5 Ways to Manage Negative Self-Talk




Negative inner speech is a killer. It can destroy joy, motivation, success, and self-esteem in a heartbeat. Born of fear and anxiety, it is a powerful force that often hides under our consciousness.

It can be the main determinant of how well or badly we reach our goals and potential. The way we speak to ourselves in our minds has a big impact on our quality of life.
By learning to speak negatively about ourselves, we can end his reign and continue to live our best lives. We can do this by:

How to stop negative self-talk

1. Understand your goal.

It is sometimes difficult to consider negative inner speech as useful. Why do we think I would never tell myself things that are not in my interest? Why should I speak to myself in a way that I wouldn't speak to anyone I love and care deeply about? The answer lies in the process of evolution.

When our species started around 200,000 years ago, there was much to fear in our environment: wild animals, natural disasters, enemies - it was the survival of the fittest. Our fears, hidden in memory, were crucial to keeping us alive. These fears surfaced in the form of strong emotions and the meaning we made of them, such as fighting or fleeing.

So if you thought you were going to be attacked by a bear, you may have said to yourself, "Well, it looks like a bear, like the one who tried to attack me the last time I was in this game of the forest. I better skedaddle before he knows I'm here. "Of course, that would be extremely useful self-talk at that time, because it is for self-preservation.

Fast forward 200,000 years when we have far fewer genuine threats. What was then a positive interior speech that protected us is now a negative interior speech that prevents us from prospering. It is true that if you were now in the woods and you ran into a bear, you might want to hurry forward in haste.

But it would also be important, if you were at the zoo with your son and you saw a bear overwhelm you, not to panic, to grab your son's hand, to run away and to cry for help. Understanding negative self-talk means that you recognize that it can be there to help, but it can also hurt you.

2. Listen to our self-chat.

I use the word chatter to illustrate that our minds are full of babbling for most of the day. This chatter is a background noise that we ignore at our own risk.

You may think you are not arguing with yourself, but you say to yourself, "Boy, would she go ahead?" Or "What a pile of malarkey" is a speech of oneself, that is to say, words of oneself to express a thought or an emotion.

We all engage in personal reflections - this fact is neither good nor bad. It is quite simple. It's part of the way humans think and motivate themselves to act. It is no different than conversing with other people, except that we are more aware of doing the latter than the former. You know that it is (hopefully) that you are talking to someone.

You may not always know that you are having a tête-à-tête with yourself, but you are most of the time. As an eating disorder therapist, my clients describe the conversations they have with them about eating certain foods.

The self-talk might look like this: "Boy, I would love a piece of this cheesecake. But I shouldn't have it. But I want it. And if I eat it. I already had fries and a milkshake. The day is already ruined. "

It helps them focus on what they are saying, especially on the guidelines that are not going to improve their diet. If they can start listening to themselves, then they can identify what they are saying that is not helpful.

3. Identify negative self-talk.

Once you start listening carefully to the monologue or the dialogue going on throughout the day, you can decide what is negative - and stop saying it. Remember that our words reflect our thoughts and beliefs. What we are doing is eliminating the cognitions that are not beneficial and replacing them with those that are.
Negative inner speech is crammed full of words like can't, should, shouldn't, bad and bad. Often this involves words as always and never. He hampers progress and feels self-deprecation. Here are some examples:

  • I can not do that.
  • I know I will fail if I try.
  • I always make mistakes.
  • I can never do anything right.
  • I should know better.
  • I shouldn't be doing this, but I'm too weak to say no.
  • I am such a failure.
  • Dad is right, I will not return to anything.
  • Mom is right, I'm too fat to be kind.


Negative speech can be general or specific, such as telling you that you are not good, or intelligent, or motivated enough to succeed at anything. It can be choosing specific areas, for example, eating healthy, finding love, or getting decent work.

It is often a repetition of what we were told in childhood, for example, that we are too picky, calm or lazy. The sad thing is that we don't even realize that we have internalized someone else's vision of us. We believe in its truth or in its fact that we came ourselves.

4. Crop self-talk.

Cropping is a term that comes from cognitive behavioral therapy which means expressing a thought differently. Suppose, for example, that you want to try a local cooking contest and have never done anything like this before.

Not wanting to make fun of you, you might say to yourself, "This is a stupid idea. What do I know about cooking? "This statement from your inner critic will prevent you from entering the contest. One way to reframe your thoughts in a more positive light would be," This is an interesting idea. I may not be a professional chef, but everyone has been telling me for years what a fabulous cook I am. "

Cropping involves going from negative to positive. It is better to do it in the present, so that "I am registering today" is better than "I am planning to register". It also works best when specific, so "I use this great chili recipe that everyone loves" is more powerful than saying, "I hope I find a good recipe."

Cropping must be done at the moment. If you say something negative about yourself or your abilities - and you catch it - stop immediately and reframe your thoughts. Do not wait. After a while, this three-step process of listening, identifying and reframing negative inner speech will become a habit.

5. Replace self-condemnation with self-compassion.

It is not enough to eliminate negative self-talk. We have to replace it by saying something positive about ourselves - that something would be done out of self-compassion. If you're hard on yourself, you might want to read "Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Be Kind to Yourself" by Kristin Neff, Ph.D.

It explains how we acquire and develop what therapists call a severe superego. The book also describes how to think and speak with love, kindness, and kindness. As our self-reflection reflects what we think of ourselves, it is essential to change our self-vision so that our speech flows from it.

You will have a hard time erasing negative self-talk if you truly believe that you are a failure, that you are flawed, worthless, lazy or stupid. Obviously, like the rest of us, you have made mistakes, have faults, are motivated to do certain things and are not smart about everything. However, know that you are always worthy and kind no matter what you internalize about yourself in childhood or what someone says about you now.

If you want to change your self-talk from negative to positive, you will need to change your self-vision. Talking kindly to yourself in an optimistic way will help the process. Fake it until it works. But the quickest and most sustainable way to get around your self-chat is to make sure that you believe you deserve all kinds of encouraging words and that you say yourself.


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