Negative self-talk, also known as inner speech or simply self-talk, is the constant stream of thoughts running through your head, day in and day out. These thoughts are often so automatic that you don’t even notice them; however, they significantly impact your daily life, as you build and maintain beliefs and attitudes about yourself and the world around you based on what you tell yourself throughout the day.
Do you ever say these things to yourself?
I have such a miserable life. What a loser I am. I always do stupid things. I will never find my soul mate. You might be surprised to discover that you are engaging in a form of mental communication that you didn’t even realize you were doing. But if these thoughts sound familiar, then it’s likely that your internal dialogue isn’t healthy or productive.
Our brain can indeed communicate with us both verbally and non-verbally; however, it can also harm itself if left to its own devices by speaking negatively about our abilities and character traits, among other things!
Why do we put ourselves down?
Do you say things to yourself that make you feel bad about yourself? You’re not alone. Studies show that we often say things to ourselves that we wouldn’t say to someone else. Sometimes it happens without us even realizing it.
Negative self-talk begins at a young age, and for many of us, becomes a habit over time. If we start believing our thoughts and have a hard time recognizing when we’re being overly critical or nasty toward ourselves. Saying something nice can be just as powerful as saying something negative.
How does it affect our life?
Self-talk can manifest itself in many different ways. You may not even realize that you frequently criticize yourself or put yourself down negative self-talk can be so damaging that it prevents us from learning and growing by taking away our motivation and lessening our enjoyment of activities.
Examples of positive self-talk
While it’s easy to focus on your faults and failures, sometimes you need to focus on your strengths. Positive self-talk does not mean that you ignore or deny your strengths. It means that you take note of your weaknesses, learn from them, and then counteract those issues with something positive about yourself.
Consider how you complete smaller tasks if you tend to procrastinate on bigger ones If doing so feels difficult (or like a waste of time), a person who has a lot of influence over you can help reinforce your accomplishment and remind you that despite its small appearance, it’s worth celebrating.
Identify your own negativity
What kind of language do you use to describe yourself, other people, and your environment? Do you ever tell yourself that you are stupid, unsuccessful, or undeserving? Whatever it is, try to identify what it means.
For example, if you constantly call yourself dumb because of poor grades in school, does that mean that you’re unintelligent in general or just uneducated about a specific subject (e.g., math)? Understanding what thought or feeling means is often enough to defuse its power over us without changing who we are fundamental.
If a single momentary feeling could define our entire essence, then we would never be able to change. We would never become more than who we are right now. But we can!
Replace the negatives with positives!
Instead of telling yourself that you’re not good enough, say to yourself that you’ll have to work harder to be better. Instead of telling yourself, I can’t do it, you could say, If I try again, I might be able to figure it out. In addition to improving your confidence, you will be more likely to take productive actions if you are positive in your thinking and in your language. In order to get rid of negativity once and for all, replace any negative word or phrase with a positive one.
Instead of saying I don’t have time to exercise today, say I will make time for it today. This small change makes a big difference in how you feel about your ability to succeed.
The next time you find yourself using negative words, stop and consider whether an alternative phrase would be more appropriate. You’ll put a positive spin on things. Go for it! Becoming kinder to yourself may lead to being kinder to others, too-and isn’t that what we’re all after?
Complete this sentence, I feel… with positive words.
I now feel … accomplished. or I now feel … sure of myself. or I feel confident in my ability to tackle new career challenges. Whenever you’re struggling, always finish with a positive word, and avoid phrases like hate, afraid, and sad.
They can bring you down and prevent you from making progress in your career. These words can help inspire a positive self-image so that you’re willing to take risks and thrive at work.
Negative thinking is a natural and inevitable part of life that can manifest in one’s behavior and make one feel less confident in their ability to succeed. This article discusses what is negative self-talk. View our blog on developing a positive mindset and replacing your negative thoughts with positive ones.
Four ways to stop the negative self-talk
1)Analyze your thoughts
Understanding your thought patterns is the first step to changing them. Being aware of how you think is the first step. These constant negative thoughts can create unnecessary fear and stop you from being your best self. Are there certain situations that make you feel insecure? Do you have any consistent thoughts about your behavior or choices?
What do these self-critical thoughts sound like when expressed in words? Recognizing recurring patterns is a crucial first step. Identifying them will make it easier to change them.
2)Imagine that you are speaking to someone else
Do you ever notice that people get defensive when you tell them they’re doing something wrong or attempting something in a way that won’t be successful? Many of us find it difficult to accept criticism. And we often take criticism personally.
It is possible to suffer from anxiety and stress when we criticize ourselves. Think of your inner voice in the same way you would talk to a friend: If you find yourself critiquing your actions or decisions, take a step back and ask yourself how you would treat someone who made the same mistake.
3)Focus on the present
Try to focus on your present when experiencing a negative emotional state, Take a moment to reflect on your life, your surroundings, or anything else that might be relevant to you at that time. Focusing on anything other than the present moment leads to despair.
So before you take any action, ask yourself, is there anything I can do right now? If not, recognize it and move on!
The way we see ourselves is influenced by past experiences. We may convince ourselves that something bad happened because of a personal flaw.
This kind of thinking can create low self-esteem or cause us to doubt our ability to succeed at a task or overcome an obstacle.
However, if you look objectively at your thought process (without being too hard on yourself), you might realize that these thoughts aren’t true and don’t match reality.
4)Accept where you are now
The first step is to accept where you are. It is easy to focus on your shortcomings. Accept where you are now, and then reflect on what you will do differently next time. By doing so, you can reverse the thought process that keeps you from achieving success in life.
Self-acceptance can be difficult for most of us. It is challenging to learn to accept our lives and ourselves, but it all begins with your attitude.
No matter what you are trying to accomplish – losing weight, starting a business, or just improving your life in general – making room for positive, uplifting thoughts will help you reach your goals faster.
Everyone experiences self-doubt, but if you feel like you’re always criticizing yourself, it can get in the way of your success. But negative self-talk can be harmful to your progress and your feelings of self-worth. Here are five ways to stop the negative self-talk and begin embracing more positive thoughts instead.