5 Ways to Deal with Negative Self-Talk
May 11, 2019
I’m Sarah, creator of the blog Proud Happy Brave and I’m so excited to be here!! I love the message behind the I Am Confidently Me blog and think that Deena has a knack for sharing her message in an inspiring way.
Since starting my own self-love journey after hitting rock bottom with severe depression, I have become passionate about sharing what I have learnt along the way to help others wanting to be happier with themselves and the world around them. Topics that I love to talk about include building up our self-worth and self-belief to be proud of who we are, as well as how to create a happy, meaningful life and be brave enough to reach for our dream goals.
In today’s post, I’m sharing how I deal with negative self talk. Changing up my self talk from a negative dialogue to one filled with positivity was a pivotal moment for me in my self-love journey and continues to impact how I see myself and my life in a happier way.
I hope this post can help it do the same for you too!
Let’s dive in!
5 Ways I Deal With Negative Self Talk
Did you know that we all have our own self talk? We might not express it out loud for everyone to hear but, more often than not, it is there acting as commentary on our life. And it has a surprisingly powerful impact on how we view ourselves and the world around us.
Take a moment to stop and notice what your self talk is saying. What sort of words and messages are being voiced in your head? Are they positive and optimistic, or are they more jaded and negative?
For a lot of us, it’s the latter and it feel like it would be impossible to change. We feel like we don’t have control over this inner dialogue and that these thoughts are just randomly generated from our deep subconscious.
While it’s true that our self talk is impacted by our subconscious, it is definitely not set in stone and we can actually turn our inner dialogue from negative talk to positive talk.
Your self talk affects how you see yourself and the world around you.
If your self talk is telling you negative thoughts about you or what you are experiencing, then you are going to feel bad about yourself and pessimistic about what is happening in your life. On the flip side, if your self-talk is positive, then you will be more optimistic about yourself, your abilities and what can happen around you.
So how do we deal with negative self talk and introduce more positive self talk into our inner dialogues?
Here are 5 ways I deal with negative self talk and encourage positive self talk instead:
I change the script playing in my head
If I catch myself talking negatively towards myself or about a particular situation, I tell myself ‘STOP!’ and then consciously turn those negative words and thoughts around.
For example, if I’m telling myself that I’m not good enough to apply for a job, I will say something like ‘I am good enough. I might have exactly the skills they are looking for and will be a great fit for the position. I won’t know unless I apply.’
Why not try this next time you catch yourself saying something negative? If you are having trouble thinking of what to replace your negative words with, think about what you would say to your best friend (hint: it should be understanding and encouraging!).
I reframe my thoughts
I used to feel like every time I made a mistake that was proof of what a useless person I was and I would tell myself as much using abusive self-talk. Thanks to reframing my thoughts, I can now see that this type of thinking was in no way based on reality, but was my lack of self-worth shining through.
What does reframing your thoughts involve?
Let’s use the example above of applying for a job. Instead of telling myself that I’m not good enough and that I will fail. I start telling myself that even if I don’t succeed in getting the job, I will have learnt a lot of valuable skills just from applying (and possibly having an interview) that I can then use in future applications.
By changing my thinking to see growth and opportunities instead of mistakes and failures, I’m changing the tone of self talk that I use too.
Reframing your thoughts can also be used to deal with negative self talk about the world around you. For example, instead of thinking that there is nothing good in this world, acknowledge that there are heaps of good things out there, it’s just a matter of changing our focus from only seeing the bad stuff.
I bust negative self-beliefs
Along the same lines as reframing my thoughts around life in general, busting negative self-beliefs have helped me to be more positive in my self talk.
I found the best way to do this is with journaling – I listen to my current self talk and write down any negative beliefs that come up. Then I have some fun by mixing things up and rewriting these beliefs with a positive angle instead.
Here are some examples to help you get started:
|Negative Belief||Positive Belief|
|I am not good enough||I am MORE than good enough|
|I will never be successful||I CAN be successful if I TRY|
|I am ugly||I am a beautiful human being and my kindness shines through|
|I am too frightened||Bravery takes practice|
|I am dumb||I am SMART and can LEARN|
|There is something wrong with me||There is NOTHING wrong with me, everybody is different and everybody has potential to do good|
|I am fat||I am a beautiful person worthy of becoming my best self|
|I am lazy||I can find my spark|
These positive beliefs that you have created can now be used as reminders or affirmations to yourself each day to encourage positive self talk and improved self-esteem.
I practice mindfulness
By practicing mindfulness, I increase my awareness of how my minds behaves and I give myself more control over my thoughts. The more mindful of my thoughts that I am, the better I can deal with any negative self talk that comes up.
Practicing mindfulness can be as simple as stopping to notice our thoughts or taking time out to do a few deep breaths to quiet our minds and feel more centred. It can include body scans and meditation, which can also help bring an overall awareness and deeper understanding of ourselves.
If you find yourself getting caught up in your day and feeling more and more negative about yourself and what is happening around you, it can be helpful to set up a reminder on your phone to take a minute or two to check in with yourself and your inner dialogue. (Bonus action: set up the reminder to say something positive about yourself as an extra little boost!)
I give myself forgiveness
While it’s empowering to think the self talk we use is completely in our control, it is also important to remember that it takes time to change our patterns of thinking.
When we are making the effort to change from negative self talk to positive self talk, we need to not only give ourselves forgiveness for any mistakes we make in our physical actions, we also need to forgive ourselves if we slip up with our internal dialogue.
Sometimes I will be going along so well, using plenty of encouraging and positive self talk, only to find a powerful negative thought creep in and have it threaten to undo my self-esteem. Rather than get angry at myself for the thought, I have found that the best thing to do is to forgive myself and move on. Dwelling on it only brings up more negative self talk.
Giving ourselves forgiveness helps us to keep getting better and grow, instead of getting stuck in the past on what we should have done or what could have been different.
So there are the 5 ways I deal with negative self talk, I hope you find them helpful!
To recap, they are:
- I change the script playing in my head
- I reframe my thoughts
- I bust negative self-beliefs
- I practice mindfulness
- I give myself forgiveness
Changing from negative self talk to positive self talk can really change how we see ourselves and the world around us, so it is definitely worthwhile working towards replacing the negative with more positivity. I know for me, making this change has played a big part in shifting how I feel about myself and in increasing my happiness levels in general.
I’d love to know which one you are most excited to implement in your own life or if you have found something else helpful in dealing with negative self talk. Let us know in the comments below or by sending Deena a message.
If you’d like to find out more about how I build up my self-belief and the actions I take to live my best life (and how you can too!), please head on over to Proud Happy Brave for more posts like this.
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