How often do you find yourself in pressure situations and talk yourself out of doing what you really want to do or are truly capable of doing?
For example, as a student, you have a big test and even though you know the material forwards, backwards and sideways you still let your inner voice bombard you with doubt.
Or maybe you are out with friends and you simply can't be yourself because your negative self-talk has you so paranoid that they are watching and judging your every move?
Negative self-talk can be completely debilitating when you need to persuade or influence people to your way of thinking…an important person, your boss, someone you want to be your friend – they can all be put into jeopardy as your inner voice does a number on your confidence.
Not only will this prevent you from achieving your dreams and goals, it also keeps you from being the person you know you really are – sort of like being held below water until you are almost out of breath.
Getting your inner voice under control and stopping the negative self-talk are critical to you moving forward in your life.
5 Ways To Stop Negative Self-Talk From Destroying Your Life
- Recognize It – so many of us today have gotten used to how our brains resist things based on fear that we no longer even realize we do it. For the next 7-days be conscious and mindful of your decisions along with the self-talk that happens on the way to making those decisions. While recognizing your inner voice alone is not enough to stop it completely, it is the first step to tackling your negative inner chatter – this is where taking back control of your inner dialog starts
- Limit It – 80%+ of the best decisions in your life are made in minutes, so if you are stewing for hours about something then you have hit a point where you are simply feeding fear, frustration, anxiety and allowing your inner voice ample room to take over and talk you out of what you should have done in the first place. Again, for the next 7-days vow to make as many decisions as you can within the first 30-60 seconds. Acting on impulse is far more valuable than you may believe. If you need more examination or feedback, then get it – but when it comes to rethinking your decision, remember the 60s rule
- Objectification – when you get into a state of negative self-talk, your emotions are churning. Attached to this inner voice are extremely emotional feelings of failure, embarrassment, being left alone…the most intense emotional feelings of all which is why the negative inner voice is so strong. To help avoid that attachment, role-play and pretend that your inner voice is really someone else's voice. That you are just a bystander – a neutral third party rather than the owner of these thoughts. Suddenly your negative self-talk will take on an entirely different perspective and you can more objectively make a judgement as to whether you listen or not
- Write negative thoughts down…one of the most effective techniques for slowing and eventually stopping negative self-talk is to force yourself to write out each thought. Then, for each negative thought, place alongside it the positive alternative. For example, you go in to ask for a raise and your negative self-talk says something like "Why do I even deserve this raise, it's only going to make my boss hate me and I'll probably get fired". Write that down and alongside write something like "I bring massive value to this role, help others bring more value and am a positive asset to this company, my boss will respect me for pointing these things out and will seriously consider giving me the raise if he can" What you are doing here is neutralizing the negative self-talk so that it lessens and eventually goes away entirely
- Visualize positive outcomes. Negative self-talk is all about fear, lack of confidence, doubt and uncertainty over the outcome. The best way to counter this doubt, uncertainty and fear is to be prepared and visualize positive outcomes. You will, in effect, reprogram your mind to overwrite and stop negative self-talk replacing it with a newfound self confidence and assurance that will turn things in your favor
Negative self-talk brought about by your inner voice happens for many of us every hour of every day impacting our own emotional state, our health, our career and finances, our relationships – there is no bigger factor that you can control to bring about positive and fulfilling change in your life.
What is your self-talk like?