Negative self-talk is something that we all do. There are times when we are feeling down, times where we are stressed, and times where negativity creeps its way into our minds no matter how hard we try to fight it. In today’s post, I want to share with you some things that you can do to stop negative self-talk and reclaim your confidence back.
What is Negative Self-Talk?
Negative self-talk is all of the inner voices and dialogue that you have with yourself that may be limiting your true potential and ability to believe in your own abilities. It is negative self-talk that prevents you from making positive changes to your life because when you engage in negative self-talk, all of your confidence diminishes.
In some instances, our internal dialogue can be very helpful. It can help to motivate us when we are feeling down or weak, and it can inspire us when we feel hurt and pain.
Unfortunately, however, most of our self-talk isn’t cheerful or pleasant. Our minds tend to overthink the lofty goals that we set for ourselves, squash every ounce of our self-confidence, and limit our abilities. We resort to always wondering what could go wrong instead of all that will go right.
Think about it. How many times do you say ‘I can’t do it’, ‘I’m not strong enough’, ‘I’m too lazy’, ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I’m not good looking enough’, and ‘nothing good ever happens to me’? All of these are examples of negative self-talk – talk that can cause defeat before you even get started.
What Are the Effects of Negative Self-Talk?
1) Kills Your Motivation
When you’re caught up in an endless negative feedback loop, it can get incredibly difficult to find the motivation to complete even the easiest of tasks. The longer you wait to complete a task, the less likely you will be to actually complete it. Over time, this lack of motivation will turn into self-doubt.
This is why I recommend doing something easy first thing in the morning such as making your bed. It’s not difficult, and by taking the extra minute to do so, you are starting your day out with a victory.
2) Limits Your Growth
When you talk down on yourself, you stop taking chances on yourself and quit giving yourself the opportunity to succeed. If you want to grow your life in any way what-so-ever, then you need to continue to grow.
3) Relationship Struggles
In order to have a good relationship with others, you first need to have a good relationship with yourself. If you engage in negative self-talk, then you will not have a good relationship with yourself, and therefore, you will not have a good relationship with others.
4) You May Feel Depressed
Whether you believe it to be true or not, there is definitely a link between negative self-talk and depression. To reduce the risk of depression, then make sure that you are doing everything that you can do to stop yourself from engaging in negative self-talk!
How to Stop Negative Self-Talk
1) Make a list
Whenever a negative thought comes to your mind, try to make it a point to write them down as they come to you. There are going to be some thoughts that are going to hold you back more than others, and these are the thoughts that you should be paying attention to the most.
Once you’ve identified the thoughts that you struggle with the most, spend some time writing out an affirmation that is the exact opposite. Repeat this affirmation time and time again until you start to believe it. Don’t just say it though for the sake of saying it, put some meaning and intention behind it.
2) Acknowledge your thoughts
Part of stopping negative self-talk is to be aware of your thoughts. It’s a lot easier said than done, but to be aware of your thoughts means to slow down and actually pay attention to them.
This is why making a list of your negative thoughts is crucial to overcoming the very thoughts that are holding you back. Once you acknowledge your thoughts and counter them with affirmations, then you will be able to find a solution to overcome them.
3) Treat yourself how you want others to treat you
How do you feel when others talk down on you? Probably not very good, right? So then why do you do it to yourself?
To stop negative self-talk, start treating yourself like how you want others to treat you. Others are going to show you the same respect that you show yourself, so instead of focusing on all that is wrong, focus on all that is right. Tell yourself you are good enough, that you are deserving, and that there isn’t anything that you can’t achieve. You spend the most time with yourself, so learn to become your own best friend.
4) Embrace imperfection and persevere through challenges
Perfection simply doesn’t exist. No matter how good you are, there is always going to be room for improvement. This may seem like you are bashing yourself by saying that you aren’t perfect, but it’s actually the exact opposite. Embracing your imperfections allows you the freedom to venture out and to take chances on yourself. You won’t be consumed by negative self-talk because you won’t be constricted by the impossibility of being perfect.
Start looking at every challenge in your life as learning opportunities that help you grow, develop, and to become the person you want to become. Who cares if you made a mistake, at least you can say that you had enough courage to even try something new.
5) Start your day with 5 affirmations
Every morning when I wake up, one of the first things that I do is write down five positive affirmations. After I write them down, I will close my eyes and recite them over and over again in my head until I have fully committed to them.
For me, it’s important to do them first thing in the morning because it helps to set the tone for the rest of the day. If I don’t start my day off with affirmations, then the smallest of things can take over my emotions and can negatively impact my day.
6) Surround yourself with confident people
One way to bring out the best in yourself is to surround yourself with individuals in which you wish to best resemble. As individuals, we become on average a product of the six people we spend the most time with. This means that if we spend our time with six millionaires, there’s a good chance we will become the seventh. If we spend our time with six criminals, there’s a good chance we will become the seventh.
The point is, surround yourself with those who you most want to be like. If you want to stop negative self-talk dead in its tracks, then surround yourself with six individuals who are happy, who treat themselves with respect, and who believe in all of their abilities. If you do this, there is a very good chance you will become the seventh.
7) Reward yourself for all your efforts
If you want to stop any bad habit, not just negative self-talk, then you need to reward yourself for the strides that you make into overcoming that habit. When you do, you are reinforcing the behaviors necessary to overcome the habit for good.
The next time that negative thoughts come to your mind and you had the awareness to overcome them, do something nice for yourself like treating yourself to a coffee or literally giving yourself a pat on the back. It doesn’t have to be anything over-the-top. The key is to just reinforce positive behaviors to eventually eliminate negative ones.
I hope these tools help you to stop negative self-talk as they have helped me. Sometimes, we all just need a little extra motivation and inspiration, but no matter what, never forget all that you have achieved and all that you have the capability to continue to achieve. Love yourself for the individual that you are, surround yourself with the right people, and focus on positive thoughts if you want to remove the negative ones from your life.
Yesterday’s post: Learn To Be Grateful For Everything—Even The Bad Things