Many of us have allowed ourselves to be controlled by our negative self-talk for years. The consequence of us allowing negative self-talk to influence our lives is that we end up creating a poor self -image of ourselves. We truly believe that this is our reality when in fact this poor self-image is all made up in our heads- it is not at all who we truly are.
The good news is that we can control the influence that negative self-talk has on our lives however it does take a lot of hard work.
“You need to be your own cheer squad not your own worst enemy” Miya Yamanouchi
The good news is that you can learn to be your own “cheer squad”. There is no magic formula to changing your life around however if you are prepared to commit to this personal journey of change and prepared to do the work then you will reap the rewards.
So.. What is Negative Self-Talk?
Negative self-talk is the voice inside our head commonly known as our inner critic, that essentially repeats back to us how “bad” we truly are.
A great inner critic will convince us to truly believe that we are “bad, dumb, ugly, fat, skinny, terrible, useless, quirky and a failure”.
Your negative self-talk limits your ability to believe in yourself and in your ability to reach your true potential.
Any negative thought that questions you, your confidence and your ability to make positive changes in your life is a sign that your inner critic at work.
Listening to and believing what your inner critic tells you can be not only stressful but it can prevent you from living your life to your fullest potential.
When you do have a more positive view of yourself, your self-belief, your confidence and resilience grows and as a result your life becomes more fulfilled and happier.
“Take positive care of your mind, and it would surely take positive care of your life.” ― Edmond Mbiaka
How to commit to continuous improvement?
If you truly desire a successful life where you are thriving, the first thing you must do is embrace and accept that your journey of self improvement and growth will never end. It is a lifelong journey of learning.
Once you have accepted that your journey to improving your life is life long, you then follow these steps:
1. SELF IMAGE
how you see yourself
2. SELF ESTEEM
the extent to which you value yourself
3. IDEAL SELF
what you wish you were really like
The formation of a healthy self-concept, according to Rogers, is an ongoing process shaped by a person’s life experiences.
People with a stable sense of self tend to have greater confidence and cope more effectively with life’s challenges. People who had more unstable lives and more traumatic life experiences tended to have a more pessimistic view of themselves.
Rogers believed that people intuitively want to be in the process of changing and growing. Those people whose lives are controlled by their inner critic do have a number of hurdles to overcome before they can take up the challenge of personal change and growth. Rogers in his quote below states what you need to do to take the first step to changing your life – accept who you are – faults and all!!
“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change” Carl Rogers
3 Actions You Can Take To Manage Your Negative Self-Talk
If you chose to commit to these 3 actions your journey to reinvent your life is pretty much guaranteed!
Please remember that improving your self-belief and self-image takes time and it will NOT happen overnight but it will happen if you commit to and embrace your journey of change.
1. Commit To Taking Action
“Struggle ends where commitment begins.” ― Sumner Davenport
This quote by Sumner Davenport illustrates the importance of commitment when it comes to transforming your life.
Once you commit to your journey of change, then the daily struggle and daily pain that you are living with, will overtime subside.
Your fears and feelings of negativity will be replaced with the feelings of success, happiness and joy. You will feel more enlightened, optimistic and hopeful about your life and your future.
Life will still continue to throw your curveballs however you will be more resilient and have greater ability to navigate your way through the challenges that life deals to you.
For me, I decided that I had enough of living my life controlled by my fears and my self-doubt. I felt I was paralyzed and too scared to take action. That’s when I took action and made the decision that I was going to change the way I lived my life.
I didn’t know how but I knew that I didn’t want to live controlled by my fears and negative thinking anymore. I found the quote from Sumner Davenport wrote it down and then put it on my mirror where I could see it every morning.
This was the first step I took to committing to change the way I lived my life. Every morning I would look at this quote and say to myself “today is going to be a great day and I an truly grateful for the opportunities that are going to come my way. Each day I am taking one step closer to achieving my goals and dreams to living my life to my fullest potential”.
2. Start Using Your Power of Choice
The journey to living life being the best person you can be starts with you. It starts with you using a wonderful gift called the Power of Choice, which we all have and yet some of us are afraid to use.
Using your power of choice means that you have to step out of your comfort zone. If you choose to do nothing and keep the status quo you will keep getting the same results.
Use your power of choice to empower you to start living life the way you want live it. Your Power of Choice is the one thing you have that you control and using it wisely will enable you to live your life being the best version of yourself.
When you are faced with a situation that is outside your comfort zone and the inner critic is starting to question you and your ability challenge yourself by asking questions such as:
- What is the evidence for and against my thinking?
- Are my thoughts factual or just my interpretation?
- How can I find out if my thoughts are actually true?
- Do these thoughts stop me from achieving my goals?
- If I were being positive, what would I be thinking?
- Is this situation as bad as I am making it out to be?
- What is the worst and what is the best thing that could happen?
- Would this matter in 1 week, or 2 months or 1 year or 5 years?
There are many more questions you could ask however you must always be challenging yourself by asking your inner critic, “why not?” Then using your power of choice to take action.
3. Use The 5 Second Rule To Embrace Change In Your Life
The one thing that is a given in your life is change. There is no way you can expect to live your life and not experience any change.
Our inner self-critic is our protection against change. It is the voice inside our heads that will resist change for as long as it can. The longer you listen to your inner self-critic that more paralysed your life will be to responding to and embracing change.
The journey to embracing change and managing your inner self-critic is a process. It is like training for a marathon. Nobody goes and runs a marathon with no preparation and training.
Training involves you getting not only your body fit but also getting your mind fit. Your mind has to believe that all the training that you are doing is preparing you to successfully achieve your goal – which is to run a marathon.
So you have a choice here – if you don’t manage your self-critic or self doubt then your chances of successfully achieving your goal will be limited.
The 5 Second Rule transformed my life! It is a very simple tool that allows you take control of your inner self-critic and take action. If you have a desire to act on a goal or make a commitment you must take action within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it
When you feel yourself hesitate before doing something that you know you should do, count 5-4-3-2-1-GO and move towards action.
There is a window that exists between the moment you have an instinct to change and your mind killing it. It’s a 5 second window. And it exists for everyone.
If you do not take action on your instinct to change, you will stay stagnant. You will not change.
The Bottom Line
“Your inner critic is simply a part of you that needs self-love” – Amy Lee Mercree
Using the advice above will empower you to take action so you can live your life to your fullest potential – with confidence, self belief, courage and a positive outlook on life.
Your inner self-critic will never go away but by taking action and committing to making changes in your life – you will have the power to choose the conversations you have with your inner self-critic.
The 5-second rule is a powerful tool that will enable you to manage your inner self-critic in a way where the negative conversations have no influence or impact on your thinking or on your life. Your inner self-critic will definitely become a very quiet small voice in the background.