How many times a day do you engage in negative self-talk?
“I’ll never have a successful business. I’m too flaky to stick to it, anyway.”
“I’m too fat to do Youtube videos.”
“I keep jumping from one thing to another all the time. I can never finish anything.”
“I’m a jack of all trades, but not an expert at anything. Who would want to work with me?”
Your thoughts create your reality. They’re a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you don’t believe you can do it, you won’t start. Years go by and your dreams remain just that… dreams.
If you want to make your dreams a reality, even one single negative thought is a luxury you can’t afford.
How To Stop Negative Self-Talk
You can’t stop thinking. But, you can turn your harsh inner critic into your biggest cheerleader.
Here are 5 ways to stop negative self-talk once and for all:
1. Become Aware Of Your Thoughts
Did you know your brain is lazy? Once you do something enough times, it makes that behaviour automatic. This is how you can brush your teeth or drive your car to work without remembering every action you took to do it.
The same is true for your thoughts. When you think something enough times, your brain puts it into a playlist that blasts through your head all day along – regardless of whether that thought is true or not. Scary, huh?
Most of your self-talk is so automatic, you’re not even aware you’re doing it. When last year, my coach asked me to record every single thought I had for 2 days, I was shocked to discover how many times “I’m not good enough” came up. It was literally on repeat all day long.
The first step to stop your negative self-talk is to become aware of what you’re telling yourself on a daily basis.
When a negative thought pops up, just observe it. Don’t judge it. Don’t blame yourself for having it. Don’t try to make it go away. Just observe it and note it down.
Related: How To Overcome Self-Doubt
2. Challenge Negative Thoughts
Here’s another scary fact: most of the thoughts in your head are outdated, misleading, or just plain wrong.
Heck, a lot of them time, they’re not even yours. You picked them up from your parents, your friends, your culture, and the people around you (when you hear something enough times, your brain makes it automatic, remember?).
Once you’ve become aware of a negative thought, challenge it:
- Is this thought really true? Do I have incontrovertible proof that it’s true?
- Is this thought true now? Maybe it’s true you were shy when you were 6, but that doesn’t mean you’re still shy or can’t network now.
- Whose voice is this? Is this my own thought or did I pick it up from someone else?
If a thought is false, outdated, or someone else’s, let it go. You don’t have to believe it anymore.
3. Reframe Your Thoughts
The best way to quit a bad habit is to replace it with a positive habit. The same is true for your thoughts.
Once you’ve discovered a negative thought isn’t true, replace it with something positive that is true.
“I am a jack of all trades but master of none” becomes “I have many talents I can use to help others.”
“I’m not good enough to start my own business” becomes “I don’t know how to start a business yet, but I can learn.”
The trick is to replace a negative thought with something that you actually believe. Your brain isn’t stupid. If you suddenly start thinking unrealistic thoughts, it’ll call you bluff and double down on the negative self-talk.
4. Celebrate Your Wins
When you focus on all the things you think you’re doing wrong, you miss out on all the things that you are doing right.
As a multi-passionate, you have acquired many skills. You’re knowledgeable about a lot of topics. You have completed plenty of different projects.
You can accomplish way more in a year than most people do in a lifetime. Give yourself some credit for that.
Write down ALL your accomplishments on a piece of paper and hang it on a wall where you’ll see it often.
As you reach more goals or experience a new win, add it to the list and celebrate. The more you do it, the more you realise how incredibly talented and capable you are.
5. Surround Yourself With Positive People
Your brain is an automation machine, remember? If you spend most of your time with people who come up with all kinds of excuses why it’s not possible to make your dreams come true, your brain will adopt those excuses too. Cue negative self-talk.
I know it’s not possible to cut all the negative people out of your life, especially if they’re family members or close friends.
But you can spend more time with people who are confident in their abilities and are working towards their dreams. With time, their positive beliefs will rub off on you, too.
If you have no idea where to find these people, join a member’s club or a Facebook group. Listen to inspiring podcasts. Read autobiographies of people who inspire you. Sign up for a mastermind. Work with a coach.
Your tribe is out there. Go find it.
The Bottom Line
Negative self-talk and beliefs are automatic, outdated, borrowed, and false. The key to stop them is to become aware of your negative thoughts, challenge them, and surround yourself with as much positivity as you can.