Last Updated on May 8, 2021 by Shane Walker
Negative self talk stifles self confidence and self love. It keeps us living in a state of negativity and hopelessness. Ultimately it prevents us from living our best life. We already have to deal with everyday life beating us down, we shouldn’t beat ourselves up as well. It is important that you learn how to stop negative self talk in its tracks, so that your confidence, positivity, self appreciation, and happiness can flourish. Here are 7 ways to do it.
“Don’t be a victim of negative self talk – remember YOU are listening.” – Bob Proctor
How To Stop Negative Self Talk
1. Focus on Your Positives
A powerful way to stop the negative self talk is to focus on your positives. We spend too much time focused on what is wrong with us and the mistakes we have made and not enough time on all the great things about us. What are you good at? What accomplishments have you had? Who do you positively influence? Take some time to answer these types of questions. I like to create what is called a “Love Me List”. It is a list of awesome things about me. It may sound silly but trust me it is an excellent way to overcome negative self talk and stop beating yourself up especially when things do not go your way. Create a similar list and keep it on you. Use it as a reminder that you do have a lot to offer.
2. Stop Negative Self Talk with Affirmations
Affirmations are a great tool to counter the negative things you say to yourself. Look at the following list of negative self talk examples.
Negative Self Talk Examples
- “I’ll never be good enough.”
- “This will never work out.”
- “I’m not good enough to succeed.”
- “I’m such a screwup.”
- “I don’t deserve to be happy.”
Positive Self Talk Examples
- “I have everything I need within me to succeed.”
- “I deserve success and happiness.”
- “Creativity, talent, and confidence flow through me.”
- “I recognize my imperfections and accept them fully.”
- “Every day I feel better and better about myself.”
Prevent negative self talk from continuing by first recognizing you are doing it, then by replacing it with positive self talk or affirmations. Even if you do not believe the affirmations to be true when you say them, say them anyway. They disrupt your self-deprecating language at that moment, and over time they will rewire your brain to believe them.
3. Treat Yourself Like a Close Personal Friend
When was the last time you told a close friend they sucked? How long ago did you tell your bestie they screw up everything and do not deserve to succeed? You probably never have because you can’t imagine doing that to someone who means so much to you. Instead, you probably encourage them when they screw up. You most likely cheer them on when they embark on a new journey. Start treating yourself the same way. Encourage yourself and be your own best cheerleader instead of self bashing. After all, you are the closest one to you, and the one who is with you through everything. Be good to yourself and treat yourself like a close personal friend.
4. Surround Yourself with Supportive People
Chances are high you learned negative self talk from others. Perhaps it was the way your parents talked to themselves or maybe the way peers talked to you. In any case, over time, this way of thinking and talking became the norm. Not that these people are bad, just that they instilled in you these bad habits. Surrounding yourself with supportive people is a great way to reverse course. Supportive people will correct you when you engage in negative self talk. They will help you feel confident in yourself and your abilities. They will remind you of how awesome you truly are. Avoid spending too much time with others who engage in self criticism or are overly critical of you. Spend more time with those who lift you up and make you feel good about yourself.
5. Overcome Limiting Beliefs to Stop Negative Self Talk
It is very difficult stopping negative self talk with limiting beliefs holding us back. These beliefs are totally untrue yet so ingrained in our DNA that it feels more like a fact of life than a belief. For instance, a woman believing she will always be overweight no matter what she does. Or a man who believes he would be a horrible father like his own dad. Beliefs like these hold us back and fuel our negative self talk.
To overcome limiting beliefs, the first thing you must do is challenge them. Has your limiting belief ever been false in the past? In the above examples, you could ask, “Was I able to get in shape before?” If so, you can do it again and your limiting belief that you will always be overweight is false. You could also ask, “have I always been bad with kids?” If not, then you can’t believe you would make a horrible parent. Once you prove that these beliefs can be proven untrue they will lose their grip on you. This is a big topic so click here if you want a step-by-step process on overcoming limiting beliefs. Once you do, it will be much easier to squash self negativity and criticism.
6. Put Your Foot Down
One of the simplest ways to overcome negative self talk is to put your foot down and say enough is enough. Draw a line in the sand and decide you will never say anything negative about yourself again. If you catch yourself doing it, stop immediately, apologize to yourself and move on. Life is too short to spend it at war with ourselves. Take a stand and shut that negative voice up.
7. Separate Yourself from the Negative Self Talk
I teach my clients this technique when they have issues with their inner critic. The negative voice in your head is not you. It is a culmination of years of bad breaks, negative experiences, failures, treatment from others and society. It is an entity within you that is not the real you. So you must separate yourself from it and realize it is another “thing” causing this havoc within you. Once you can separate yourself from it, it is much easier to silence it when needed. Give it a name, visualize it being a person, etc. The more descriptive you get with your negative voice and inner critic, the further you can pull away. The next time you catch it criticizing you or putting you down, see it as someone who has no power over you and only speaks lies. Then quietly but firmly, tell it to shut the heck up.
Stop negative self talk in its tracks with these strategies. Focus on your positives, use the power of affirmations, treat yourself like a close personal friend, and surround yourself with supportive people. You can also work too overcome your limiting beliefs, put your foot down and separate yourself. It is important to realize that you do not have to do all of these things in order to make a change to the way you talk to yourself. Choose one or two for now and move on from there.
How would your life change if you could stop negative self talk? Let us know in the comments.