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This post on reframing negative self-talk is a guest post by Ali, the creator of Share to Inspire Blog. Thank you Ali for your contribution to Boss Babe Chronicles!
We all had it – that cynical voice in our heads, spewing and casting negative thoughts. This often leads to negative self-talk and if we don’t do something about it, it can easily cripple us from achieving great things or doing something we really want.
If this negative self-talk is left unguarded, it can massively impact our self-confidence, growth, and productivity.
While we are wired to zoom in and amplify negative things, we also have the power to eliminate these and turn things around.
Studies have shown that eliminating negative self-talk helps reduce stress and improves health. And it is true because when you have mostly negative thoughts, you have a negative outlook on life too.
Our aim here is to be optimistic and have positive thinking.
Although negative self-talk, in any way, is natural, it can be eliminated. This article is dedicated to showing you how.
What is Negative Self-talk?
Before diving into the tips, let’s define self-talk first by giving a few examples.
Negative self-talk is a thought to interfere and to disturb you. Those disturbing thoughts give blame and doubts when things become painful or difficult.
These painful ideas can really impact our mental health and happiness, even if they have no basis in reality.
The Daily Meditation also gives a few examples of negative self-talk and they’re the worst type.
1- You’re thinking Black and White
Thinking in black and white is easy but dangerous. This is just another name for the “all or nothing” way of thinking. This way of thinking does not contain the values of tolerance, compassion, and ease though.
It is choosing to do nothing of the wrong, or not wanting to be married forever if it cannot be your idol. A simpler example of this is not wanting to be in any relationships after you have been cheated on.
You do not want to trust other people just because your first experience failed. It’s either black or white.
Words such as never, always, or nobody is associated with this type of thinking. Thoughts like “Nobody cares for me” or I will never be good at something” are detrimental to your happiness and it’s time to stop it.
2- Excessive Generalization
Excessive generalization means noticing small things or parts of something and thinking of it as a whole. This way of thinking by generalization makes yourself easy to blame, and underestimate.
An example to explain this is when you were late for a meeting or made a mistake one time.
You start to generalize and blame yourself that you make mistakes all the time while in fact it is just a part of something and it is not your whole performance.
3- The Negative Thing Beats Positives
This is easy and I am guilty of this too. It’s when you select a negative part of something, while the positive is forgotten.
Here’s an example. When you receive a lot of positive comments about the results of your work from colleagues in the office, you feel happy and confident.
But when there is a criticism of one colleague who reached the ears, you then become moody and thought about it for days and you find it to be imperfect. And you forget the positive things that you have heard.
How to eliminate negative-self-talk
Eliminating negative self-talk is definitely not an overnight thing. It takes time and a lot of effort.
You may not eliminate it to zero, but you can at least lessen it. Give these tips and strategies a try and see which one works for you best.
Identify negative thinking. Identify yourself.
There’s a reason this is on top of the list because you cannot solve anything without having a full grasp and full understanding of it. Identify negative thinking and recognize yourself.
This is a process that demands honesty. Be honest with yourself and recognize when you’re thinking negatively.
One factor that affects our thinking is intensity. As mentioned above, we magnify the negative part and completely forget the positive ones.
Personalizing is when we automatically blame ourselves when bad things happen. Which type of negative self-talk do you do? Identify it and the next thing to do is make a change about it.
Forgive yourself and your past failures.
It’s really hard to move forward when you are glued to your past. It’s hard to be compassionate to yourself when you can’t let go of your past failures.
Forgiving yourself is your way to be kinder yourself and showing more love.
Let go of any judgment and don’t be too critical of yourself. It’s time to create kindness by letting go of things because when you are kinder to yourself it’s easy to have a more positive outlook in life.
Positive thinking often starts with self-love. Dora Kamau, a meditation teacher in Headspace gives a great video about accepting your past self.
This is the result of forgiving yourself. Learning how to be kinder to yourself plays a huge role in eliminating self-talk.
When your friend goes through a hard time, we’d feel compassion as an automatic response. It can be hard doing this to ourselves, but self-compassion is the best thing to combat negative self-talk.
It steps in when we experience difficult times and allow us to get up and try again.
Related: How can you be kinder to yourself?
Take control of your mind.
Jack Canfield said, “If you think you’re a good person who deserves to live a life you love, you will create that life but if you think that you are undeserving and not capable enough, you are mentally self-sabotaging yourself.”
We all need reminders that we have the power to turn our negative thoughts into positive ones.
This is easier said than done but it’s possible. You are in control of your thoughts because you are the source of them, and you can choose to focus on the positive side.
You can take control of your mind and feed your brain with positive results and experiences. This way your brain will be flooded with endorphins to help you relax and be calm.
He also mentioned in his talk that when you are busy looking at everything bad, it’s hard to see the good ones. The truth is life is not always bad. Why not choose to focus on the positive ones?
Progress over perfection
I hate to break it to you, but perfection is a myth. When you strive for perception, it is a moving target. It is way better to strive for progress over perfection.
Many of us often expect perfect results but this derails us from achieving something greater. This is a cause of negative self-talk. Negative thoughts are inevitable because you are targeting an impossible goal.
Make your life better and eliminate negative self-talk by prioritizing progress. And don’t forget to celebrate small wins. Small progress is still progress.
Your mind is like the sky. It is a blank canvas that is filled with thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Your mind appears like a bright clear blue sky when you’re happy, serene, and calm.
But life is not always like this. There can be storms that get in the way. When this happens, we amplify unfortunate events and start to think negatively.
There are different ways and types of negative self-talk but when you identify them, it is easier to pinpoint what changes need to be done to eliminate them.
Remember that you have the power to shift negative thoughts into positive ones and use these tips mentioned above.
MORE ABOUT THE GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
I am Ali, the creator of Share to Inspire Blog. I am a 27-year-old self-growth enthusiast. I have a burning passion for improving myself, building confidence, ditching fear, and living the life I have designed. I created this platform to amplify my story and hope to inspire and empower women in the aspects of self-growth, finances, and relationships.
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