Talking to yourself in a negative way is perhaps one of the key things that stops you from being productive and enjoying everything life has to offer. Talking to yourself in this way creates and reinforces existing subconscious beliefs that are likely to stop you achieving what you want.
Negative self-talk usually comes from relating your current set of circumstances with a previous experience. If you haven’t succeeded in something in the past, this could affect your ability to succeed in the future. Rather than shaking off past experiences, your mind focuses on the failure and tells you that you can’t do it.
Being aware that you are doing this is an important first step. If you can recognise your self-talk for what it truly is – nothing more than baggage from the past – you can choose to shift your way of thinking to put you in a better position to achieve success.
The next step is to understand that negative self-talk reflects your own internalised negative feelings rather than the truth. The reason this kind of thinking affects us so much is because our subconscious mind cannot differentiate between what is true and what is false. It can’t make judgements and doesn’t form opinions. All it does is take what is believed to be true, and when we are thinking negatively this makes the doubt and fear real.
How to stop negative self-talk
Thankfully, there are ways you can stop yourself from getting caught up in negativity. In the morning, try to start the day with a positive thought; when our first thought is a negative one, things can quickly snowball.
It is of course normal to have negative thoughts on occasion, but once you realise what is going on, you should feel more comfortable drowning out the negative thoughts with positive ones. Researchers say that on average we have over 600,000 thoughts a day, so the idea of monitoring every thought is pretty unrealistic. Instead, try to use your feelings and emotions as a guide. If you are feeling confident and happy, chances are you are thinking positively. If you are feeling low and anxious, you are probably thinking negatively.
When you do feel low, ask yourself what bad feelings you’re having and look to change your thoughts. When you change your thoughts you can change the way you feel and ultimately the way you experience life.
If you feel trapped in a cycle of negative thoughts, seeking help from a hypnotherapist could help. Find out more on our depression page.
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