I would ask you how often you hear that tiny voice inside your head, playing the role of your inner critic, always being “helpful” by throwing in doubts about your ability…but I think I already know the answer to that.
Often, right? And when you need it the least! When all you actually want is encouragement, there’s that squeaky little voice doing the opposite.
Negative self-talk can be a literal pain in the rear, holding you back from achieving what you want. But you know what? You can show that negativity in your head who’s boss by tricking it into becoming a positive force with positive self talk. I’ve done it, and so can you!
Here’s how you can do it to build your confidence and change your life!
Ten ways to turn the negative voice in your head into positive self talk
1. Use affirmations
There was a time I used to scoff at my Mom’s advice of using positive affirmations. I used to tell her that’s not being realistic—that’s just escapism. But you know what? She gave me a fabulous example. She asked me: when you prepare for an exam, what do you tell yourself? That you’ll do well and you’ll aim for good grades? OR…that you’re just studying and who cares how that goes? That was tough to argue with. The same way, we squash that inner doubtful voice with positive statements in the present tense. I start my day setting intentions. I also say nice things to me before I sleep at night—apparently that’s when our brain is most receptive. Think of how parents coo their kids to sleep? Telling them all kinds of sweet things? Same. When we repeat these positive statements or affirmations to ourselves throughout the day, we reinforce the positive message and it will become second nature.
2. Be aware
This one is important. Don’t ignore that voice in your head. It won’t go away. Listen to it intently, listen to what it says. If it is constantly negative, you have to take action to transform it into a supportive, positive voice. When it says positive things, great! If it says negative things, turn it into a positive!
Here’s a step-by-step guide to the negative thought diet
Meditation is a great way to have better control over your thoughts and emotions. When you meditate regularly, you learn how to listen mindfully and soothe or quieten that inner voice. It helps you keep calm and be peaceful, stress less and reduce anxiety. When you are in control of your mind, you have the ability to silence the negative voice when it begins to do its number on you. You can gently steer it out of your head, replacing it with positive affirmations.
Try this one-minute meditation
4. Practice gratitude
If there is one thing that can change your perspective in life, it is gratitude. Make it a habit to set aside two minutes every day to think of three things you are grateful for. If you’ve noticed, it can be so easy to get caught up with all that went wrong with your day and allow that negative voice to rant in your head. Instead, try focusing on the positive and be grateful for what you have. In fact, write down your gratitude list in a journal—and every time you feel low, look at your lists for a boost to your spirits. They serve as a sweet reminder when you cannot think straight.
When you become swamped with catastrophic thinking, especially when you are anxious or stressed, it is natural to think of all the things that can go wrong with your life. The next time you feel this happening, try stepping away and looking at the situation from the outside. Be objective. Be nonjudgmental and try to see it from a different point of view.
6. Distance Yourself
Put some distance between you and your emotions. Think in the third person. So, instead of: I am mad at myself because…. try “You are mad at yourself, why?” Creating that psychological distance helps you regulate your emotions and feel more comfortable handling your thoughts.
7. Say, “I don’t”
Use the phrase “I don’t” instead of “I can’t”. When you say “I don’t” you take responsibility for the way you feel. You own your thoughts.
8. Get professional help
When you can’t manage your thoughts and it interferes with your routine and well being, seek professional help. It doesn’t make you any less of a person. In fact, you’ll be investing in self-care. You’ll be able to access effective tools to change your subconscious mind and get rid of blocks, change your language and thought patterns and create new positive habits and behavior.
9. Watch your body language
Did you know that changing your body language can help you change your outlook? It can boost your sense of positivity and self-confidence.
Try this: stand up or sit up straight with your shoulders back. Then hold your head high and smile. Feel your self confidence grow.
10.Use Oracle Cards
This is a suggestion by a close friend of mine and it truly helps. Oracle Cards are a really useful tool to help you connect with your subconscious and also to create change in your life. These cards come with positive inspirational images, affirmations and ideas about how you can create change. Each morning, pick a card to guide you through the day, helping you creating positive change. If you’d rather not use the cards yourself, you can get a reading from a professional.
Great books to help you practice positive self talk (affiliate links)
To practice positive self talk, random acts of kindness towards others also helps. When you do something for someone, you are filled with a good feeling.
Inner peace can be yours. Practicing the tips above can get you started right away!