If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve probably noticed I am a big fan of Danielle LaPorte, her books, her goal-setting planner, her inspiring talks, the way she views the world in general.
A while ago I read a great post from her on negative self-talk and it sparked me to sit down and share my own thoughts on the topic.
I have always been really good at listening to myself and believing everything I “hear”. Which would’ve been great, if it was mostly positive, constructive talk. Sadly, more often than not, it isn’t. It’s self-blaming, self-critiquing, self-pitying… And that kind of talk just does not get us anywhere. It makes us angry, sad and doubtful.
It’s true what they - “what you think, you become”. Self-talk does create your reality, so if yours is a negative kind of brain - perhaps it’s high time you rewire it and create some new, healthier and more positive thought patterns. Here is how:
1. Recognize you’re doing it
The first step to solving anything is awareness. Know that you are doing it. Quite often we only really get aware of it when we start feeling the results - being angry or sad. And at that point it is more difficult to deal with. If you catch your negative train of thoughts right at the beginning - it will be much easier to stop it. Some of the most common negative self-talk ‘mantras’ include self-criticism phrases such as “I can’t”, “I am bad at this” or self-pity ones like “this always happens to me”, “others are way luckier”.
2. Confront it
When you know what your negative self-talk patterns are and you become aware of them - then counter them. My method of doing this is simply telling myself “stop it, you’re doing it again”. So simple, yet it can be so effective. And if you want to take a step further - challenge yourself back and ask “Why can’t you?”, “How is it too difficult? Is it really?”. It takes your mind from that negative thinking mode to a more positive, problem-solving and solution seeking one.
3. Put it in the negativity box
We tend to blow things out of proportion so they end up seeming much more big and serious than they actually are. The “negativity box” is a really simple, yet powerful visualisation technique that can help that. Throughout the day, every time you make a mistake that you start beating yourself up for - narrow the problem down and imagine the tiniest box possible and shove it in there. So if you catch yourself thinking “that was the most stupidest thing I could’ve ever said, why am I such an idiot”, narrow it down to a simple “well, that was a poor choice of words” and move on.
4. Find your mantra
A mantra serves as a grounding technique. Think of it as an anchor that brings you home, to a safe place of self-love and acceptance. It can be any word or even an image, that you hold special meaning to and that calms you, lifts you or just puts a smile on your face. It has to be a really vivid one too, one that you can immediately conjure up/ relate to, so that it can pull you out of the negative self-talk trance. Mine is really simple - “Yes, you can”. And you repeat it to yourself a million times if you have to. And say it like you mean it!
5. Good vibes only
Take that mantra a step further and surround yourself with visual representations of it. Put up a vision board with affirmations; choose a nice bright wallpaper with a positivity quote for your phone; tattoo it on your wrist, if you feel like it! Here are some of my favourite ‘good vibes only’ wallpapers for iPhone (click on the images to enlarge)
At the end of the day, it all comes down to loving yourself, flaws and all. Because you are a pretty amazing human, despite what you tell yourself. :)
If you’d like to read some more on the topic of self-love and self-care - check out Danielle’s post here: