We all have our inner critic. This voice is a helpful voice that can motivate you to achieve your goal and can as well be a stumbling block that may stop you from achieving this same goal. In this post, I will share with you some of the easiest ways to handle negative self-talk.
“Your mind, emotions, and body are instruments, and the way you align and tune them determines how well you play life”.Harbhajan Singh Yogi
What goes on in your mind will determine how you carry yourself and how you interact with others. What you think of yourself and the way you communicate with yourself will determine how you view and experience life.
Negative self-talk is something that we experience from time to time. It comes in different ways and creates a significant amount of stress and anxiety.
Below are certain things that will provide you with the correct understanding of what negative self-talk means, its effects on your body and mind, and some helpful ways to handle it:
1. Identify and name your inner critic
Negative self-talks mostly creep in when you’re about to take a very important step in your life. It creeps in to discourage you and drag you back to the hole of negativity and bad energy.
It makes you stagnant and stuck. All that you need to do is give that voice a name. Call it whatever name you want and make sure you’re able to identify it.
Giving that voice a name will help you see what it is really all about. Think of it as something that is outside of yourself. It will help you handle negative self-talk and recognize the voice whenever it creeps in.
Michael Bierut once said; “the problem contains the solution”. This is also applicable to your inner critic. Identifying and naming this voice will only make the problem clearer and easier to solve. It will reduce the relevance of that voice and give you the required courage to stop it.
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2. Challenge your inner critic
Another way to handle negative self-talk is through challenging your inner critic. Your inner critic will always remind you that you’re not good enough and that you’re not fit for society. It crushes your self-esteem to the bottom, rips you of your self-confidence, and undermines your accomplishments.
Identifying and even naming your inner critic isn’t enough to drive the voice away, you need to take the first step in fixing your life. You need to take the step to silence that voice forever and keep it totally away from yourself.
Challenge those thoughts and make yourself relevant and worthy. When your inner critic tells you that “there is something wrong with you”, dare to question that thought and tell yourself that “I may not be reserved like everybody else but I’m myself and I like the real me”.
Tell yourself that you’re special in your own way even if you’re different from others.
3. Practice gratitude
Practicing gratitude can go a long way in making you a positive thinker and handle negative self-talk. This can improve your attitude, self-esteem, decision-making, and your life in general.
Gratitude will allow you to always think of the positive side of things before the negative side and it gives you a certain amount of courage and zeal to pursue whatever you want.
Practicing gratitude is a process. It requires constant practice as it doesn’t just come to you or happen at once. It needs a great deal of commitment and consistency, but it isn’t at all hard or complex to start.
You can start by calling up your loved ones and telling them how much you love and care for them and how you’re grateful to them for looking after you.
You can also start a gratitude journal which can contain a list of things that make you happy and a list of things that you like about yourself. Reading up this list everyday will shut out all forms of negative thinking from your mind and keep you in a positive light.
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4. Surround yourself with positivity
Do you surround yourself with people who are good for you? Or do you surround yourself with people who just bring you down? What you don’t know is that the people you surround yourself with and associate with have a great impact on the way you think.
It’s just like when you’re about to sit for your entrance exams. When you inform your friends and they encourage and tell you words that would calm your nervous self, you automatically become confident and calm.
But if they only constantly tell you how hard and tiring their entrance exams were and how they almost failed because the questions were so hard and difficult, your anxiety increases and even if you’ve prepared very well for the exam, there is a higher chance that you’d fail due to the impact of the message that your friends told you.
When the people you surround yourself with only bring negativity, you’ll start to feel bad and insecure about yourself. If your friends tell you that you’re not fit for the role of the class president, you’ll start to feel like you’re not truly fit for the role and you’ll start bringing up all forms of negative thoughts about yourself as to why you’re not fit for the role.
Positive energy from others will help to push you forward, make your energy strong, and naturally uplift you. To handle negative self-talk, do away with toxic people and start building up a circle of friends that only emit positive energy.
5. Learn to find the good in everything
A life, they say, is not a bed of roses. Things won’t always happen as you want them to. You can’t always get whatever you want or desire. Finding the good in something is incredibly hard but if you learn to find it, it’ll help to ward off negative thoughts and allow you to think more positively.
Change your mindset and find the hidden good in whatever happens to you. They say happy people always try to make the most out of everything.
When something bad happens to you, rather than blaming your capabilities, look at the situation from another angle and look for that thing that you’ve benefited from the whole situation.
For example, you lost a very important contract that you’ve worked really hard for. It may not be easy or okay at the moment but allow yourself to think of the three things that came out of this situation that could be seen as positive.
Think of how much knowledge and information you gained while researching and preparing for this contract. Think of the number of new friends you made and the number of people you met in the middle of this contract.
Identifying the good in whatever happens to you is a great step towards positive thinking. When you feel those negative thoughts creeping in, start to think positively and change your thoughts for the better.
6. Turn your failures into life lessons
Failure is normal and common and as much as it hurts and stinks, it is the harsh reality of life. The majority of these negative thoughts come from failures because we keep forgetting that we don’t have to be right every single time and we don’t have to be successful or prosperous in everything we do.
“You always pass failure on your way to success”.Mickey Rooney
If you fail, take it as an opportunity to learn new ways to achieve what you want and also take it as an opportunity to figure out what your mistakes are so you don’t do them again.
Stop stressing over your failures and take a moment to recognize where you went wrong. Take responsibility for those failures so you can learn from them and think of the different perspectives and ways you could have changed the situation.
Admitting your failures isn’t easy but it can change your mindset and allow you to think positively.
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7. Practice humor
This is a new method that I found in a book that I read; Positive Thinking by Armani Murphy. The author explained the various ways to stop negative self-talk and provided humor as one of the tools that can be used.
Humor does help with positive thinking. Humor is something that helps to reframe the mind to stop thinking negatively. It shifts one’s attention away from negative thoughts which is why some people try to force a smile in any situation.
Negative situations bring negative thoughts and humor is capable of getting the mind off these thoughts and provide relief which will, in turn, help you to think more positively.
You can simply try smiling when you find yourself in a negative situation or just making a joke after having a negative thought to reframe your mind. Humor might seem like an unserious and improper approach to a situation but if you can laugh or smile in a negative situation, it will make you stronger mentally when dealing with frustrating and stressful issues.
Negative self-talk is a matter of the mind and it affects your mental health. It is surely not easy to change the way your mind works or thinks. However, with the right amount of commitment and dedication, you’ll discover that you can control your mind and the way it thinks.
Negative self-talk can cause irritation and setbacks so start taking control of the way your mind works and rid yourself of all forms of negativity.
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