Negative Self Talk Examples: 4 Ways To Stop Negative Self Talk
How many times a day do you find yourself making statements similar to the negative self talk examples below? Whether it’s about how non-attractive you believe you are, the intelligence you think you don’t possess, or your feelings about your rank in the world, leaning towards a negative perspective is a common trope.
Negative Self Talk Habits
Self-talk is a term used to describe the thoughts and interpretations that we have about the world around us, as we navigate various situations in our daily lives. I’m sure many of us have witnessed a strange activity while on our morning commute, and we instinctively say something to ourselves like, “I’m happy that wasn’t me.” Self-talk has the potential to be a tool for productivity and proactivity. After bearing witness to some particular occurrence or hearing some vital news piece, we can check in with ourselves to inform of the lessons, reminders, and other takeaways that we have gleaned from it.
There is a common saying in Jamaica, that if you talk to yourself, then that is obviously a sign of madness. As I’m writing this, I have a memory from primary school, where our very strict principal was giving a talk to us during the mandatory morning devotions. From what I can recall, she made it clear that she believed in self-talk as a guide to navigating life. It didn’t hold much weight with my nine-year-old self at the time, but I guess it stuck with me long enough to figure it out.
Self Talk And Your Sense Of Self
Self-talk is mostly automatic, and essential in helping us to navigate our lives. Research has shown that we have been engaging in self-talk since the days of toddlerhood. While engaging in play, we spoke out loud to ourselves to regulate the steps that we needed to take to complete the tasks at hand. It helped us to guide ourselves through the exploration of our environment, and some of us know just how brutal the pre-school/basic school jungle could be, so this was a crucial process.
It’s been found that there are strong associations between the direction of our self-talk and how our concept of self is developed. So, considering that self-talk is a natural aspect of our relationship with ourselves, it begs the question of why negative self-talk habits continue to hold such a prominent role in our minds. We tell ourselves more negative things than good, about what we are capable of, and the possibilities that exist for us. We blame ourselves for negative events occurring and turn the focus on ourselves at any sign of ambiguity.
While negative self-talk habits are not the sole reason for the development of depression, anxiety, and various stress-related ailments, it is a major factor that can fan the flames of these negative mental health consequences.
Flipping The Script On Negative Self-Talk
Like anything else that has been deeply ingrained in our subconsciousness, it is not enough to just express a desire to make changes to how things have always been. Action needs to be taken, and that first requires you to commit yourself that YOU are worth the work. YOU are worth the effort it will take to slowly, but surely, start unpacking the baggage of these negative self-beliefs that we have. Start by saying to yourself, “Self. You are a unique fusion of awesomeness, magnificence, and badassery”. Seriously, try it for yourself sometime.
Just as negative self-talk tends to be automatic, so too can we flip the script and make positive self-talk the star of the show. Below I will outline four simple strategies that will help you streamline the process of negating these negative thoughts (self-talk) and help you shift your perspective, giving you the push you need to have a more positive relationship with yourself.
– Acknowledge The Negative Thoughts
Take note of the thoughts and feelings that you are having, and acknowledge them for what they are: thoughts. Do this purposefully, not allowing them to eat away at you below the surface. They are not facts of life, but transitory thoughts or feelings that don’t actually have a permanent place in your consciousness. Don’t worry about what to do with them at this point, just focus on bringing them to the surface.
– Dig! Reveal Those Roots
I am a firm believer in dedicating yourself to taking regular peeks behind the curtain of anything that affects your sense of self. We have so many mannerisms, and because they seem automatic, we assume that this means that they are natural, and thus unchangeable. Tip: Try not to be complacent with your relationship with yourself. You are not a robot on autopilot, nor are you a slave to your life (even though for some, it may feel that way).
One of the best things that you could do for yourself, is to employ simple techniques for self-reflection, a gateway to digging up all of the roots beneath the foundation on which you stand as an individual. You cannot ever really know what is happening with you in real-time, if you are not taking inventory of your thoughts, feelings, your history, etc. You are the common denominator in your life, and that means that it is crucial to your overall well-being to unearth what it is that makes you, YOU. Undoubtedly, you will continuously make discoveries that were never on your radar before.
– Override With Positive Alternatives
Switch it up. Make it a game if you want. Every time you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, speaking to yourself as an enemy, acknowledging the thought, attempting to figure out where it is stemming from, then consider the alternative. Are you really not smart enough to gain that scholarship, or are you actually a really awesome statistician and would be greatly deserving of it?
It is never easy to go against the grain of what we have become so accustomed to, especially when it comes to our own relationships with ourselves. Overcoming negative self-talk habits take WORK, but please don’t let that scare you. You are worth the consistent internal effort it takes to reposition your history of self-deprecation.
– Practice Consistently!
Keep at it. Like I said before, it takes WORK. Conscious. Consistent. Effort. I assure you that once you decide and remind yourself that you are worth it every day, it won’t feel that hard. You will start having a relationship with yourself that you may have never had before.
Do me a favor? Go find a quiet spot, and say to yourself, “Self, you are worthy of all the possible awesome things that the world has to offer to you.” Also, because I genuinely believe that your awesomeness is worth recognition.
Let me know in the comments below what your favorite positive self-talk reminder is, and if you don’t have one, what would it be?
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