How to Stop Negative Self Talk
We can be our greatest ally or enemy, primarily if we fuel all our automatic thoughts and have a negative inner talk with us.
Most of us have to deal with an inner critic reflected in persistent thoughts that tell us that we are not good enough or that question our goals.
Most of us have to deal with an inner critic reflected in persistent thoughts that tell us that we are not good enough or question our goals. Even those thoughts try to destroy, undermine or challenge our achievements. On the one hand, there is oneself, who gets up every morning with a goal and owner of himself, and on the other hand, there is that inner critic “anti-self,” sometimes self-destructive, which manifests itself in the form of negative thoughts. This internal voice with which we criticize ourselves is formed by painful life experiences, which occurred in childhood and adolescence, in which hurtful situations have been suffered or witnessed in others.
Have you observed what kinds of conversations you have with yourself? Did you know that your internal dialogue says a lot about you as a person? How you interact with your deepest thoughts can determine your concepts and actions. In other words, you become what you think you are. So, if you have negative self-talk, you are likely a person, timid, pessimistic, passive, etc.
Your inner critical voice is not a reflection of reality; instead, it is an unconsciously adopted point of view based on early harmful and destructive life experiences and attitudes directed toward you that you have internalized as your point of view.
If you think you are a solid and valuable person, you can live up to that statement. If, on the contrary, you tell yourself that you are weak and unimportant, then you will be building a reality in which you are indeed that way. Incredible true?
Several practices can free you from some of that negative inner talk. You must carry a notebook and a pen with you to make annotations at any time of the day. Find 3 or 4 times a day to be alone with your thoughts and write them down. In this period, write down the conversation you are having with yourself or those you have had in the last hours. The more details, the better. You can do it spontaneously if you find it easier to take notes without a scheduled time. Record everything you say to yourself about any aspect, such as your abilities, intelligence, dreams, memories, sorrows, health, etc.
- Do you wonder if your ruminating thoughts or repetitive behaviors might be a mental health disorder?
Another practice to do at night, already in bed, is to think about a hypothetical situation.
Imagine that you have to attend a decisive appointment the next day, for example, a job interview, either with essential clients or with your boss or superiors. They will be watching and listening to you. How do you see yourself in the scenario described? You must relax to capture with serenity – and sincerity, what messages reach you about yourself. You will see that by representing the meeting and bringing the attention to your person, you will inevitably receive some ideas or concepts. Write down everything you can about that dialogue that is emerging within you.
The next day review what you wrote in the previous two exercises. See if you discover any common ground or thread running through both sets of texts. If so, what are the coincident or recurring items? Please detail them separately clearly once more, in writing.
Another thing to do is discover the general tone of your internal dialogue.
Take a moment to analyze what you have written briefly: how would you describe the tone or character of what you say to yourself internally? In general, do you tend to be optimistic and find positive aspects in yourself? Do you flatter yourself? Or, on the contrary, do you have a pessimistic view of yourself? Analyze if you are real or if you think that perhaps you tend to exaggerate, either in one way or the other.
Once again, review what you wrote in the first two exercises. According to the messages you dedicate to yourself throughout the day, answer: What kind of friend do you consider yourself to be? If it was someone else who whispered those messages in your ear, how do you think you would feel? So what kind of environment do you create for yourself daily? Do you convey harmony, joy, and well-being or the opposite? What emotional states do you generate with your negative inner talk?
Ultimately, the objective of these exercises is for you to discover and become aware of what kind of internal dialogue you have at all times. If you want to work on those messages that can be detrimental to your emotional health, that is the first step: recognize the negative inner talk you have with yourself. Once identified, you can move steadily toward an inner transformation.
- If negative self-talk or thoughts become intrusive to your quality of life, learn more regarding mental health disorders such as depression and OCD.
One does not achieve enlightenment by fantasizing about light, but by making darkness conscious – C.G. Jung