What is Negative Self-talk?
Negative self-talk is an inner voice that you use to prevent yourself from doing things. It usually starts when you are afraid. Its purpose is to keep you safe from harm/risk/uncertainty/etc.
Most of the time it happens at an unconscious level i.e. you’re not even aware that you are doing it.
Negative self-talk is actually an instinctive and well-intentioned tool that we all have but don’t usually know how to use. I’d like to show you how to use it in this article.
Negative Self-talk is Your Choice
Negative self-talk is often triggered when you try something new. It does its darndest to push you back in to your comfort zone and keep you safe – keep you with what you know.
If you always give in to your negative self-talk, and let it run ramoid, then you will probably never do new things, learn new things, or develop much as a person.
You’ll probably feel stuck, uninspired and unhappy.
For example, I remember when I decided to start my coaching business and I took the big first step of signing up my first client.
My negative self-talk was immense. My head was filled with un-resourceful beliefs like:
- I’m not good enough
- I can’t do this
- This can’t last
I could have listened to my negative self-talk and given up on my business right then. But fortunately, I realized that the noise in my head was just my instinctive fear of the unfamiliar, which was doing its job and trying to keep me safe.
Once I realized this was all going on, I made the conscious decision to shut off the negative self-talk. And it was that easy!Note: at first it was a bit tricky to keep the message shut off for long periods of time but after a week of practice I got better at it.
When the disempowering noise was gone, it created space in my head for resourceful and empowering thoughts like:
- I can do this
- I’m excited about this challenge
- This is going to be fun
- I’m going to discover new things about myself
So, by being able to identify and manage my negative self-talk, I was able to give myself the confidence I needed to keep going with my business.
Take Control (in 6 simple steps)
- Start to notice your negative self-talk. Listen for disempowering statements that you say to yourself. Get in touch with how they make you feel. Don’t do anything else, just notice when you do it.
- When you are ready, listen closely to the real message behind your negative self-talk. It will probably be something like this, “Deep down, I am actually afraid that…”
- Decide if you want to overcome the fear or not.
- If you decide to overcome the fear, acknowledge the message by saying, out loud, “Thank you, I have chosen to overcome this now, good bye”. Remember, the self talk is only doings it’s job to keep you safe from the unknown.Be grateful for it.
- Repeat step #4 as many times as you need to until the negative self-talk goes away – this could be one time only, every 5 minutes, twice a week, once a month, etc. Just do what works for you.
- Replace the message with something positive about yourself that you believe to be true. This is an important step because by removing the negative self talk, you are creating a void and voids have a way of filling themselves so you may as well fill it with something you choose.
You Can Be Free
Imagine, for a moment, that you have just cleared out all the negative self-talk in your head.
Now that old self-talk is gone, I’d like you to savor the new silence that is there.
Can you start to grasp the possibilities that exist now that you have access to so much space that is just waiting to be filled with empowering new ideas?
Let it sink in.
Visualize the impact that will have on who you are, the new things people start saying about you and the new actions you’ll start to take.
Notice how this is going to change your results.