July 14, 2021

Negative Self-Talk

Mental Health & Wellbeing

What quiet whisper do you hear in the coolness of the day?
What overwhelming voice cries out and never goes away?

Are criticism, judgement, and self-hatred places where you commune?
Does it’s fractured melody sound like a toxic tune?

Have you taken a moment to examine if your critical inner voice is true?
Does that voice actually come from you?

Do you wonder how seeds of low self-esteem and self-sabotage were sown into your mind?
Has it driven you so far into deception that you cannot see how you were beautifully designed?

Are you a casualty of negative self-talk? –Treshana Lewis

Defining Self-Talk

Self-talk is the internal dialogue you have with yourself. It is the never ending stream of automatic thoughts that flow through your mind. Self-talk can either be empowering or limiting. Whether negative or positive, self-talk has the ability to shape and/or transform your beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Roots of Self-Talk

As humans we interact with every facet of life, and each facet has the ability to influence our self-talk. Some of our self-talk is birthed out of a place of logic and reason. Other self-talk may come from assumptions created because of inadequate or inaccurate information. Sources of this information are not limited to but includes family, peers, faith leaders, social media, and/or society.

Harmful Nature of Negative Self-Talk

If you have battled with negative self-talk for some time, you may have discovered that it has a very low glass ceiling. It constricts your thinking, growth, and development to the limitations of your self-talk. The more you tell yourself you will never accomplish anything, the more you believe it and see it manifest into reality.

Negative Self-Talk can also lead you to an endless pursuit of perfectionism. Do you find yourself believing to be “great” is just not enough? Do you believe that perfection is attainable and you must have it? If so, this may be a tell tale sign that it’s time for you to examine your self-talk. If left unaddressed, negative self-talk is also known to exacerbate feelings of depression and place unwanted pressure on relationships.

If you are tempted to blame your negative self-talk on your own pessimism and toxicity please remember that this tree of negativity was not created without seeds being sown and nourished. Discovery and understanding is more transformative than self-condemnation and shame.

Cultivating Positive Self-Talk

Stop, drop, and R.O.L.L

STOP your mind from operating in autopilot by making a conscious effort to catch and filter your negative thoughts. This can be done through the use of a daily log where your negative thought and positive alternative thought.

DROP money into a negative thought jar every time you engage in or verbalize negative self-talk. It may be helpful to invite your friend to help hold you accountable so you are not doing the work alone.

RECOGNIZE: Acknowledge and take your negative self-talk for what it is…a thought.

“I am having a thought that I am not good enough”

OBSERVE: With kindness and curiosity, take note of how your thought impacts your body and feelings. Whatever you notice just let it be, without judgement or shame.
LET GO: Take a deep breath and choose to let your negative thoughts go. You might find it helpful to imagine your thoughts on a river floating far away.
LAVISH: Shower yourself with love, words of kindness and compassion, and engage in self-care.
“I choose to take good care of myself”
“My past does not define my future, I do”

If you are reading this article and need support managing your negative self-talk and cultivating positive self-talk, give us a call today to schedule an appointment. Self-talk is ultra common, but recognizing your self-speaking patterns and acknowledging how unkind or limiting these repeated phrases to yourself are is a first step in the right direction. Don’t be ashamed if you need support! Patterns are difficult to break and I’d love to sit with and assist anyone brave enough to face their own self for the hope of growth!

Written by therapist Treshana Lewis

Articles by Amanda

Coming soon! Check out other articles by Optimum Joy therapists.

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