""Living in the past, complaining of your misfortunes, builds a thick wall around your Jericho. Talking too much about your affairs, scattering your forces, brings you up against a high wall.
I knew a man of brains and ability, who was a complete failure. He lived with his mother and aunt, and I found that every night when he went home to dinner, he told them all that had taken place during the day at the office; he discussed his hopes, his fears, and his failures.
I said to him, "You scatter your forces by talking about your affairs. Don't discuss your business with your family. Silence is golden!"
He took my lead. During dinner he refused to talk about business. His mother and aunt were in despair. They loved to hear all about everything, but his silence proved golden!
Not long after, he was given a position at one hundred dollars a week, and in a few years, he had a salary of three hundred dollars a week."
Why don't you take a week and write down what you say to whom each and every day. That includes people at work and at home. Do you get caught up in the office complaining or the office gossip? Sometimes that is simply a habit that you're not even aware of. But you must be cognizant of what's going on and what words are coming out of your mouth and those going into your ears.
So write things down as they happen. Take a few minutes each hour (set your reminder on Outlook or on your watch) and jot notes so that in the evening when you really have time, you can remember that you talked about this or that - or even that you just listened to the conversation. Listening is participating. Listening makes impressions on your subconscious mind.
Once that week has past review what you've written down for each day. How much of your time were you engaging in things that were not of any use (and potentially dangerous)? I think you'll be surprised.
Now, what can you do about this? Figure out your plan of action to avoid the negative participation. One way to deal with this is to make a plan each morning. Write down something constructive you can do with your "free time" - that is, the time you've been involved in either listening or talking. Write down an affirmation to say instead of going to the "water cooler". Frequently people are concerned that they will be looked on as an outsider if they don't participate. Is this your concern? I think you can still be involved if you decide to change the subject or talk about something positive on that same subject.
In addition to writing down your plan for avoiding the negative self-talk, write down what you want to accomplish each day.
Do this for another week. Then repeat the same exercise of writing down what you say. But this week, also write down how your day has gone, how much success you've had at doing what you wanted to do, what you planned to do in the a.m. and did you succeed in doing it.
Let us know how this works out.