Boss Babe, do you talk down to yourself?
Negative self-talk can take many forms.
It can sound grounded:
“I’m not good at this, so I should avoid attempting it for my own personal safety,” for example)
or it’s downright mean:
(“I can never do anything right!”). It may seem like a realistic appraisal of a situation (“I got a C on this test. I guess I’m not good at math.”), only to devolve into a fear-based fantasy (“I’ll never be able to go to a good college”).
The musings of your inner critic may sound a lot like a critical parent or friend from your past- or that mean girl from school!
Basically, negative self-talk is any inner dialogue you have with yourself that may be limiting your ability to believe in yourself and your own abilities and to reach your potential. It is any thought that diminishes your ability to make positive changes in your life or your confidence in yourself to do so. So negative self-talk can not only be stressful, but it can really stunt your success.
Negative self-talk can affect us in some pretty damaging ways:
One large-scale study found that negative self-talk and self-blame over negative events were linked to an increased risk of mental health problems.
Focusing on negative thoughts leads to:
Decreased motivation as well as greater feelings of helplessness and depression. Those who find themselves frequently engaging in negative self-talk tend to be more stressed. This is due to the fact that their reality is altered to create an experience where they don’t have the ability to reach the goals they’ve set for themselves.
Negative self-talk can lead to a lowered ability to see opportunities, as well as a decreased tendency to capitalize on these opportunities. This means that the heightened sense of stress comes from both the perception and the changes in behavior that come from it.
Added to this: negative self talk impacts your relationships too!
Whether the constant self-criticism makes you seem needy and insecure or you turn your negative self-talk into more general negative habits that bother others and generally make you someone people find draining to be around.
What does negative self talk sound like?
“I’m useless” “I’m disgusting” “I’m weak” “I have nothing to offer anyone.” I’m fat, I’m ugly, I have no talent, I’m stupid.
Are you guilty of any of these?
So let me ask you this…
- Would you say these things to your best friend?
- Or your partner?
- Would you say these things to your child?
- Or any child?
Exactly, you wouldn’t! You wouldn’t want to crush that child’s self-esteem or dreams or be the person responsible for a poor self-image…
So why would you say these things to yourself?
After all, aren’t we all just walking around as our child selves in bigger bodies with a little extra emotional baggage thrown in!
Here’s a solution:
Talk to yourself and treat yourself as if you were talking to little ‘you’. Some people say you should go as far as placing a baby pic of yourself as your laptop or phone wallpaper to really visualize this process.
But essentially the idea is that you see this younger version of yourself and you think: would I say these things to her? Would I treat her in this way? Would I give her copious amounts of alcohol and processed sugars and carbs, would I allow her to get 5 hours sleep every night? Would I allow her to be in this abusive or negative relationship? If the answer is no, then why do this to the older version of yourself?
Next time you want to put yourself down or treat yourself badly, think about “little you” and make her proud!