Why don’t we take on opportunities sometimes, even though our gut feeling deeply wants us too? Negative self talk.
It happens within seconds in your head, without warning crushing your positive impulse to take necessary action on whatever it is, that you would love to do. Whether you are working on a project that is important to you, holding a presentation, applying for a job or putting your hand up in class – self deprecating thoughts can crush dreams within the blink of an eye.
We all have experienced negative thoughts, but often many of us don’t notice when a thought repeated too often becomes a thought pattern, effectively eroding our self esteem. Negative self talk can sound a little something like this:
- I don’t / I can’t ..
- I’m not good enough ..
- If only I had..
- I suck at …
- I don’t deserve..
- I can’t get anything right.
- I shouldn’t even start..
And sadly it mostly happens when we are about to try something amazing! Like daring to voice a thought, building a project, applying for this one position we are dreaming of or wanting a better life in general. All of these steps need courage and involve taking a risk. Greeting every idea with negative feedback from yourself will not only crush your self confidence but also quickly become a habit. A little infusion of self doubt can sometimes be inevitable but manageable, if you know how to direct it towards a positive outcome. In this post I want to show you a technique that has helped me tremendously with getting rid of my negative self talk and building my self esteem.
1. The second you notice your negative thoughts, say „stop“ in your thoughts and replace them with positive affirmations.
This technique needs active practice but you will want to hug me after a week, because like every mantra and thought pattern, „stopping“ negative self talk will also turn into an automatic mechanism. So now, when I am doubting my post ideas or keeping myself from putting my hand up in class, in my head it sounds a little like this:
„I am not g- STOP. I can do it. I managed to do x I can also do y.“
By actively stopping your negative thoughts and replacing it with one or more positive qualities of yourself, you are not only preventing your self esteem from getting harmed but actually building it each time you are using this technique. Love yourself enough to actively start changing the way you talk to yourself. Pamper your self esteem like it is starving! Go overboard with it and it will just be enough.
2. Make a list of your amazing qualities and what you like about yourself.
In order to believe the compliments you are giving to yourself you shouldn’t end the affirmation with „I can do it“. It is a great start but in order to truly believe you can, tell yourself why. Are you great at coming up with ideas? Really efficient at organizing or are you a great student? Make a list of your favorite traits, small and big achievements and also ask your friends what they love about you! And each time you talk down to yourself, actively stop it and replace it with your collection of positive traits and achievements.
3. Always ask yourself how realistic your negative self talk actually is.
So, you don’t want to upload this picture on facebook, because „they“ will find it ridiculous? Now take a step back to look at that thought. Actually rationally look at it. Now ask yourself: who actually is „they“? Do they really exist as people in your life, or is it self doubt becoming reality? Take a step back from your inner dialogue and analyze what you are actually saying to yourself. In this case: Will they think it is ridiculous? And if so, why? You will notice that most of the time, there are no answers to these questions, because these stem from fantasies and deeply rooted fears playing out only in our heads. I cannot even remember that someone ever laughed at a picture of mine! But still, I used to fear it every time before I started to notice that those are only fantasies.
Be good to yourself!
The first step to loving yourself more and treating yourself better is keeping track of the dialogue in your head. How you talk to yourself is how you feel about yourself. Let it become a habit to stop negative self talk, analyze where it comes from and replace it with positive affirmations. You will feel a beautifully positive difference in no time, I promise! <3