someone that has supervised your work, you will find that often people will get these words back and they’re shocked by how positive these words are and how people are viewing them. They’re like, “I didn’t know that people saw me like that.” It’s not only about getting the feedback but believing the feedback. When they give you a list and they say, “You’re a go-getter. You’re persistent. You’re brave. You’re well-organized,” you have to believe it because why would people be telling you a lie?
Look at where these thoughts came from. Look at your strengths. You have to also focus on your accomplishments. There is no one that’s a failure up there. What we tend to do is we operate in these all or nothing terms. If one thing went wrong now and it holds a lot of value for me, that means it sucked. That’s not the case. Sometimes what you have to do is break down the things that went well. In this culture, and that’s another factor, we tend to focus on what’s wrong. We don’t allow ourselves or other people to say, “What’s going well?” Think about it. Think about your conversations with friends or family members. When was the last time you said, “What’s going well?”
I used to say, “How’s it going?” If you say that then, “I had this. This happened,” and all that. That’s a great point.
What did you accomplish? You will find that all of us, no matter how we feel about ourselves, our business, our performance, we are doing things well. We make many decisions in one day that we ignore the good decisions we made. They might be small, but they’re good decisions that have led to where you are now. All your decisions were not bad. You made some good decisions and you need to focus on them. Focus on the things that have brought you to where you are now. Remember, staying away from this all or nothing thinking is the key. Finally, looking at your self-talk, how you talk to yourself and ask yourself, “Why am I talking about myself like this? Where did this come from?” That’s an important question and practice.
That part, “Where does it come from?” because sometimes I think about some of the people I’ve dealt with years ago and how negative they were. Even though I don’t associate with them for some reason, on occasion it pops up. I have to get back to like, “I don’t need to listen to them. Look where I’m getting this advice from. It’s someone that hasn’t done what I want to do.” That’s the thing too. We run into people that haven’t done or don’t do what we want to do and they give us opinions. It’s like what I was telling you about that for sale by owner where I ran into this banker, “Why would they want to do that?” I wanted to know, have you done one? How do we combat those types of people where they talk to us and they give us advice which is unwarranted or whatever? All of a sudden, they’re giving us opinions on something they never did.
We have to stay as far away as possible. We need to run the other way. There are some situations where we might have to work with a colleague or a client and we can’t escape. Worst case scenario, you can mentally and spiritually escape from them. If you have control over the situation, I would say get away from that person. I personally feel that holds true for anyone. It could be a family member or a business partner. If you’re able to withdraw, please do it immediately. If you can’t for whatever reason, maybe they’re your client, maybe they’re your business partner, you have a decision to make. Can you leave the situation or the relationship or not?
If you feel that at this time, you’re not able to or there are other situations there that are getting in the way of you leaving them, you need to mentally block them and do what I call being robot-ish. Robots have this ability to not take things personally, to not let other people’s opinions or feelings get in the way of their performance. They’re very objective. They’re fact-based. I call it a robot-ish because at the end of the day, you’re still human. You still have the right to have feelings and express emotions, but you’re going to do it in a way that’s fact-based and logical. You’re not going to make assumptions, put on conclusions, all that extra fluff that we as humans tend to do.
We go to bed at 10:00, 11:00. That’s our set time. Is there something that you would recommend before we go to bed? I remember one time, I don’t know if it was Wayne Dyer or somebody that said, “If you’re watching the news and it’s all negative, when you go to sleep, that’s in your conscience for the whole night.” I believe him because that’s happened to me where I watched a movie that was horrible, whatever. All of a sudden, I’m restless and I’m moving all over. Is there something that you recommend to your audience or my audience, what to do before you go to bed? Is there something that could alleviate the nightmare, so to speak?
I believe in positive energy. I believe in meditation and breathing techniques. I’m all for those as well. I strongly believe that if we can find something before bed that makes us laugh or smile, it can be a movie, something on YouTube, something where we are genuinely laughing, preferably cracking up. It takes us to this place where we feel so light and grounded as human again. It’s almost a place of going back to our childhood, innocence and enjoying life again. We need to keep it simple. Staying away from the news, politics, anything heavy, shutting off the TV, definitely staying away from work at least an hour before bed. Find something funny. I don’t care what it is and watch it. Take some deep breaths. If you are going to plan for the next day, do that before you do any of these things because that’s fine. We want to plan. We want to feel like we have some closure for the day but taking some deep breaths and allowing ourselves even two minutes of sitting somewhere and not doing anything. Taking those breaths, finding something funny to watch, something that makes you feel good, that will get you ready for the next day.
One of the main things that we talked about or that you mentioned is the self-talk, who you’re around, being aware or self-aware of what we’re saying to ourselves. I’ve been around people. It’s like you want to cut them off, but at the same time, you want to help them. I get texts from people that say, “It’s a bad day.” This one person who’s a friend of mine for several years, I always feel that it’s a negative text, “This happened to me. It’s that time of the month.” I never hear or read anything positive. When you go to that best friend or something and you read these texts, how do you respond to that? Would you say to your friend like, “Snap out of it?”
You must have read my mind. I had a best friend of many years who was exactly like that. We are no longer friends. What I can tell you is it’s okay to say to your friend, “Bob, I’ve noticed that whenever we communicate, you tend to bring up something that’s bothering you or something that’s not going well. This is becoming a pattern. As your friend, I want to let you know that I notice it and I’m concerned about it.” Bring it to their attention. There’s a chance that perhaps they’re not aware of how they’re coming off to people.We have to understand and believe that we are intrinsically capable and worthy of great things. Click To Tweet
They might say, “I didn’t realize it. Really? You feel like I’m always saying something?” You go, “Yes, and I’m concerned.” You come from a place of concern. If that doesn’t work and they don’t do anything, I would honestly say that aside from initially giving them some feedback and maybe some advice, you might want to get a coach or you might want to talk to someone because sometimes it is that serious. Once you’ve tried that a few times, I would lovingly say that it’s time to keep your distance. That sometimes can mean ignoring the texts, changing the subject or in an extreme case, ending the friendship or connection if you can.
Several years ago, when I started learning about self-help, I was told or I read that you’re the average of the five people you hang out with. I remember the first time I heard that, I wrote down the people who I hang out with and I realized that these guys like to hang out, go out here, and go out there. I said, “I’m at a different level where I want to start a business even though I was in my late 40s,” but I felt like it was a change. You could easily distance yourself. Keep your distance and all that, but I might find it a little harder if it’s someone that I’m so close to that I grew up with the person. Is that a conversation like you mentioned, “I noticed that you’ve done this. Maybe you need to change your language a little bit?”
I’m a bit extreme. Some people may agree with it and some people may not agree with it, but I firmly believe that the rule applies to any and everyone in your life. That means it can be your mother, your father, your child, your best friend, anyone. If you can honestly say that you’ve tried to bring it to their attention in a loving and respectful way, that you’ve attempted to give them resources because we don’t want to get caught up where we become the counselor or the mentor. We have our own goals and we need to have this clean space for ourselves to do what we need to do. We can’t cross that boundary. Once we’ve tried that and we find that this is allowing negative energy into our business or our psyche, as hard as it is, it is time to let them go. I believe that you can have respect, love and care for them from a distance.
That’s why I say that for me, I had a woman come up to me one time after my speech and she said, “I need to get rid of people but I can’t. This person tells me that my dreams are dumb, and that I will never accomplish anything, that I need to do what I’m doing and stick to it.” I said, “Who is this person?” She said, “My husband.” I said, “You need to leave him.” I totally respect if people don’t agree with it. I will tell you that with life being short, we cannot afford to have anyone around us that is not moving us up. The negativity and grumpiness, none of that is going to help us. We have to get away from this notion simply because someone has been assigned a certain role in our life naturally or because we’ve known them for 20, 30, 40 years, we’re stuck. We are never stuck. It’s okay to be a bit selfish in that regard.
I remember years ago I was with this woman and I remember she didn’t want me to get into real estate. She fought me tooth and nail not to get in, which surprised me because this is a woman that was into positive thinking and all of that, but what happened was she went through a bad period where she lost some money with a business partner. I look at it now years later as maybe she was trying to look out for me, but it wasn’t explained that way to me. She was like, “Don’t do it. What’s the reason?” I need to protect myself this way. You have spouses, best friends, boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever, have you encountered a couples’ therapy when both parties are not aligned with each other?
In a lot of situations, I’ll have a coaching client where the spouse is not supportive of the person getting help, getting a coach or making their life better. They’ll even say, “It’s a waste of money.” My response is always, “We need to talk about that person.”
I remember that part, but what I’m saying though is have you ever encountered them both at the same time where one is positive and one is negative? Have you encountered anyone like that in your presence and maybe your coaching sessions or anything?
Yes. What typically happens is that they either separate after a while. I’m not in the business of separating anyone. People should stay together if they love and respect each other. Sometimes through the coaching process, they find that the other person is getting in the way and they decide to separate. Sometimes, thankfully they have a positive influence on their spouse and that person starts to say, “That makes sense.” They make some changes as well, but too often they end up separating, which is not at all my intention, but you have to decide what you want. Life is short.With life being so short, we cannot afford to have anyone around us that is not moving us up. Click To Tweet
Sooner or later you’ve got to take care of yourself. I definitely believe more and more about self-reliance. At the same time, I would love to have that loving partner, whether it’s my business partner or loved one, to support me. At the same time, to tell me also, “This is not working. Maybe we might try it on another angle?” Monica, tell me more about your book, Good Is Not Good Enough.
I wrote an eBook. It’s a workbook. It’s a handbook for professionals in any industry at any level and it is designed to help you develop your personal brand. It’s a starting point for anyone that wants to go from good to excellent. We talk about how to build your confidence, how to behave in the workplace, how to be professional and make sure that you are overall a spectacular person, that you’re more polished, that you’re learning the game of office politics. I treat it as a 101. I don’t care if you’re the VP of a company, the head or owner of a real estate company. This book serves as a foundation for anyone that wants to go back to the basics of how to present themselves to the world and be professional. Sometimes we get comfortable and we need that little kick in the behind to take us back to the basics and where we need to be.
Where could people pick that book up? Is it on your website, Amazon? Where would you suggest?
If somebody that’s tuned in to the show want to do an exercise right before they go to bed and they wake up in the morning, can you give us 1 or 2 points in the morning and in the evening?
This is something that I do myself, especially if I am going to be facing something challenging that day. What I’ll do the night before and when I first wake up before I even get out of bed is I will force myself to identify at least five things that are going well for me no matter how big or small. I’ll force myself to identify at least three things that I’m looking forward to that day. I don’t care what it is. It could be, “I packed a great lunch,” or “I like what I’m wearing.” It could be, “My partner and I are in a good place,” or “Last quarter, I did some good numbers.” I don’t care what it is but that way, you focus on actual accomplishments to help you feel good about yourself and where you are. You can remember at the end of the day, there’s a lot of good that’s happening in your life.
That’s early in the morning when we first wake up and you could do it at night. Monica, is there any appearances you’re going to be at that my audience can look out for you?
Yes, I have a couple of appearances and what you can do is go to my website and find out where I’ll be next. You can also follow me on social media to keep up with all of my events. Some things I’m not allowed to share quite yet, but I will absolutely be revealing them. You could follow me on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, all that good stuff, which you can connect and find me via my website as well.
Monica, thank you so much for giving us a few minutes of your busy schedule. You gave us a lot of golden nuggets. I appreciate it. What’s your website again?
That was Monica Guzman. Thank you so much for being on the show. I appreciate it.
- Good Is Not Good Enough
- iTunes – Good Is Not Good Enough
- Facebook – Monica Guzman
- YouTube – Excellence by Monica Guzman
- Instagram – Monica Guzman
- Twitter – Monica Guzman
About Monica Guzman
Monica Guzman is an International Executive Coach and Motivational Speaker with over 12 years of experience in the corporate, education and business sectors.
Ms. Guzman works with companies around leadership development, program design, recruitment, team-building, organizational effectiveness, and operating efficiency.
Monica is the Author of “Good is Not Good Enough,” an EBook which provides a blueprint for professional success.
With a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Temple University and Certification as a Licensed Professional Counselor, Ms. Guzman’s business coaching is enhanced by a deep understanding of human nature.
She coaches employees-from managers to C-level executives-to strengthen and focus their talents to become solution-focused leaders who engender the dedication of their staff, managers, and colleagues and whose professional performance elevates company bottom-lines and brands.
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