Every one of us has an inner voice that tells us we cannot do something. Experts call this our inner critic and we all have one. And too many times, we cave in and make the mistake of listening to this toxic voice.
That internal conflict causes unnecessary stress in your life which hinders your ability to achieve any kind of success. To some people, increasing their awareness of that inner voice is very disconcerting. The good news is that when you can identify this voice, you can begin releasing its negativity.
Recognizing Your Own Self-Talk
Negative self-talk has the potential to damage your entire life. You must find a way to re-funnel your energy into achieving personal growth. When you start identifying negative patterns in your own thought processes, you will be able to turn those into positive energy.
Achieving self-awareness is a huge step toward living your best life. Each of these huge steps you take brings you closer to living your successful life. There are times when our inner critic is actually helpful. For instance, if your inner voice tells you not to eat that cake because it is not healthy, then that is a good thing.
However, your inner critic is more harmful than helpful most of the time. This is because it has the ability to build excessive negativity. All this negative self-talk will ultimately bring you down.
Negative self-talk can take many forms. But the worse thing about negative self-talk is that it can limit your ability to believe in yourself. Whenever you diminish yourself, your confidence can also be undermined. This mindset will prevent you from implementing any positive changes.
Therefore, it keeps you from attaining your full potential and experiencing a life of success. Negative self-talk is also connected to high-stress levels and poor self-esteem. This will not only reduce your level of motivation, it will also make you feel helpless. The more often you tell yourself that you cannot do something, the more likely you will start believing it.
You convince yourself to think that you must be perfect when perfection is impossible for anyone to achieve. This will lead you to feel insecure and depressed. And needless to say, you will begin having problems with your relationships. Conversely, positive self-talk is instrumental in living a successful life. Countless studies have proven how effective positive self-talk is in achieving success.
Let us examine ten (10) great methods that can help you identify your inner voice and take steps to reduce its effects.
1) Catch the negative inner voice in action.
Whenever you catch yourself listening to that inner voice, stop listening right away. Ask yourself if you would talk to a good friend that way. If not, then it is negative self-talk and must be stopped.
2) Remember that your feelings and thoughts aren’t always real.
Just because you had a negative thought about yourself does not mean that the thought is true. Like everything else in our life, thoughts can be skewed and can certainly have bias.
3) Try giving your inner critic a name.
Whenever you name your negative inner voice, you are acknowledging that it lives outside of you. This allows you to recognize that you are free to not listen to it or agree with it. It will also let you see the ludicrous nature of your critical thoughts.
4) Contain your negativity.
It is a good idea to limit your negativity by only allowing your inner critic to address specific elements of your life. In addition, you can also limit the length of time that you will listen. This can greatly restrict the impact of negativity in your daily life.
5) Turn your negativity into neutrality.
If you are struggling to stop yourself from listening to your inner critic, then try changing the intensity of the verbiage it is using. For instance, you might turn the phrase “I hate this” into “This is challenging.” When you soften the language of your negative inner voice, you can soften it effects as well.
6) Question your negative inner voice.
Experts tell us that negative self-talk is rarely ever challenged. Therefore, when you are having negative self-talk, start asking that inner critic if the statements are really true. Ask for facts that support the negative statements. The overwhelming majority of negative self-talk is actually an exaggeration.
7) Become your own best friend.
Your inner critic can actually be your own worst enemy. It can say things to you that you would never even say to your worst enemy, much less a friend. So why should you say such things to yourself? Start treating yourself as your own best friend. And don’t let your inner critic talk to your friend in such a negative way.
8) Trying to modify your point of view.
Try looking at things that concern you in a long-term view. Will the things that are upsetting you even matter three years from now? A quick shift of your perspective can really help to minimize the negative thoughts.
9) Speak out loud.
The negative thoughts inside your head are more powerful there. Try talking about those negative thoughts out loud. This will illustrate to you how ridiculous these negative thoughts really are. You will begin seeing how unrealistic and unreasonable these thoughts are. If you can share them out loud with a trusted friend, then they will give you even more support.
Stop those negative thoughts in their tracks. This method works especially well on those thoughts that are extremely critical and repetitive.
10) Turn bad into good.
This is the very best way to attack your negative self-talk. Try inserting positive thoughts in place of those negative thoughts. This way, you are replacing a bad habit with a good habit, rather than eliminating a habit. Your new good thoughts must be both accurate and encouraging for the very best results.
For instance, rather than saying “I suck at this”, you could instead say “I’m still learning how to do this.”