Chase Happiness

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Put an end to negative self talk (part 1 of ∞ parts)

This is HUGE! We all know the cliche “I am my own worst enemy” and we know it because it’s basically true. Negative self talk is one of the biggest reasons there exists a gap between ourselves and happiness. You can learn to reduce negative self-talk and take advantage of the power of positive thinking.

What is negative self talk?

Negative self-talk, often referred to as inner criticism or self-sabotaging thoughts, is the habit of engaging in a pessimistic and self-deprecating internal dialogue. It involves the repetitive and automatic flow of thoughts that are unkind, judgmental, and unhelpful toward oneself. Negative self-talk can manifest in various forms, including:

  1. Cognitive Distortions: These are irrational and biased ways of thinking that magnify problems and minimize strengths. Examples include all-or-nothing thinking (seeing things as black or white), catastrophizing (expecting the worst outcome), and personalization (blaming oneself for external events).
  2. Self-Criticism: Harshly criticizing one’s actions, appearance, or abilities, often with unrealistic standards. It involves being overly judgmental and perfectionistic, leading to feelings of inadequacy.
  3. Comparisons: Constantly measuring oneself against others and feeling inferior as a result. This can lead to jealousy, envy, and a diminished sense of self-worth.
  4. Limiting Beliefs: Holding onto beliefs that reinforce a negative self-image, such as “I’m not good enough” or “I’ll never succeed.” These beliefs can become self-fulfilling prophecies.
  5. Imposter Syndrome: Feeling like a fraud despite evidence of competence or success. People experiencing imposter syndrome often attribute their achievements to luck or external factors rather than their own abilities.
  6. Should Statements: Putting undue pressure on oneself by using words like “should,” “must,” or “have to.” For example, “I should be perfect” or “I must never make mistakes.”
  7. Negative Filtering: Focusing solely on the negative aspects of a situation or oneself while ignoring positive elements. This can lead to a skewed perception of reality.
  8. Labeling: Attaching negative labels to oneself based on past mistakes or failures, such as “I’m a failure” or “I’m worthless.”

PRACTICE – Stop, Challenge, Replace

Awareness (Stop)

  • Begin by becoming more aware of your thoughts throughout the day. Notice when negative self-talk arises. This might include self-critical statements or doubts about your abilities. When you become aware of negative self-talk, just pause for a moment.

Challenge Your Thought (Challenge)

  • Ask yourself a few questions to challenge the validity of the negative thought:
    • Is this thought based on facts or assumptions?
    • What evidence do I have to support or refute this thought?
    • Would I say this to a friend in a similar situation?

Reframe (Replace)

  • Now, reframe the negative thought into a more balanced and realistic statement. Focus on self-compassion and self-encouragement. For example:
    • From: “I’m terrible at this; I’ll never get it right.”
    • To: “I’m still learning, and making mistakes is part of the process. I can improve with practice.”

This “Stop, Challenge, Replace” technique empowers you to take control of your inner dialogue. It aligns well with our goal of promoting positivity and self-care, as it’s a practical tool you can use to improve their mental and emotional well-being. Remember, with patience and persistence, you can reshape your thought patterns and cultivate a more self-compassionate and optimistic mindset.

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