How To Eliminate Negative Self-Talk

As I was growing up, I understood the importance of watching my language. If I said something inappropriate, I could end up with a bar of soap in my mouth. However, watching my internal language, or self-talk, was something I was not aware of until I became much older. If we do not pay careful attention to our own self-talk, we might be doing more harm to ourselves then we realize.

Self-talk refers to things you say to yourself, either silently or out loud. The Mayo clinic defines self-talk as “the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head that can be positive or negative.” Self-talk dictates how you relate to yourself and how you show up for other people.

Also according to the Mayo Clinic, if you regularly engage in negative self-talk your outlook on life is most likely pessimistic, and I believe negative self-talk can increase anxiety and lower self-confidence.

I used to excel at using negative self-talk. I used to beat myself up for things I did or didn’t do. It wasn’t until I learned about some techniques for eliminating self-talk that I became aware of how negative my self-talk was! These techniques are extremely simple, but they have made a positive difference in helping me eliminate my negative self-talk.

Replace a Negative Statement with a Positive Equivalent

Anytime you catch yourself saying negative statements such as “I am so stupid,” “I am an idiot”, or “My life sucks,” immediately replace it with the positive equivalent. “I am awesome!’” or “my life is great!” Be sure to say this new positive statement with the same level of intensity as you did the negative statement. I did this every time I caught myself talking negative to myself and one day I realized I never said those statements to myself. This is extremely simple, but very effective. Give it a try.

That is Just One Possibility

Another technique I use when I catch myself engaging in negative self-talk is to remind myself this is just one possibility. “Why are they late?” “I bet they are screwing around, how dare they!” When you catch yourself saying something like that, tell yourself “Well that is just one possibility. There are millions of possibilities so how would I know what is really going on.” It amazes me at how easy it is for my imagination to come up with negative scenarios to nearly any situation I may be involved in. Reminding myself that this is just one possibility prevents me from slipping into a downward spiral of negativity.

If you catch yourself using negative self-talk on a regular basis, give these techniques a try and see what happens. Remember to watch your language! Replace your negative statements with the positive equivalent, or question it as just one possibility.


Daryl Murrow

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