Manage your stress * Enliven your passions, projects and relationships
Manage your stress * Enliven your passions, projects and relationships

How to Squelch Soul-Sucking Negative Self-Talk

How to Squelch Soul-Sucking Negative Self-Talk

Have you ever found yourself caught up in a negative looping cycle of doom? You know the one…where you’re talking down to yourself? Where every word in your mind points out your flaws and mistakes mercilessly? You may feel like you’re going to go crazy from listening to it, and it feels hard to stop.

Negative self-talk can be insidious and cruel. It gets in your head, courtesy of your previous experiences, and negative input from people who don’t always mean well.

Once it’s in there, it plays the same song on repeat, growing somehow worse with every retelling until you quit trying. Your dreams stall out, and you find yourself doing very little at all.

We can’t have that! Take it from this innovator;

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

Steve jobs

You know you need to take your life back and put an end to the negative self-talk once and for all.

Easier said than done? Not necessarily. Try these things:

Find the Calm

First of all, you can’t combat anything when you’re overly emotional and overwhelmed mentally.

Find a quiet place and sit down to take a few deep breaths. If you can, meditate or try a mindfulness exercise until you can reach a peaceful place internally. Every self care practice will have a calming effect, which is why I created the self care sanctuary.

Next, Notice Exactly What You’re Thinking

Don’t avoid the negative thought. Listen to it. What is it saying?

Whose voice does it sound like? (This is important, often the tone or words used come from the past. Likely from some jerk who said something shitty and insensitive to you.)

Then, Dig into the Roots

Now ask yourself what the thought represents to you. Where did this come from?

Is this from an expectation you put on yourself at some point, or does it come from someone else entirely? Does it still matter?

Drop the Unreasonable Expectations

Are you trying too hard to be perfect in some regard? Disappointed with your results? Is there a more reasonable expectation you can put on yourself in the place of this thought?

If you can be objective, you may find that you simply need a new skill and can set your sights on learning, or perhaps an expert could help you fill in the gaps.

Turn It Around

What is the positive counterpoint to this thought? For example, if you’re worried about how bad you are with money, remind yourself of a time when you saved up for something you wanted, or think about a time when you paid off a debt and how good it felt afterward. Look for the evidence of your previous success.

Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.

Willie Nelson

Create a Habit

Now, if this thought is one which comes around often, what is the new thought you want to replace it with? How can you make this better thought a habit? Consider this: the more you react in a new way to an old stimulus, the quicker a new habit is formed, and the old reaction disappears. Creating magical empowering habits is a process, and they can change as you evolve.

Just Stop

In the end, the only way to get rid of a negative thought is to consciously put a halt to it. Once you’ve gone through these steps, tell yourself to stop when the idea comes up again, and keep telling it to stop until it goes away completely. At first, just noticing it will feel like a win.

Please note: You don’t have to listen to negative head trash, but sometimes it becomes so firmly entrenched you might have trouble untangling and dislodging it by yourself. When this happens, don’t be afraid to ask for help. As a trusted, certified coach in multiple disciplines, I can help you lay this negative chatter to rest once and for all. Create some time to talk with me here, and I’ll share ways I can help you.