Monday, May 21, 2018

The Ultimate Guide To Banishing Negative Self Talk



Fact: we all have an inner critic.   Perhaps some of them are louder than others, but sure enough, we all have one.  Your inner critic is that negative voice inside that fills our mind with self-criticism, blame, and shame.  I don't think I need to point out how destructive that can be if you pay too much attention to it. 

I'm so thankful for a reader who was honest about this struggle and reached out to me for help.  In fact, the person who reached out is actually someone I know personally and it blew me away to know that they have a deep struggle with self-doubt and self-worth.  Why?  Because this person is someone that I look at I'm constantly amazed by them.  To me, they epitomize "having it all together,"  they're highly skilled in so many different areas, and I truly admire them so much.  So it was kind of shocking to me to hear this person say that they really struggle with negative self talk.

Negative Self Talk Affects Us All

This goes to show that none of us are immune to negative self talk.  I, for one, have absolutely struggled with it.  I've told you about my struggle with mom guilt and I shared about forgiving yourself last week.  Truthfully, all of these topics go hand in hand.

Negative self talk is not something we're born with - it is something that we develop over time. There may have been messages we received in elementary school (i.e. if you were bullied), or at some point growing up, or perhaps you just looked around our culture and thought "I don't look or feel like that, so I don't fit in." Wherever those messages came from, we learned them at some point...and now, we must unlearn them.  Or rather, we must learn something new.  

How Affirmations & Compliments Diminish Negative Self Talk

The trick to getting rid of that inner critic (or at least not letting it have so much power in our lives) is to retrain our brain with thoughts that are truthful and affirming.  One thing I really like to do for this is positive affirmations.  It may feel very uncomfortable, especially if you are struggling with an inner critic issue or have critical negative self talk.  However, in order to overcome anything difficult, I would posit there is always a degree of discomfort involved...so let's not let that stop us, my friends!

Start by writing down some thoughts about yourself -  some things that you love about yourself.  A great place to start is to write down compliments other people have given you.  You can also write down things you like about the way you look and things about your personality that you appreciate. 

To be honest, I like to keep track of really nice things that people have said about me.  If someone watches an Instagram Live and DMs me to tell me how much it helped them, I will literally screenshot it...not because I'm a narcissist, but because on a bad day when that negative self talk begins to take over, I can go back to it and remember that one person was really helped or encouraged by something I said. 

Feel free to keep track of those compliments in a journal, use a printable, keep notes on your phone, or screen shots of nice texts that people send you. Begin to really notice when people speak kind and affirming words to you.

Another thing that helps me with negative self talk is my faith.  I'll be honest, at various times in my life, I have  had to constantly fight the battle against negative self talk.  When I really start notice my thoughts taking a negative turn, I know that I need to be prayerful and be talking to God and my close friends and family members about how I'm feeling.  

If this is also a struggle for you, come back to the people who you trust and love, and let them speak loving truth to you.  Allow those people to be the soundtrack that replaces that negative inner critic.  The more you can hear and speak and write these words of affirmation, and of lovingkindness toward yourself, you're going to start to retrain your brain.

My challenge to you is that this will require consistent effort; my encouragement to you is to wake up five minutes early and write down affirmations about yourself and speak them out loud before you begin your day.  Over time, you will reap the reward of a tendency toward self-love and self-compassion, rather than a constant onslaught of negative self talk.  

An Exciting New Resource To Get Rid Of Negative Self Talk

On that note, I've got some VERY exciting news to share with you!  June 1, I'm releasing my first ever issue of my monthly digital workbook/magazine/self care community, My Self Care Bestie.  Each month, I'll be taking an in-depth look at a mental health, wellness, or self-care topic and sending you a beautifully designed workbook full of handouts, activities, and insights pertaining to that topic.  You can learn more or subscribe here!  June's topic (wouldn't ya know it?!) is getting rid of negative self-talk! 

I'm beyond excited to share this new venture with you, and I hope you'll have as much fun reading and experiencing it as I have had creating it!  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me!  I hope to see you at 3 pm on Thursday for my Instagram Live, where I'll also be answering any questions you might have about all things mental health, therapy, self-care, etc.  Have an amazing week, my Besties!

   
   
   
   
   

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