“Turn down the volume of your negative inner voice and create a nurturing inner voice to take its place.” ~ Beverly Engel
Do you ever realize that you’re criticizing yourself? Telling yourself that you’re not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough?
Some days it may feel like you just can’t measure up.
Negative self-talk is a nasty habit that many women struggle with. And this is unfortunate, because it’s a barrier to manifesting our greatest desires in life.
In this article, I share tips on how to let go of negative self-talk, so you can create a healthier and more empowering relationship with yourself.
Examples of Negative Self-Talk (And Why It’s Dangerous)
There’s no way I can do that.
I should just stay quiet.
Somebody is more qualified than me.
I’m so stupid.
No one will ever love me.
… The list goes on.
What we know for sure, from the research of quantum physicists, is that words have the power to harm us, especially when they come from the voice in our head. If you engage in negative self-talk for long enough, you’re more vulnerable to:
- Body dysphoria
- Sleep deprivation
- Limited thinking and conditioning
How you perceive yourself can affect every aspect of your life. When you constantly tell yourself that you’re not good enough, you begin to internalize it. You stop trying new things and putting yourself out there in the world.
When you believe you’re unworthy of success, you stop pushing yourself. You get stuck in a rut and don’t advance in your career or education.
When you believe the lies you tell yourself, they manifest in your reality.
Why Do We Get Stuck in Negative Self-Talk?
You can fall victim to negative self-talk because you believe you know yourself best. You’re an honest judge of your strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities—or so you tell yourself.
So when you say you’re not smart enough, you believe it is an objective assessment of yourself. When other people tell you otherwise, you don’t believe them.
They’re just being polite, you tell yourself. They don’t want to hurt my feelings.
But see, what you tell yourself is not always the truth and often other people’s input is genuine.
It may help to know that you’re not the only woman experiencing this. The Huffington Post shares a report by Dove that reveals 4 in 5 women in Australia have low self-esteem.
So, how can you improve your perception of yourself?
How do you finally let go of negative self-talk and start loving the woman you see in the mirror?
Let Go of Negative Self-Talk: 5 Tips to Remind You of Your Power and Value
#1 Be Conscious of Your Thoughts
Sometimes negative thoughts are difficult to spot—they slip into your thought stream like a soft whisper.
Do your best to be conscious when this happens. And when you find yourself being critical with yourself, pause.
Observe the thought. Question why it emerged in the first place.
When you analyze your thoughts, you might notice patterns.
For example, you might discover that your negative thoughts often occur when you’re overwhelmed at work. Or maybe you become self-critical because you skipped a day of exercise.
Once you notice these patterns, you can choose habits that encourage positive self-dialogue instead.
#2 Say a Morning Affirmation
Adding uplifting affirmations into your daily ritual will help you let go of your negative self-talk. You can counter and turn around your critical self-talk with affirmations. Let’s take a look at the following scenarios:
You’re thinking: I’m not worthy of love.
Say aloud: I am worthy of unconditional love.
You’re thinking: I’m not capable of doing that.
Say aloud: I am fully capable of achieving whatever I work towards.
You’re thinking: I don’t belong here.
Say aloud: I belong here.
You’re thinking: I’m worthless. Everyone else is more important.
Say aloud: I have value and make my needs and desires a priority.
You’re thinking: I’m unworthy of help. Nobody would want to anyway.
Say aloud: Even though I’m a powerful woman, others are happy to help me. I give myself permission to accept support.
You’re thinking: I’m not qualified to make a decision on this. I should ask somebody else.
Say aloud: I trust my experience and intuition when it comes to making thoughtful decisions.
When you experience a negative thought and quickly follow it with a positive affirmation — a reminder of your worth and value — you slowly reprogram your undesirable internal chatter.
Eventually, you understand that even if you have traits to be worked on, you also have magnificent strengths.
#3 Embrace Empathy“If you put shame in a Petri dish, it needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence and judgment,” says Dr. Brene Brown in a Ted Talk. “If you put the same amount of shame in a Petri dish and douse it with empathy, it… Click To Tweet
Brené Brown, Ph.D., research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, talks about the relationship between negative self-talk and shame. When you experience shame, you internalize the belief that you are unworthy of love and belonging.
“If you put shame in a Petri dish, it needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence and judgment,” says Dr. Brown in a Ted Talk. “If you put the same amount of shame in a Petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can’t survive.”
Empathy is a cure for shame and negative self-talk. Shame simply cannot survive when you hear the words, “I understand but those thoughts aren’t true” — even if you are saying it to yourself.
So, whenever you hear shame building up in your heart, tell yourself those words.
I understand but those thoughts aren’t true.
Say it as many times as you need to until the shame subsides. You hold power over your mind and body.
#4 Surround Yourself with Positive People
Your environment has a more significant impact on your mindset than you might think, and that includes the company you keep.
If you continuously associate with negative people who complain often, you’re likely to adopt those same habits. You begin seeing life through a negative lens, which includes your self-perception. In addition, negative people will distract you or even resent you if your mission is to experience a life where you’re thriving, empowered, and joyful.
Sometimes, prioritizing your well-being means letting go of negative people. But letting go of friendships — even the negative ones — can be emotionally daunting.
To ease into this, you can slowly distance yourself from these negative people. Be around them less. Talk to them less. Or, you can take a more assertive approach — tell them outright that you’re moving in a new direction, and while you’re thankful for their friendship, it’s time to part and go your separate ways.
Moving forward, be mindful of the friends you choose. It’s often helpful to seek out people who embody the traits you want to manifest within yourself.
For example, if you want to lead a more active lifestyle, you can sign up for online fitness communities or join a local hiking group. Or maybe you want to reconnect with your faith and Higher Power. You can join online faith-based groups or visit your local center of worship.
You can also find new friends who share your interests. There are online Facebook and Meetup groups for nearly any hobby imaginable — knitting, business, mindfulness, fitness. Connect with like-minded women as you learn and grow your skills alongside each other.
Building reliable support systems with empowered and uplifting women can help you build a healthier relationship with yourself.
#5 Seek Balance in Your Life
Excessive negative self-talk can also stem from chaos in your life.
Earlier this year, you may have been overwhelmed with work, tending the home, and caring for the kids. Now, you worry about staying healthy amid a global pandemic.
You might be finding that you barely have a moment to breathe!
How is it possible to turn around your negative thoughts when your mind is like a whirlwind?
If you need support in sorting through the external and internal turmoil, I invite you to claim a Complimentary “Overcoming Overwhelm” Discovery session with me.
In this 60-minute consultation, you’ll:
- Reveal a clear and compelling vision of what else is possible for your life when you no longer have so much on your plate and are enjoying your life again
- Get simple and practical tips for how to break free from your symptoms of overwhelm
- Tap into greater energy and inspiration
- Explore how having a partner on your journey will provide a shortcut to all that you desire.