Negative self-talk is that little voice in your head, running in the background like a broken record. That little voice telling you “I’m not enough,” or “I’m flawed,” or “They’ll see right through me and not like what they see.”
How Is Negative Self-Talk Created?
Your programmed record is multi-layered and built over many years. It’s deeply rooted in the stories you’ve been told growing up, from within your family, friends, and society. Stories you didn’t intrinsically create.
Why It’s a Hard Habit to Break
As you’ve navigated life, each experience that ended in disappointment or failure may have reaffirmed those stories, creating deeper roots; while the positive experiences were “just luck” or “random. If you see all your positive experiences as “just luck” or “random,” then you can’t contribute them to your own hard work and internalize them as successes.
When It Becomes the Soundtrack to Your Life
Since negative self-talk is often based on your specific and skewed perception, you start to believe it as truth and live them out repeatedly. You create barriers and walls around how you show up. You find yourself stuck in a box of who you can and want to be. How can you reprogram your brain to challenge these assumptions and think outside the box?
It’s Not Just Wishful Thinking
Wishful thinking will not get you everything you need. But, consider this. If a thought breeds action and action breeds change, then wouldn’t it be important to think in a positive and present mindset of what’s possible?
Thought → Action → Change
Reflect on the Past…And Move On
If you live completely in the past, you’ll make all your decisions based off of fear. When you operate out of a place of fear of the past, you let the past control you and you will stay stuck. Reflect and learn from your past experiences, but don’t let them rule your present.
It’s not about changing your internal dialogue. It’s about becoming aware of it and challenging it to create growth.
1. What does your Negative self-talk sound like?
Your negative self-talk becomes so automatic, that you don’t even notice that it’s running in the background 24/7. Take time to list your self-talk out right now and throughout the day. Don’t judge yourself for anything that comes up. No one else will see the list, so be honest and vulnerable!
2. How would you like to feel?
How do you want to feel? Take a moment to really tune into how you’d like to feel to accomplish your desired life. What values are driving you towards wanting to feel this way?
3. Create Positive Affirmations
This part can feel the most woo woo for some of us. Make affirmations that work for YOU! Affirmations YOU believe are possible and that you feel good saying out loud. A few tips to make them most effective — keep them in first person (use “I”), keep them present tense, and give them meaning by basing them on your values.
4. REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT
Reprogramming your brain with new ideas takes discipline and repetition. Make positive affirmations a new part of your routine rituals. Add them to your daily yoga/meditation practice. Post them on the mirror. Make them a daily habit, so they become a part of your daily internal dialogue.
Your mind is your most powerful tool. It can be your best friend or your worst enemy. You decide which.