Are you aware that you talk to yourself all day long? No, not the mental chatter about activities and chores that you need to remember throughout the day. That’s a form of self-talk too, but I’m referring more to the things you say to yourself on a regular basis; and more importantly, the tone in which you say them.
When you make a mistake, do you berate yourself angrily? Do you put yourself down or call yourself derogatory names? When you have a hard time making positive changes in your life, do you bemoan what a “worthless” person you are and conclude that you’ll never do anything right? Or is the negativity more subtle as in not giving yourself the credit for a job well done or accepting a well-deserved compliment?
Negative self-talk can be incredibly damaging to your self-esteem, especially if it’s a big part of your daily life. As you continue these self-belittling thoughts over and over, in time, you will begin to actually believe them!
Most often these messages begin as statements uttered by the adults in your life when you were a child. They may have said something negative about you when your actions displeased them, or perhaps they had a habit of saying unkind things even when you didn’t deserve them. As painful as these experiences can be, it is even worse when you pick up where they left off and keep repeating the same negative messages to yourself over and over!
Most of my clients aren’t even aware that they have negative self-talk. There are surprised when I reflect back to them what they’ve said, in passing, reflecting their inner thoughts. They seem embarrassed when they are ‘discovered’ and I ask them about it.
The good news is that you can change your self-talk any time you want. You just have to know how to become aware of the tone of your messages and consciously replace them with more encouraging ones.
Try these simple steps for starters:
1) Develop awareness of your self-talk. It may take practice, but if you keep “listening” in to your inner voice, you’ll begin to notice when you talk negatively to yourself. You can even ask friends or someone close to you to help you become more conscious of them.
2) Challenge the negative messages. When you notice yourself saying something negative such as, “You’re such a screw-up, you can’t do anything right” – stop yourself and challenge that belief. Is that really true? Maybe you don’t get some things right, but do you ALWAYS mess up? Probably not.
3) Replace the negative messages with positive messages. When you realize you’re saying unkind and untrue things to yourself, simply turn it around in your mind. Using the above example, you might say, “Wow, that’s not true at all! I do plenty of things right. It’s true I make mistakes, but so does everyone. I’m a good person and I try my best. That’s good enough for me.”
Over time, your efforts will pay off in the form of stronger self-esteem and respect for yourself and your capabilities. It will take a little time to completely stop the negative habit you have developed, but the more you work at turning your self-talk in a more positive direction, the better you’ll feel about yourself.
To your best self!
P.S. Learn to believe in yourself and treat yourself with kindness and acceptance. Your thoughts matter greatly. If you are finding it difficult to improve that inner voice, I am an expert at it as I had to learn to do so for myself in order to grow and heal. Call me.
Take advantage of my complimentary “Maximize your ONE Life” Strategy Sessions (Valued at $135) and let’s see if I can help you with this.
Click HERE to schedule the FREE Session with me so we can chat about what’s possible for you, including beginning to believe in yourself!
Please leave your comments below. Let me know if this information was helpful to you and if so, please pass it on and SHARE it with others!! You never really know who might need this message at this time.