Every second of every day you are talking to yourself. You are telling yourself things about yourself, about others, and about the world around you. Some of it may be positive self talk that encourages you, but for most people our self talk is made up of a lot of negative, self defeating thoughts.
For instance, someone who wants to go on a diet but has failed in the past may have thoughts like “why even try? You’ll just fail again!” Much of this negative self talk is done subconsciously, but it affects how we think and what we do in a major way.
The best way to overcome negative self talk is to follow these quick tips to turn it into positive self talk. If the negative self talk works, why wouldn’t the positive?
1. Get your negative self talk on paper.
Dr. Phil has become famous for his line “you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge,” and that is the perfect sentiment for turning your negative self talk into positive self talk. Get a notebook and start writing down negative thoughts that cross your mind. Do this for just one day and you will see how many negative thoughts you have and how it is bringing you down.
2. Bring negative thoughts to an abrupt halt.
The moment you start to recognize a negative thought creeping into your mind, stop it from continuing on. You may even need to vocalize it or speak a powerful word like “halt!” in your mind. Do this every time you have a negative thought and you will get better and better and recognizing the negative thoughts.
3. Turn your list into an alternative list.
Take that list you collected of all your negative thoughts and turn it around into a list of positive self talk. These statements can be repeated in your head as an alternative when you start to have a negative thought in the future.
For instance, when you start to think “I can’t lose weight; I always fail,” you can stop yourself and tell yourself “I can do this if I really set my mind to.”
You probably won’t believe all of your positive self talk wholeheartedly, but continue using this tool and eventually they will start to become a part of you.
4. Ask yourself why.
Start challenging some of your most common negative thoughts. Why do you think it is true? Get to the bottom of your negativity and you may prove it wrong and unworthy of your time.
Ask yourself “why?” and then ask the same question of each answer, until you come to something deeper.
5. Ban the words “hate” and “can’t” from your vocabulary.
Both of these words are very strong and have the power to completely crush a good mood, make you second guess yourself, and bring doubt to your mind. Pay special attention to your negative thoughts and notice when you use these two words. It will likely be a lot more often than you ever realized!
If you hate yourself or things about yourself and believe that you can’t do things you want to do, you will stand in your own way of a successful, fulfilling life. Get rid of these words and your chances of overcoming the negative self talk are much higher.
It helps to have a list of positive affirmations that you would like to believe about yourself in the future. Turn these affirmations into positive self talk during the day and it will help eliminate the negative thoughts.