I am pretty much a pro at negative self-talk. it happens all the time & I still have trouble beating it sometimes. but it’s possible and that’s why this post is here.
recognize the voice.
you want to gain control over that inner critic and end that negative, draining self-talk. to do that, you have to first be self-aware of it. there’s a difference between knowing you have a problem with negative self-talk and recognising it when it occurs. thoughts always happen so fast that we aren’t always aware what’s happening.
separate that critic from yourself.
that negative voice in your head isn’t really you, it’s the result of life experiences that have been internalised like criticism / expectations from society. separate the voice from you so it can’t have power over you. just like a blatant stranger on the street or a troll on the internet shouldn’t have power over your self-perception.
don’t compete where you don’t compare.
judgement. comparison. labels. all the bad things in life. if you think judging and labeling others is BS, then the same should go for you. because once we do judge ourselves, we’re opening the door for that inner critic and it will beat down on us like crazy. remember that you never have the entire picture of someone you’re comparing yourself with. there’s this pretty cool quote that goes, “don’t compare your behind the scenes to someone else’s highlight reel” and I think you should remember that.
don’t be mad at your imperfections & learn from mistakes.
your goal should never be perfection because you’ll die of disappointment when you’re 90. because you’ve chased an ideal of yourself while beating yourself down because you couldn’t achieve it. you can’t hold others up to high expectations, and that goes for you, too. and that is FINE. give yourself room to breathe. nobody on this planet earth is ever close to perfection and it’s stupid to focus on becoming it. that’s not to say to totally let yourself go. I’m just saying there’s always room for hard work and self-improvement – just please don’t get mad at yourself.
treat yourself as a good friend.
why the hell are we so damn spiteful towards ourselves? why do we talk to ourselves so harshly when we would never think to talk that way to our friends? don’t you think that’s really f*cked up? even when you mess up, try to say something encouraging. in therapy, I once “talked” to a doll as if it were my best friend, as if she were in the exact same position as me. do you know how my tone changed? it’s incredible. give yourself a little compassion. because god knows you need it.