Five Steps to Stop Negative Self-Talk

Many of us are all too familiar with nagging thoughts such as, “I’m not good enough,” or “I can’t do this.” This negative self-perception, whether related to your appearance or an ability, can cast doubt on your goals and undermine your accomplishments and happiness. Excessive negative self-talk can affect many parts of your life, including your relationships, attitude, stress, and how you perform at work.

Silence your inner critic

If you are struggling with your inner critic, there are five simple steps you can take to silence that voice and mold your self-perception into something positive.

  1. Think happy thoughts. How you think about yourself is often directly related to how others think about you. Your attitude always shines through, so think positively and your relationships will benefit.
  2. Don’t dwell on shortcomings. When things don’t go as planned, it can be hard to move on and stop yourself from overthinking the situation. Negative feelings tend to worsen the more attention you give them, so try to learn from your mistakes and look for the silver lining so you can let go.
  3. Distract yourself. If you can’t stop overthinking, find a way to distract yourself. Play a game with your family, watch television, or do anything that will fully engage your mind and limit the amount of time you spend in the negative zone.
  4. Make reminders. It may not be easy to switch all of your negative thoughts into positive ones right away, so try posting positive reminders around you, like on your desk at work or in your bedroom. These reminders can be inspirational quotes or simply a list of your best qualities to keep you on the right track.
  5. Empower yourself to make a change. It’s a powerful thing to realize how you could benefit from making a change in your life and going for it. The change could be losing those 10 pounds you’ve been holding on to, becoming more organized, or getting your financials in order. If you find that you are having a recurring negative thought, it may be time to make a change and mold that thought into, “I can make this better, and I know how.”

These tips can help you get on the right track toward a more positive self-perception, but it will take practice and patience. When you are stuck in a difficult situation, give yourself the same compassion you would give to someone you care about if they approached you with the same problem. You’ll be happier for it.