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Stop Negative Self-Talk: 10 Strategies to Quiet Your Inner Voice

Negative Self-Talk

You accomplish things worthy of praise every day.

You meet a deadline, carve out time for self-care, and provide insightful assistance to a coworker. However, your negative inner voice may be interrupting you in the background, telling you that your job is inadequate, that you don’t deserve self-care, and that your colleague finds your advise to be unsound.

Self-talk that is negative can be a hurdle for many people. Your career success and interpersonal relationships can be negatively impacted by the false narratives you tell yourself, which can also lower your self-esteem and give you the impression that nothing you do is ever good enough.

Although it’s not simple to combat your inner critic, you can change your perspective and give yourself the attention you deserve. Quieting negative self-talk can help you develop a more positive self-dialogue and overcome self-doubt.

What’s Negative Self-Talk?

Your inner critic is the source of negative self-talk. It may undermine your self-confidence and give voice to your fears by criticizing you, casting doubt on your skills, and highlighting your shortcomings.

It’s not just your typical inner monologue either. Self-talk is the methodical use of cue words, either aloud or in your head. Critical self-reflection is different from this negative inner monologue in that it is constructive and inspires positive change. As you ask yourself, “How can I improve my skills at work?” your critical inner voice may be saying, “I’m not good enough at my job.”

The brain’s innate wiring includes the ability to create negative internal conversations.In order to be vigilant about possible dangers, the human brain has evolved to respond more strongly to negative stimuli than good ones. However, this inclination might work against us in the present day. It might result in low motivation, helplessness, and even mental health issues, claims Verywell Mind.

There are numerous threats that might cause this form of negative cognitive bias, such as being in toxic situations or being bullied. It may also be an indication of anxiety, per a study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

4 Negative Self-Talk Examples

Self-defeating thoughts might adopt certain patterns or share causes. Here are four types to be aware of, along with examples:

1. Personalizing

When something goes wrong, you could jump to your own unjustified conclusion. You can feel self-conscious and assume that you’ve done something wrong, even if your boss’s poor mood has nothing to do with you. This may cause needless guilt.

Other manifestations of this type of self-criticism include the following:

  • Unexpected events cause a major project at work to be delayed. You accuse yourself of being at fault even though you missed the deadline.
  • Your friend was scheduled to join you to the movies, but they abruptly cancel. You figure it must be something you did incorrectly.
  • You believe that the advancement of a knowledgeable and experienced colleague is the result of your lack of suitability for the position.

2. Catastrophizing

Even in situations that are neutral or pleasant, you continuously picture worst-case scenarios when you engage in this kind of negative speaking. This could appear as follows:

  • You suppose your superior wants to talk to you about a project you are working on in order to give you a reprimand.
  • You wake up late for an appointment since you didn’t set your alarm for the morning. This makes you believe that day would be filled with misfortune.
  • You think your friend doesn’t like you because you haven’t heard from them in a long time.

3. Filtering

Filtering experiences causes you to redefine how you see things, emphasizing the negative and minimizing the positive. You pay no attention to congratulations or compliments; instead, you concentrate on the insignificant criticisms that validate your self-defeating beliefs. Rumination and self-pity of this nature could appear as follows:

  • The project your team worked on was successfully finished, meeting all of the client’s goals. You obsess over the little setbacks rather than acknowledging the accomplishments.
  • You meet someone new at a social event, and they want to see you again. However, you can’t help but think that they are avoiding you or are trying to get something from you.
  • A coworker commends your diligence and offers suggestions for development. You take offense at the compliment and ignore it.

4. Polarizing

When you engage in this kind of negative self-talk, you start to think in terms of all or nothing. Your entire experience is ruined if something goes wrong, and it becomes difficult to concentrate on the good things. Here are a few more instances:

  • When you don’t rapidly master a new talent, you start to doubt your capacity for learning. You see yourself as unfit, instead then accepting your own development.
  • Even though you cross a number of tasks off your to-do list, you feel that a day is a waste of energy when it isn’t entirely productive.
  • You had an argument with your partner. You assume the worst and assume they despise you or are about to end things.

4 Consequences of Negative Self-Talk

Having negative automatic thoughts all the time might be detrimental to your emotional and mental well-being. If you don’t make an effort to alter your way of thinking, you can encounter some of the following issues:

  1. Decreased mental health:
    Anxiety and depression are two mental health conditions that are linked to rumination and self-blame.
  2. Relationship problems:
    It can be detrimental to your relationships to draw hasty judgments regarding exchanges or conversations with friends, family, and coworkers. Feeling like you’re letting people down all the time might lead to distance or a failure to fully present yourself in relationships.
  3. Limit your growth:
    Anytime you convince yourself that you are incapable of achieving a goal, your self-worth is eroded. You may eventually come to truly believe it, declining opportunities or working less.
  4. Perfectionism:

    It’s possible for you to begin believing that nothing you do is worthy. Because perfectionism makes you doubt your abilities all the time, it may make it difficult for you to work efficiently or meet deadlines.

How to Stop Thinking Negatively: 10 Tips

Though it’s not simple, rewiring your mental processes is nonetheless worthwhile. Just keep in mind that you cannot instantly alter every thought and behavior you have. You can learn how to stop thinking negatively and develop a balanced, positive attitude by taking little, doable steps.

There isn’t a solution that works for everyone. Try experimenting with different methods of thinking, and if something doesn’t work, give yourself credit for trying and choose a different approach. It takes work to put up the effort.

Here are nine tips to try:

1. Recognize the negative self-talk

Being more conscious of who you are and what your negative behaviors are is the first step towards changing your attitude. This is a vital first step since initially you might not even be aware when your negative emotions take over.

Consider how you think and make an effort to identify any negative inner monologue. Note the circumstances and causes that cause it. Putting them down in a journal is a helpful way to see trends and better position yourself to handle setbacks to your self-esteem.

2. Take a pause

Actively confront your negative thoughts rather than allowing them to rule your mind. Examine the source of the emotion to cast doubt on their veracity. For instance, take a moment to dwell with the concept that you’re in trouble if your manager calls a private meeting. Consider this:

  • Are my opinions supported by evidence or conjecture?
  • What proof is there for or against my pessimistic beliefs?
  • In what other way could I understand this?
  • What advice would I give a close buddy in a similar circumstance?
  • Is this idea beneficial or detrimental?

You can assess your thoughts more objectively by being honest in your responses to these questions. Most likely, your negative self-talk is unfounded, and you can work toward developing a more optimistic, well-rounded perspective.

3. Strive for positive self-talk

Construct constructive self-talk by intentionally reframing negative thoughts as part of your self-awareness practice. This entails looking at the bright side of things, recognizing your abilities and desirable personality traits, and keeping the situation in perspective.

If a meeting at work goes poorly, record both your positive and negative thoughts. Consider your successes and consider how you may use any failures as teaching moments. Negative thoughts will eventually cease to be an anchor and become chances for development.

4. Practice positive affirmations

To transform typical negative thinking into uplifting, inspiring thoughts, practice positive affirmations. Whenever you think some thing unpleasant, attempt to think of something nice in its place. Change the statement, “People don’t enjoy spending time with me,” to “I’m a valued friend.”

Everybody experiences positive affirmations in a different way. Establish a pattern that works for you, such as writing down your affirmations in a journal, repeating them out to yourself in the mirror before work, or covering your workspace with encouraging notes. You’ll be reminded of your value when you see them often.

5. Fill your day with positivity

Especially when you have a lengthy to-do list, it’s simple to become bogged down in the daily grind. Make an attempt to treat yourself, and plan brief moments of happiness. Simple methods to bring a little optimism into your day include listening to an entertaining podcast, dancing to a song, or reading a book full of inspirational sayings.

6. Focus on the present

A lot of the time, negative thinking spirals into worrying about the past or the future. Regular journaling, mindfulness exercises, and meditation can help you stay in the present and focus on the good things in your life. Over time, focusing on the present moment rather than letting regrets and anxieties consume you can better prepare you to face obstacles head-on.

Choose a technique that seems right for you, then practice it often. Establishing a daily routine, such as journaling about manifestation or practicing mindful breathing in the morning, can positively influence the remainder of the day.

7. Try a social media detox

You can stay in touch with friends, family, and the wider globe through social media. Nevertheless, it can also make you feel more alone and anxious, harm your perception of yourself, and lead you to compare yourself to other people.

Take into consideration going on a digital detox to take regular breaks from social media if it’s not helping you. Track your usage right now to find habitual patterns and trouble spots. From there, try automatic silent mode, set focus hours, or modify your calendar with social media blockers. Instead, focus your efforts on activities that make you happy, including spending time with loved ones or engaging in an activity you enjoy.

8. Celebrate all your wins

Whether it’s finishing something off your to-do list or changing a negative thinking to a positive one, take a moment to celebrate your successes. It may surprise you how many good things you accomplish in a given day. Acknowledging and appreciating them might provide you the confidence to take on more difficult tasks with a more positive outlook.

9. Consult with a mental health professional

Certain negative thought patterns may indicate a more serious mental health issue that you are unable to resolve on your own. Try scheduling an appointment with a mental health expert if you believe that may be the situation for you.

Consulting a therapist or counselor can assist you in creating customized coping methods and cognitive techniques to counteract negative self-talk. They can also assist you in identifying the underlying reason of any possible issues with self-esteem and in making positive changes. It’s quite acceptable to ask for assistance, and it can be just what you need to stop thinking bad ideas for good.
Read More: Best 15 self improvement suggestions to help you get better every day

Encourage Your Inner Cheerleader

Although you might not be able to stop your inner critic, you can alter the way you respond to it.

Your inner monologue is a discussion, not an order. Engaging with your negative thoughts, confronting them, and transforming them into constructive interactions is the first step in learning how to stop negative self-talk. Though it could be challenging at first, these techniques and regular habits help change negative thinking to more sensible, optimistic thinking.