How to Start Changing Negative Self-Talk in 4 Steps.
We all have an inner critic. It’s that little voice in your head that can be your best friend or your biggest bully.
Every time you want to try something new, that little voice creeps in. What if I fail? What will others think? It’s too hard! I don’t have time! All types of negative thoughts start to rush in.
It’s normal to have doubts and fears. But if your thoughts are negative 90% of your day , this will keep your confidence low and it stops you from doing the things you want to achieve.
With practice and consistency, you can train that inner voice to be kinder and more positive. Here are some tips to get you started.
Track your thoughts.
On an index card or piece of paper, draw a line to make two columns. On one column put “negative thoughts” and on the other column put “positive thoughts” For the next few days, when you notice your inner voice being neutral or positive, put a check mark on the positive side. Every time you notice a negative thought, put a check mark on the negative side. Quickly you’ll have a visual of where your thoughts are most of the day. This exercise will help you become more aware of your thoughts, making it easier to switch from negative to positive.
Most negative thoughts come from highly critical people in your life, the things you watch on TV, past negative experiences and basically things and people outside of you. If you grew up with parents that always criticized you, it’s not a surprise that you now always criticize yourself. If you were bullied or in an emotionally abusive relationship, that lowers your confidence, causing more negative self talk. These thoughts were planted in your mind by negative experiences. Your thoughts are NOT who you are.
Challenge the negative thoughts.
A simple way to do this is to question your thoughts. When you catch that inner voice being negative ask yourself:
- Is it 100% true?
- What’s the evidence supporting the negative thought? What’s the evidence against the negative thought?
- How can I figure this out? Where can I find the help?
- Is this something I can control?
- What do I need to feel more secure? Then start taking action.
It also helps to look for past experiences where you acted strong and confident. That’s evidence that you have acted strong and confident before. It’s in you. You just have to bring it back out.
Train your subconscious mind.
Our subconscious mind is where all of our past experiences and beliefs are. This is also where our “mind programing” is. If you have a program in your mind that you are not good enough, you’ll stop yourself from doing the things you desire because deep down you feel you are not good enough. You can train your mind to think more positively automatically.
One great way to do this is to put up positive affirmations around your home, at work and as a screen saver on your phone.
You can also listen to subliminal messages as you sleep. Look up”confidence affirmations” on YouTube and then play it as you sleep.
Also, constantly plant more productive, positive thoughts in your mind by reading self-improvement books. I’ve written about some of my favorite books here.
To reprogram your mind, you have to be consistent and repeatedly plant healthier thoughts. Doing it once in a while will not work.
Consistently having a negative inner voice could lead to symptoms of depression, anxiety and low self-confidence.
Turning your inner voice into a self-confident friend does take practice. But with consistency, you will notice a shift from automatically looking at things in a negative way to looking for solutions, while also reassuring yourself.
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”
-Normal Vincent Peale
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