How Your Negative Self-Talk Is Holding You Back
by Lauren Madden,
June 6, 2018

"Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love." ~ Brené Brown

Are you guilty of negative self-talk? Do you find yourself judging, shaming, or beating yourself up on a regular basis?

At first glance, you're probably thinking, "no way... I never do that!". Or maybe you're the first one to raise your hand and admit to it. Either way, take a moment to really think about the way you speak to yourself in your head. What are your beliefs about yourself? Do you support your decisions?
Are you cheering yourself on? Or are you hard on yourself, always needing to "do more", never feeling like you did *quite* a good enough job?

I used to beat myself up with negative self-talk for YEARS. Nearly every time I did something, I'd question if it was the right thing. Even something as seemingly simple as ordering food off a restaurant menu! The root of the problem was that I didn't trust myself. Because there was no trust, any decision I made (even the simple, inconsequential ones) seemed "wrong".

I also used to spend a lot of time beating up my body, both physically and mentally. I would spend hours at the gym, never feeling like I was burning enough calories, and internally speaking negatively to myself the whole time. I'd look at other women and think, "Why don't I look like her ?" I'd weigh myself and think, "Why is it so hard to lose these extra 10 pounds?" I'd glance at my reflection in the mirror and make a disgusted face, thinking nasty thoughts about my body. It all stemmed from a false belief I had about myself that I wasn't good enough and that my body needed to change in order to be seen as worthy.

I read something recently that said we have, on average, 60,000 thoughts per day, and almost 90% of them are the same exact thoughts as the ones we had the day before that, and the day before that, and the day before that. In other words, we're recycling the same thoughts every single day. So if you're thoughts tend to be on the negative side, you are actually spending 90% of your conscious thinking-time wading in murky waters. If, on the other hand, you consciously choose to think positively, and to dismiss the negative self-talk, a majority of your day will be spent supporting yourself and your efforts rather than tearing yourself down.

So how do we change?

A great tip is to talk to yourself like you would someone you love, or like you would talk to your best friend. If someone you love was having a hard time, would you tell them that this is all their fault and they should have just tried harder? Or would you provide a shoulder to lean on, listen to what they were saying, hold space for them to process their feelings, and then remind them of all their great qualities and how much you care about them?

What if you did that for yourself? What if, every time you felt down, you could pick yourself back up? What if you could become your own best friend, your own cheerleader, your own savior?

This is what I've been focusing on in my own personal development the past few years, and it's what I specialize in helping my coaching clients to shift... changing the internal voice to support your dreams instead of dismiss them. It's not always as easy as just "thinking positive thoughts", so I find that journaling, meditation, yoga, mentorship, and daily self-reflection are all tools that can help in the process.

Imagine what could be possible for you if you truly believed in and supported yourself every single day. Imagine how much farther you could go in life. Imagine the new levels you could reach...