Overcoming negative self-talk, Katrina Howells



Do you ever find yourself mentally beating yourself up? Often, we are our own worst critics.


Being highly critical of everything we say can make us hesitant to speak up and/ or ruminate on our contribution later in the day or even week. Both lead to a negative cycle of how we view ourselves and impact on our confidence.


Are you as kind to yourself as you are to the people you care for?


Often, we think that this critical self-talk is what keeps us going and helps us be successful. It can take us so far, but over time it impacts negatively on our self-confidence. It becomes inhibiting when we seek to take on more senior roles or make a change in our careers or lives.


However, there is a way to be successful and motivated without being critical of ourselves in the process.

The first step to overcoming negative self-talk is to start to notice when you are doing it. Often it is so natural to us that it flies under our radar.

Tune in to the negative self-talk. If it is hard to identify, notice when you are worrying or feeling anxious and then examine your internal narrative. Try to look at it objectively and ask yourself questions such as:


Am I being entirely fair to myself at the moment?

Is there another way to look at this which is more positive?

What is the kindest thing I could say to myself about this situation?

What would I say to a friend who was in the same situation?


Over time, if you keep moving towards more positive and constructive thinking, it will become more natural and easier to access.


Important note: Notice your negative self-talk neutrally. It is important not to beat yourself up about criticising yourself. We are programmed to keep ourselves safe and this results in this critical voice. So remember it is entirely natural to judge ourselves if not entirely constructive, and all you are trying to do is to tip the balance from a majority of judging thoughts to more positive self-talk. Be kind to yourself on the journey.


Tip: If you just ask yourself one question make it – What is the kindest thing I can say to myself right now?


 

This article was written by our partner coach, Katrina Howells.