We’ve all been confronted by that nagging voice in our heads that makes us feel about two inches tall.
“How could you do something so stupid?”
“You’re never going to be good enough.”
These thoughts can race around in your mind, increasing stress and anxiety in all areas of your life. Luckily, you have the power to put a stop to the vicious cycle of negative self-talk! By showing yourself compassion and releasing your self-judgement, you can silence that nagging voice and build up your self confidence.
These simple strategies will start you on the path to a more positive pattern of self-talk:
1) Become Aware of your Negative Thoughts
Acknowledging negative self-talk removes the power that it has over you. When you find yourself caught up in a web of self-depreciation, consciously stop and examine each thought as it comes through. When you slow down and identify the thought pattern going through your mind, you acknowledge the feeling behind it and can then move forward with releasing it.
2) Swap Negative Self-Talk with Affirmative Statements
“Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
This famous quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. forms the foundation for eliminating the pattern of negative self-talk from your life.
Negative thoughts are often part of a vicious cycle in which one thought spawns into another, dragging you down physically and emotionally. By inserting a positive, affirmative statement into your thought pattern you can stop this cycle in its tracks. Make a list of positive statements or affirmations that you can use when your inner critic comes out to play.
3) Understand the Power of your Thoughts
Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting different results. The same is true in your thought patterns. When we regularly get drawn into the cycle of negative self-talk, we create a reality based upon those thoughts. By recognizing the triggers to your negative thoughts and consciously replacing them with positive self-talk based on possibilities, you can change the perspective of your entire reality.
4) Release your Negative Thoughts
Often the negative thought patterns we create in our minds feed off each other to make a problem seem much bigger than it is in reality. Release these thoughts by visualizing them in physical form.
An excellent way to do this is by writing a letter to yourself. When you feel caught up in negative emotion, writing it out on paper releases it from the confines of your mind and takes away the power those thoughts have over you. When you are finished with the letter, either burn it or put it away into a “worry box”. Physically releasing thoughts that no longer serve you is a powerful tool to shift the cycle of negative thinking.
There will always be times when our thoughts get stuck in a pattern of negative thinking. Be gentle with yourself, and let go of guilt and self-judgement.
By replacing negative thoughts with positive affirmations and releasing thought patterns that no longer serve you, you will discover that you do have the power within you to rise above the trap of negative self-talk.
Originally published on The Power of Ideas.