My negative self-talk has been one of my biggest problems in my life and still is.
Whilst it’s there to help as well as hinder, I must catch that inner critic and reign her in sometimes as she gets more carried away than I can on a night out.
I am in awe when I say to my daughter “don’t you look pretty!” and she replies “yep, I am pretty!” So, where did this inner critic come from?
They say that it is developed over time. As far back as your childhood, communication between parents, caregivers and your overall environment. With anything that develops over time, it then becomes a habit, and, in this case, it can be a very negative one.
This inner critic creates negative self-talk, these can be anything such as:
· It’s just no use
· Nothing ever goes right for me
· I don’t have the talent
· I just can’t handle this
Because they do to me. I work hard daily to get rid of negative self-talk and actually hubby tends to pull me up on it as well.
So how bad can it get?
Well negative self-talk can take a serious path if it is out of control and not fixed.
When we engage in negative self-talk it raises our stress levels which in turn decreases things like motivation and in some cases manifests physical symptoms as well.
We cannot see what’s positive in our lives as our mind is now only focused on what’s negative. So, because of this we, (being on the inside) cannot see any positive opportunities amongst the cloud of negative fog!
Have you ever had friends give you a solution to your problem, but you dismiss it?
It’s so hard to see these solutions when our mind is solely focused on the problem and not the solution. Luckily for us, when we have people around us, we trust, they can help us to identify steps to a resolution.
The effects of all of this changes the environment around us. Where we developed because of our environment, we are now creating a negative environment around us. It’s a good idea to look at who could be affected by your negative self-talk.
I have a boy but since having my girls, I try to be aware of how I talk about myself.
Kids copy and I do not want mine speaking about themselves in such ways.
I have found over the years from my experiences that women are more prone to negative talk than men.
The few women I have come across that speak positively about themselves we’re seen as arrogant or she loves herself but Dave talking about how great he is at football was acceptable and endearing.
I do believe that this is making a change and women are getting a lot better, but I would love to see more women speaking about themselves in a more positive light.
That is my why!
My why is my reason to ‘fix’ something. I have a ‘why?’ for so many things. The very thought of unhelpful negative talking coming from my children sparks my superhero positive talk.
Here my 5 top tips on how to beat that negative self-talk:
1. You control your inner critic, not the other way around. So, question it, is it helping or is it hindering? How do you feel? Remember that your inner critic is created from emotion and not based on fact. The past is in the past so leave it there. Write down your negative thoughts then return to them one hour and one day later, recording them each time. Then, compare them.
2. Using words such as ‘always’ and ‘never’. Aghhh this one is so hard but if like exercising you practice daily it DOES get easier. You know when they say you have to watch what you say, well watch what you say about yourself and change vocabulary such as ‘always’ & ‘never’ and re-frame the sentence. When you say it out loud, you can feel the difference.
3. Stop thinking you know what everyone else is thinking! Well, unless you’re an actual psychic then you probably don’t know what other people are thinking. They may have been pulling a face as they suddenly wondered if they left the front door unlocked or forgot to pay a bill. Either way, unless someone says something out loud, try not to create what they’re thinking, it’s unhelpful for you and your mental health.
4. Stop feeling guilty about your past. Easier said than done I hear you say. It’s ok to think or even talk about your experiences but guilt doesn’t help you or that situation. All guilt does is create stress and as we all know stress brings on physical symptoms as well. So, if there is something you can put right, do that but otherwise don’t let your past experiences define you.
5. Imagine you’re speaking to a friend. What language would you use for them and how would execute that conversation? The likelihood is that you would be a lot nicer to them than you are to yourself. There’s probably a friend that has been in a very similar situation, but you gave them a smile but gave yourself a frown. Turn it around and give yourself the same kindness you offered to someone else.
I really hope some of this helps or at least brings some awareness to that inner critic when it involves the negative self-talk.
Please feel free to look at my coaching page for further support.