You’re caught up in a cycle. You know the one. You’ve been talking down to yourself for a while. Every word in your mind points out your flaws and mistakes.
Negative self-talk can be very harmful. It gets in your head though conversation, previous experiences, things you’ve read and comments from other people. Once there, it plays over and over, growing somehow worse with every repeat until you stop trying. Progress towards your goals stall, and you find yourself in a downward spiral.
So how can you put the negative self-talk aside? Is it easier said than done? Try these things:
Find the Calm
First of all, you can’t combat anything when you’re overwhelmed. Find a quiet place, sit down and take a few deep breaths. If you can, meditate or try a mindfulness exercise until you feel calmer.
Take Note of What You’re Thinking
Don’t avoid the negative thought. Listen to it. What is making you feel this way? What is it saying? Whose voice does it sound like? Is it yours or someone else?
Try this exercise:
Write on a post-it note or index card every time you say something negative to yourself. It’s amazing how often we can say negative things to ourselves without realising it. Keep a record of what you said and when. After two weeks bring awareness to the things you said to yourself and note any patterns. Perhaps you notice fear of success or time management as issues.
Extension: Use other tips in this blog to help bring the change you’d like to see.
Uncover the Roots
What does the thought represent? Where did it come from? Is this from an expectation you put on yourself at some point, or does it come from someone else entirely?
Let go of Unreasonable Expectations
Are you trying too hard to be perfect? Is there a more reasonable expectation you can put in place of this thought?
Turn It Around
What is the positive side to this thought? For example, if you’re worried about making hard decisions at work, remind yourself of the times you did so in the past and the positive outcomes you achieved as a result.
Create a New Habit
If this negative thought is one that keeps returning, what is the new thought you want to replace it with? How can you make this thought a habit? Consider this: the more you react in a new way to an old stimulus, the quicker a new habit is formed, and the old reaction subsides.
This action is perhaps one of the most difficult to take. By consciously putting a stop to a negative thought, you have the power to overcome it. Remember that when the thought comes up again, take a deep breath and put a stop to it.
By breaking through the negative self-talk, you will find things become much more enjoyable and meaningful. The more you feel you are worthy of happiness and success, the more you will attract them. This process requires practice and determination. Be kind to yourself and patient. You’ll get there.
You don’t have to listen to negativity but sometimes it becomes so firmly entrenched you might have trouble dislodging it by yourself. When this happens, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talking to a trusted friend or find a professional who can help you lay this negative chatter to rest.
Contact me today for a complimentary 30-minute call and let’s explore how I can help you be the difference maker you are meant to be.
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Photo by Yasin Yusuf on Unsplash