Negative self-talk is one of the main causes of self-sabotage. We are our greatest persecutors. We know and perceive that, but somehow we can’t stop the loop.
Why do we act so harsh on ourselves? Why do we tend to minimize our achievements and give a huge importance to our failures? Is there anything we could do to stop the loop of self-deprecation?
The answer is yes, there’s so much we can do to stop self-sabotage.
Being conscious of our negative self-talk is already a great achievement. So, please, reward yourself for that. Be extremely kind to yourself. You deserve it. Next time you are about to judge yourself, or think negatively, please stop.
Stop, no matter what you are doing – washing the dishes, talking to a friend, cooking dinner – or where you are – at the grocery store, in a car jam, at the office. Just stop.
Take a deep breath, and ask yourself:
Do I really think I did something wrong? Where does this negative thinking come from? Is it coming from my inner voice, or from the outside?
Is my inner dialogue being influenced by what others think of me, by the opinions and judgements I have gone through my whole life? Do I really deserve so much hate and harassment?
If you take the time to sincerely answer to those questions, you might realize that most of the times the way we feel about ourselves is influenced by the outside – a negative comment or an out-of-place word from our parents, teachers or workmates can have a huge impact on our self-esteem.
Being aware of that is another great achievement. So, please, reward yourself, again. You need that.
Okay, you are aware of this, but what comes next?
After awareness, it comes acceptance. We never give the proper credits to acceptance but, believe me, once you recognize and accept that things are the way they are, relief comes to you.
How to practice acceptance? Well, I would say, whenever you feel uncomfortable, don’t fight the emotions nor run from them: stay there. Sorrow is a great teacher.
To accept does not mean to surrender: the next step is to change your negative self-dialogue, and I totally agree with you if you say that this is the hardest part.
It’s hard to rewire our brains. Let’s do it, step by step. Next time you are about to complain, please stop for a while.
Transform your inner dialogue.
If you can’t get a job, maybe you are prone to think that you are not good enough, or that nobody likes you. Perhaps, the bad times you went through when you were young influenced you in a negative way. So, please, repeat to yourself that you are amazing and unique. Your skills are unique, and you deserve to get the job you are dreaming of.
Instead of thinking: I couldn’t get that job. There’s something wrong with me, you might tell yourself: A better career is waiting for me. I am meant to do something meaningful.
Be aware of your real desires and talents, and nurture them. If you acknowledge what you are good at, you are able to show your true value to people. Be kind to yourself.
Imagine that you are applying for a job in the social media or communication sphere. Maybe, when you were younger, you were told that you don’t look good in videos, and you were really hit by that. Subconsciously, you still believe that. It’s hard to convince recruiters that you can do amazing videos for them, if you don’t like yourself.
So, the first step is to accept that you feel this way, and do little and constant steps towards change. Maybe you can record a short video and ask a close friend to give you a feedback. Or you can change your hairstyle, wear a shirt that looks awesome on you. You can start by changing the background of your videos. Experiment with those things, and have fun!
You can apply this to almost everything: if you think you are a mess at taking care of friendships, you should consider why you think that. Maybe you were told, once, that you are not good at keeping a connection with someone. Perhaps, those who told you this were the ones who couldn’t manage to stay in touch with you, but they blamed you instead. Or they told you that, but they were not aware that keeping a connection with you it was their responsibility, too.
You got it? Don’t blame yourself. Instead of thinking that Karen didn’t want to hangout with me, I am really a mess at taking care of my friendships, you can tell yourself: Karen is so busy lately, that she doesn’t have the time to go out with anyone. Maybe I should ask her if she needs something. Or, whenever you are about to think that Luke is cool, but I am sure he won’t want to go to that concert with me or join for a beer, why don’t you simply ask him? If he says no, maybe he’s just busy, or he doesn’t actually like concerts 🙂
Don’t let your inner dialogue limit you.
Little by little, you can get to notice whenever a negative thought is popping up in your mind. You will be able to analyse the thought and understand where it comes from. You will be able to discern whether what you are feeling is influenced by anyone’s point of view. You will be able to change your inner dialogue and switch to positive thinking.
With positive thinking, I don’t mean that we have to think that life is beautiful, optimism is the key and we must pursue happiness and realization. That’s definitely a really cool mindset to achieve. But positive thinking means also learning from failure, seeing sparkles of hope in a bad day, transforming a “no” into an opportunity.
Share your experience!
What about you? Is there a situation in which negative self-thinking or fear of failure stopped you to obtain what you wanted? Can you apply this to your everyday life? If you have any tips or want to share your experience with a situation in which you experienced negative self-talk, feel free to leave a comment or to share this post with your network.
Thanks so much for reading this. Have a wonderful day.