Negative Self Talk

On today’s post I want to discuss talking negatively about ourselves. I think it’s become a habit that’s so normalised that we don’t realise we’re doing it half the time, but it also affects us a lot, and obviously not in a good way hence the ‘negative’.

Negative self talk comes in all shapes and sizes from criticising yourself to worrying constantly about things going wrong. It affects us so much that we embed these thoughts such as ‘this always happens to me’ and lead a life expecting bad to come to us.

A lot of the time, it comes from experiences we’ve had in the past with friends, jobs, or luck that makes us constantly worry that things won’t work out. Believe it or not, life is filled with many opportunities and not all of them turn out bad, but you have to push yourself, to get that new job, to go out and socialise with new people, without having so much fear.

Sometimes things DO go wrong, and unfortunately this can all come to you at once. It’s how we deal with the s**t times that matters. And, yes I know this is easier said than done.

By changing your attitude when things go wrong, you can learn to cope better when life seems to be going against you. Focus on the good things during hardships, the amazing people in your life, your pets, your favourite film, or your favourite book. Put your energy into those things and remember you always have them to go to if everything feels too much.

Surround yourself with positive people whether it’s online or in ‘real life’. Collect a page of positive and useful quotes off apps like Pinterest and Instagram to look at when you need them most. Know that the storm will pass no matter how strong it seems to be. Work out what it is that you want to accomplish and take baby steps towards achieving it and soon enough it’ll get a bit easier to take bigger steps.

At the end of the day, no matter how many mistakes you’ve made, or how many goals you’ve left to accomplish, if you’re trying your best to become a better person who isn’t intent on harming others, be proud of yourself. Remember that those that are unkind towards you, may have their own issues, it’s not always personal, as hard as it is to not get upset and take it personally (which is natural to do).

When you notice yourself going in to negative self talk mode, realise that those thoughts really don’t have any value. They aren’t good for you, in fact they’re quite harmful, and by buying in to them, what good will it do you? None. Recognise that they’re there, but let them go as if you’re putting a piece of food wrapping in the bin!

I know it’s difficult but think about all that you’ve accomplished even if they feel minuscule. You can get through whatever is going on right now, even if it feels like you can’t, I promise you that you’re SO capable.

Ciao for now.

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Wellbeing writer, host for The Inspired Narrative podcast and mental health support worker.