Combating negative self talk

Faced with some unexpected free time, here I am with a post, that is if I can get the cat to let me.  This weekend I was struck with an inspiration and as is not uncommon for me it was based on some real things that I and others around me struggle with.  In this instance I am talking about negative self talk.

People often have messages that they give themselves, often related to their ability or inability to do things.  We base these messages on things like personal experience, observations of other peoples experience, and things that other people tell us.  Good or bad messages they all hold some power in our lives.  So what if they are negative messages, what do we do?  How do I combat or do something to keep the thoughts that are negative from holding me back?  Here are a few suggestions that might help out:

  • Write out the negative thought followed with a countering positive one.  For instance “I am over my head” could be addressed with “this is a new challenge for me”.  The first statement leaves you feeling overwhelmed and the second acknowledges the difficulty but says you will work on it.
  • Do something you are good at!  Seriously, if you are struggling with something and feeling some doubts go do an activity that you are good at to boost your ego.
  • Challenge the validity of the statement if you are using words such as “always” or “never” remember that things are rarely black and white.  
  • Talk to a supportive person.  If you are having difficulty with changing the record it could be a good idea to talk to either a person you have a personal relationship with or even a counselor to get some more positive or realistic feedback.
  • Remember you are not perfect and neither is anyone else.  Even the best people you might know or people you look up to will make mistakes, so will you.
  • Start a gratitude list and take a look at where you have come from or other challenges/goals you have achieved.  

These are some suggestions that worked well for me and for others, give them a try.  Negative self talk steals our confidence and power.  If I believe the negativity it probably will stop me from even trying to achieve new and wonderful things.  Instead of trying to finish a long run/half marathon/marathon I might not even get out the door and try.  I also want to encourage you to reach out to a professional if you need.  There is no shame in getting assistance and for some it is easier to go to people that aren’t close to them personally. 


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pamela
    Sep 10, 2013 @ 10:30:28

    How did you know what I needed to hear this morning? Thanks!


  2. Mary C. Weaver, CSCS
    Sep 10, 2013 @ 13:27:30

    It's easy to be relatively unaware of our own negative self talk. It can become almost like background noise, and that's when it can do the most damage. Love your list!


  3. Workout Nirvana
    Sep 10, 2013 @ 15:27:35

    I just love your posts. Seems to me everyone can use these tips at least some of the time!


  4. Shira
    Sep 11, 2013 @ 21:02:43

    Great advice! Sometimes you have to also bitch-slap the inner critic who is bringing all of the negative self-talk to the forefront and remind her you've outgrown it as well. 🙂 A few nights each week I will list five things I'm grateful for that day before going to sleep and it always helps me wake up with a better perspective!


  5. Toni @ Running, Loving, Living
    Sep 12, 2013 @ 01:55:40

    Great post and great advice!!! I tend to have a lot of negative self talk and try to combat it all the time. I just try to push it out of my mind and tell myself that I am better than the negative!


  6. Jenn Speer
    Sep 12, 2013 @ 02:32:03

    My pleasure, we all have those days.


  7. Jenn Speer
    Sep 12, 2013 @ 02:32:49

    It sure is easy to be unaware and glad you liked the list!


  8. Jenn Speer
    Sep 12, 2013 @ 02:33:57

    I love your attitude of gratitude!


  9. Jenn Speer
    Sep 12, 2013 @ 02:36:17

    It can be hard to not be negative sometimes but so important to stay focused and positive. We are absolutely better than the negative.


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