| 3 min read

Internal Dialogue or “Chatter”: The Ethan Kross Blog (pt 1)

Chatter describes negative self talk

I had the true privilege to interview the author of the hands-down best book I have read this year, Chatter by Dr. Ethan Kross, who really dives into the concept of internal dialogue beautifully.

Is it about fundraising? No.

Is it about the nonprofit sector? No.

But it’s about concepts so deep that it applies to all industries and humans.

Reading Chatter changed my life, it’s the self improvement MUST-READ that I can’t recommend enough! The concepts are ones I already identify with, but couldn’t summarize the same as Dr. Kross has.

chatter is our internal voice and more important to our mental health and nonprofit mindset

Let’s dig into all things around this book and the little treasures Dr Kross dropped as he and I spoke last month…

First, let’s talk about what “chatter” is.

After YEARS of research and testing, Dr Kross was able to actually prove that our internal voice (the same one we use to tell ourselves anything from reminders of what to get at the grocery store to reliving a discussion in our head wishing we handled things differently) are more important to our mental health and mindset than we once thought.

And we can control what we think, which controls what we do and how we do it. Or if we even do certain things at all.

Chatter [or internal dialogue] describes negative self talk. This is the voice we use to talk ourselves out of things due to fear. We use this voice when we want to say no to reaching up to the next level at work or asking for funds from a large donor.

To be fair, it often stems from an event in the past that didn’t go the way we wanted. So now we use that as a reason to avoid a similar fate. But going out on those limbs, taking those risks have the greatest possibility for growth. Avoiding them is a mistake.

chatter or internal dialogue describes negative self talk towards how we fundraise

As you’re reading this you’re probably making a list of a time or two your chatter stopped you from pursuing something big. When I read this book, I personally made a mental list of all the things I held myself back from in the past. And what’s really interesting, as a nonprofit consultant I was already using this concept without even realizing it for my clients based on those past experiences.

One of the fundamental principles I teach in my Power Partners Formula™️ Program and with my 1:1 clients is to create a win-win situation with a possible donor before even making the ask.

So go with me down this path… imagine a big leap you’re thinking of. Maybe it’s that you’ve heard yourself say that you’ll be really bummed if you reach out to 10 large donors and they all say no. So you don’t want to try.

Did you prepare fully for a yes answer using funder mapping? Did you create a win-win situation that’s really difficult for them to refuse?

Change what you’re telling yourself. Delete the chatter. Remind yourself that you’ve prepared and done your best. That you deserve the yes reply for all of your hard work.

If you don’t get the response you’ve worked for, it wasn’t necessarily anything you did wrong. You still come out ahead with new data and experience you can apply to your skills list.

Shifting the internal dialogue: Instead of telling yourself that you were rejected again, ask: What did I gain from this? What did I learn? And how can I apply this to the next 10 asks? Because, I know that next time it’s going to be even easier.

nonprofit fundraising consultant must create a win-win situation with a possible donor before even making the ask

These are all added value and growth to your life and fundraising experience that makes you better.

I won’t give away all the tools Dr. Kross provides in his book, Chatter, you’ll have to read it to get the most out of it. This was just one small taste of the way you can reframe how you talk to yourself and how that can change the way you do everything in life.

You can grab a copy here… and listen to my podcast episode (July 20th, 2021!) where you can hear our conversation for yourself!

For more of my favorite fundraising tips and tricks, check out my Resource page! Here, you can find relevant articles, webinars, quizzes, etc. about fundraising in the nonprofit sector. In addition, you can subscribe to What the Fundraising for ongoing conversations about how you can fundamentally change the way you lead and fundraise. And to learn how to raise more from the right funders using the Power Partners Formula, you are always welcome to join one of my free Masterclasses at malloryerickson.com/free.

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