Negative self talk – How to stop beating yourself up and silence that self-critical voice.
Grey is your best friend. He just got fired. What would you tell him?
Something very encouraging and sympathetic of course.
Now, imagine that you are Grey and you just lost your job. What would you tell yourself?
Maybe something not so sympathetic or maybe even something that sounds really harsh and negative.
If this sounds like you, then read on.
Negative self-talk: what is it?
Feeling imperfect is the number one reason why we tend to be critical of our self. This fear of being less than perfect leads to feelings of shame, doubt, and low self-esteem. These give rise to feelings of never having been understood or supported which ultimately leads one to beat themselves up and feel even more depressed. As you can see, this is a never ending cycle. Self-criticism leads to more self-criticism!
Negative self-talk: 8 tips to go forward on a positive note
So, here is a list of some easy things that you can do to be less critical of yourself.
- Stop Comparing:
It’s time to acknowledge that you are who you are and you have reached where you have because you have a completely unique journey. You are you. There’s nobody who had the exact same set of beliefs, talents, challenges, family situation and personal health history that you had. No, not even your twin! So stop comparing and start empathising with yourself.
- Be Patient:
Being patient with yourself is important. Personal growth takes time. You would get better with time if you persist. As the saying goes, “The one who wins is the one who stays in the ring the longest.”
The key to having a great personality lies in having high frustration tolerance (HFT). This means that it’s okay to be occasionally upset with certain situations where you think you were less than perfect but don’t let yourself believe that ‘you cannot stand it’ or that ‘it’s just too horrible’. Yes, it is bad that you embarrassed yourself at a friend’s party but you’re strong enough to look past that. Stop the negative self-talk.
- Self- Acceptance :
Be kind to yourself. Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses.
If you don’t accept yourself as a “fallible” human being with equal rights to be in the world and to enjoy all that life has to offer, who in the world do you think would?
- Boost your Self-esteem:
You don’t need another person’s validation to feel good about yourself if you have a high self-esteem . You start feeling better almost instantly when you start loving yourself. The lack of external validation from other people no longer upsets you. You become less clingy in all your relationships.
In order to give a quick boost to your self-esteem every day, you can use positive self- affirmations like “I am good enough”, ” I am succeeding in my endeavours ” and “I love my life”.
- Maintain a Gratitude journal:
Make a list of all the wonderful things that you love about yourself. Include all the unique gifts and services that you can offer. You can also include all your special talents and accomplishments. Try to be creative and allow yourself to just scribble anything that made you smile. It helps to remember your usefulness and appreciate yourself.
- Compliment yourself:
If nobody else celebrates you, celebrate yourself. Don’t depend on others to validate your beautiful existence. Take responsibility for keeping yourself encouraged.
- Thought substitution:
Thought substitution is a psychological technique to substitute a negative thought with a positive one. For instance, when you feel like saying to yourself “I know you can’t do it loser”, replace it with something that sounds self-assuring and empowering, like, “Hey, it’s okay even if you fail. You are hard -working, talented and courageous. Keep going, you’ll be able nail it”
The Mantra to remember:
Stop trying to fix yourself ceaselessly. Start loving yourself unconditionally instead!