We’ve all been there. Telling ourselves that we aren’t good enough, fast enough, strong enough, or _____ enough. “Self-talk” refers to the discussions we have in our heads, and we can run into problems when that self-talk is negative.
The problem with negative self-talk is that after awhile, we start to believe it. Those words and beliefs become a self-fulfilling prophecy, and we no longer take chances to do things we once aspired to do. We don’t take risks that could result in great rewards, and we fail to reach our full potential due to no one but ourselves.
It’s time to make a change and step away from negative self-talk. Here are four ways to get you started on your journey to awesome:
The first step in combating negative self-talk is to identify when it’s happening. Pay attention to your thoughts throughout the day and identify every time they are negative. It may help to keep a journal to physically record any negative thoughts. By identifying those thoughts, you are one step closer to changing them.
It may seem silly, but affirmations are incredibly effective. Affirmations are positive statements that are repeated until the message is internalized. If you decided to keep a journal to write down examples of your negative self-talk, try and write the opposite of each negative thought next to the original. Leave notes for yourself reaffirming your worth in places like your mirror, your car, and anywhere else you will be able to find them. Say them out loud and soon you will begin to mean them.
Change your perspective
When life gives you lemons, try and look for the good in the situation (lemonade is delicious). When faced with a negative situation, try and look for something positive in it. Look for a lesson to help you grow into a stronger person. Bad situations are breeding grounds for negative self-talk, so the sooner you are able to change your perspective, the better.
Example: You didn’t get your race PR you were looking for. You could tell yourself that you will never be able to run that fast so you shouldn’t try again OR you could commend yourself for racing at all and go over your performance to see how you could train differently next time to get that PR (and you will)!
By telling yourself that you won’t be able to accomplish something, you likely won’t. The more you believe that you are incapable, the more confidence you lose. Don’t be afraid to dream big! Just like negative self-talk will bring you down, positive self-talk and affirmations will lift you up to places that you never thought possible.
Example: “I can’t ask for a raise. Even though I think I deserve one, I know I won’t get it and I’m sure there are people that deserve one before me.” Ask for that raise! You may be surprised by the outcome. Also, in situations like this, the worst that anyone can tell you is “no,” but you’ll never know unless you try!
What other ways can you think of to combat negative self-talk?