September 13, 2021

Self-Care Series: Overcoming Negative Self-Talk

First of all, what is self-talk? Self-talk is the voice inside our heads that narrates our lives: an inner dialogue. It is the constant conversation going on inside that allows us to evaluate and assess our behavior, positive or negative. Self-talk builds how we see ourselves in relation to the world.  

Negative self-talk, on the other hand, is a pattern or instance that is seeking to limit your beliefs or self-image in an unhealthy or damaging way. This voice is negative and critical in nature. Let’s be real - we have all used negative self-talk on ourselves before! It might sound like...

“I'm ugly.”

“I'm lazy.”

“I'm stupid.”

A lot of the time, we are meaner to ourselves than we ever would be to another person - and it hurts. It not only impacts us in the moment, but it also contributes to an overly critical and negative self-image. Self-image is the accumulation of all the attitudes and opinions we have accumulated of ourselves. These form a subconscious picture of who we believe we are, regardless of the truth. Let’s work on changing that inner dialogue. Positive self-talk might sound like...

“I am beautiful.”

“I am hardworking.”

“I am smart.”

Self-image plays a huge role in how we interact with the world - for better or worse. People with positive self-images are more likely to be optimistic, happy, and emotionally well. Much like a self-fulfilling prophecy, people who believe they can do something are much more likely to do it!

Here are three simple steps to overcoming negative self-talk:

  1. Recognize negative self-talk

Hey, that’s my friend you are talking about! Simply recognizing when and how often you use negative self-talk is the first step. You will not be able to overcome this mental pattern without insight into the behavior. If you need to, try keeping notes (literal or mental!) on it for one week.

  1. Allow these thoughts to pass without reacting to them

Recognizing negative self-talk without shame is important. Everyone has negative thoughts sometimes and we inevitably cannot control 100% of our minds. Rather, we can learn to let those thoughts go and, over time, build a stronger and more positive self-image and outlook. Hold the thought like a balloon and then let the air out.

  1. Transform your inner critic into your personal coach

This is easier said than done, and definitely takes practice, but it is key. We can break it down into three parts.

  1. If at first you feel silly or it seems unrealistic to use positive self-talk, try neutral language. For example, if you are not ready to tell yourself you’re hardworking, try “I am doing my best.”
  2. Work on incorporating your strengths and take your personal values into consideration. Remind yourself of these strengths and what matters most to you. For example, “I am resilient and kind. I will show up for myself and my family.”
  3. Use daily affirmations. Not sure where to start? You can find our posts on daily affirmations here: LINK

Overcoming negative self-talk is an invisible key to mental wellbeing and success- and it's backed by science. We believe in you!

Check back for more self-care information or follow our Instagram where we post self-care tips weekly! 

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