I am all too aware of how it feels to constantly be critiquing yourself in a negative way.
It’s unreal how negative self-talk will ALWAYS prevent you from reaching your true potential, whether that be in the workplace, your level of health, your personal relationships, or your happiness in general.
It’s likely there are multiple times a day where you’re practicing negative self-talk without even realizing it.
These include having thoughts such as, “I don’t deserve this,” “I’m not capable,” “It’s not going to happen for me,” etc.
Most of the time these thoughts are so deeply rooted in our subconscious, that we don’t even know they’re there.
It’s a massive weight that most of us carry in some way or another.
The truth is…we’ll never be able to COMPLETELY rid ourselves of a negative self talk habit.
The key is to make ourselves stronger, so we can learn to carry this weight — to the point where it feels like NOTHING at all!
Because opportunities for negative self talk will ALWAYS be there — we just need to show it who’s boss!
Luckily, I’ve come up with some useful tips that can help you get rid of a negative self-talk habit!
10 Tips For Kicking A Negative Self-Talk Habit
1) Be Aware Of The Problem
The first crucial step to conquering a negative self-talk habit is to acknowledge WHEN it’s actually happening.
An extremely helpful way to do this is to take note and keep track of what thoughts you’re having and when they occur!
It’s insanely enlightening to discover what triggers the negative thoughts and insecurities you are having on a daily basis.
If you figure out what’s causing them, you gain the power to learn how to prevent them.
After you establish when these thoughts occur, come up with alternative phrases or affirmations you can repeat to yourself instead.
For instance, if your negative thought is, “I’m never going to get this work done today,” catch yourself quickly and instead think, “I’m in direct control of my actions and will ensure I get this work done today in a productive and timely manner!”
I know, it sounds too easy to be true!
Write down every negative, pestering thought you may be having and ALWAYS have an alternative affirmation at the ready.
Do this for a solid week and see how much it benefits you!
2) Get Moving!
Remember the whole “making ourselves stronger” thing?
Yeah, I meant literally.
When you work at making yourself stronger physically, not for vanity reasons, but to become a total badass version of yourself, your MIND strengthens as well!
There’s nothing in this world that more effectively and genuinely gives you self-confidence than establishing a fitness routine.
So start small and keep improving day by day.
Don’t put too much pressure on this and enjoy yourself!
There’s no wrong way to get fit!
3) Make and Keep Promises To Yourself
A huge reason why you keep practicing negative self-talk is likely because your trust level with YOURSELF is at an all time low.
We fail to understand that the most important relationship is the one we have with ourselves.
And SO many of us neglect this relationship [me included]!
It’s natural to focus more on our relationships with others since that’s what’s usually on our radar.
In order to establish this trust, you simply need to make small commitments to yourself that are SO EASY, you can’t possibly fail.
This will guarantee follow-through!
It’s when you don’t follow through with plans you set for yourself that you diminish the trust.
For example, when I first started running, it seemed nearly impossible to form a consistent running habit.
My trust with myself would slowly deteriorate over time since I would routinely skip workouts and not follow through.
This is because I wanted to go ALL IN on a fitness habit.
I didn’t take the small steps necessary to ensure my success. Which ultimately set me up for failure.
It was when I decided to take small, actionable steps that everything changed.
For example, I would commit to waking up 30-minutes earlier, walking for 5-minutes a day, etc. — whatever that small step is for you, start with that first!
Once you start to establish trust with yourself that you’re CAPABLE of completing tasks you set, you’ll be able to slowly increase the weight of those tasks!
I mean…think about this…
If you kept canceling plans with a close friend, wouldn’t that damage the relationship? It’s the same with us!
Make promises you CAN keep!
4) Join A Team
A huge amount of negative self-talk stems from our comparison to others.
Comparing our successes to others is a natural phenomenon and absolutely no one is completely immune to it.
We assume since we can’t directly observe the struggles other individuals are going through, that they must not exist.
And that we’re the only ones with REAL problems.
A way to stop comparing yourself to others is to start being happy for others’ successes.
I find the easiest way to do this is to join a team or a group of like-minded individuals.
For instance, I used to compare my fitness abilities to other, more experienced athletes out there.
This ended up causing me to limit my potential since I wasn’t focusing on what I was actually capable of.
It wasn’t until I joined running groups and taking fitness classes that I realized I didn’t have a proper support system where I could be happy about other people’s successes.
If you start being genuinely happy about other people’s wins, it will allow you to stop resenting other people for their accomplishments.
This, in turn, prevents you from comparing yourself to others’ highlight reels and causes you to focus on your own accomplishments and goals.
“Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle, or your middle to someone else’s end” — Tim Hiller, Strive: Life is Short, Pursue What Matters
Taking care of ourselves is something SO many of us routinely neglect!
We need to understand that practicing self-care daily isn’t being too self-indulgent or over the top.
It’s necessary for us to see ourselves in the best light mentally.
I actually find it crazy how if I take 15-minutes a day to devote exclusively to self-care, how much more confident and “together” I feel!
This can be as simple as taking a hot bath, drinking a cup of herbal tea, reading a book, etc.
The list goes on and on!
6) Call People That Love You!
So this tip should be approached with a bit of caution.
While a support system is always helpful when you’re working to get rid of these negative self-talk habits, you need to make sure you’re not using this as a CRUTCH.
If we rely too much on our loved ones to boost us up, we are not directly dealing with the problem.
For instance, if I’m having a SUPER low day where I don’t feel confident or sure of myself, I will oftentimes call my mom.
I know she’ll make me feel better about the situation and allow me to see things more clearly — no questions asked!
However, this boost will slowly fade since I haven’t properly learned how to deal with these negative thoughts MYSELF.
So by all means, lean on your friends + family from time to time!
Everyone needs a healthy outlet where they vent.
But learn how to cope with these negative thoughts yourself too!
Being able to compartmentalize certain negative emotions is a skill that requires some time to master.
But, once you’re able to acquire this skill, it will be life-changing!
When we’re able to effectively section off our logical thought processes from our natural emotions, we’re able to control how we react to those emotions!
For example, if you’re feeling anxious about completing a certain task, acknowledge those feelings being present, compartmentalize them in your mind, then MOVE ON and take action.
This doesn’t necessarily make the feelings go away, it just allows you to take the steps necessary to move PAST them.
While this can be extremely beneficial, it’s a bit of a slippery slope.
If there are serious emotional stressors that you are going through, compartmentalization is NOT the answer.
Serious issues require you to tackle those emotions head-on in a direct way.
However, the thoughts I’m referring to here are the lingering thoughts of self-doubt that creep their way into our daily lives.
8) Spread The Love
“A thousand candles can be lighted from the flame of one candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened” — Mahatma Gandhi
The more you work to make others feel good about themselves, the more you’ll exude self-confidence and happiness.
This is actually a topic that has been heavily studied — and I find it super fascinating!
A particular study focused on whether humans find greater satisfaction in “pleasure-seeking behaviors,” or find greater satisfaction in helping others.
It was found that the more people participated in activities that were MEANINGFUL and benefitted others, the happier and more fulfilled they felt!
Alternatively, “pleasure-seeking behaviors” gave a short-term boost, but had no long-term effects on overall happiness.
You can read through the study HERE.
When you give to others, you get MORE back. 100% of the time.
This doesn’t even mean that you have to go out and donate a huge amount of money to charity in order to achieve happiness.
It can be as small as volunteering on a weekend morning, giving a troubled friend advice, or genuinely complementing someone!
If we all took the time to prioritize GIVING a little more, imagine how much happier the world would be.
9) Rise Above It
There’s going to be a huge amount of people around you who are dealing with negative self-talk habits as well.
This often causes our peers to act and react in ugly ways — which sucks for everyone!
However, you have to accept the fact that you might need to just rise above the situation, and be that positivity catalyst that everyone else needs.
I’m no stranger to dealing with toxic environments where negativity is spread like a virus.
But positivity and self-confidence are contagious as hell.
So give everyone around you the opportunity to catch it!
Be comfortable with being that first source of “light” that everyone around you needs!
10) Become Acquainted With Your Inner Critic
This one sounds a bit crazy, but RIGHT NOW assign your inner critic a name.
I highly recommend choosing a name that you don’t necessarily like since this inner critic should be seen as your mortal enemy.
Once you identify her (or him!) you’re able to give this negative entity a shape, which further promotes the control you have over it.
So next time you have pestering thoughts about how useless or incapable you are, tell your inner critic to SHUT IT and go on about your day!
No matter what goal you’re striving for, if you start with tackling a negative self-talk habit FIRST, you’ll have a much better chance at success!
I truly wish this is something I tackled much earlier in life.
Since investing my time
It’s something I (and you!) will have to work at
Founder, A Next Level You
P.S. If you’re looking for another personal development resource, check out my eBook “10 Habits That Establish A Healthy Morning Routine”. I’ll teach you to maximize your productivity in the mornings and to finally form an effective routine you can stick to!
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