Don’t Let That Negative Voice In Your Head Hold You Back
Most of us are familiar with that negative voice in our head.
In fact, everyone struggles with it from time to time.
You know… The one that tells us we aren’t good enough, that we should stop trying, or that we are not worthy.
But just because that voice exists doesn’t mean we are stuck with it.
There are a number of ways to stop negative talk in your head that are surprisingly effective.
Self-confidence, positivity, and mental clarity can be cultivated — even if it’s difficult — and utilizing these tricks can help ensure that we don’t actually listen to that pesky person inside our head telling us we can’t accomplish what we want.
Most of us are our own worst critics.
Shutting down the negative voice allows your confidence, self-esteem, and energy to flow and to be powerful, not powerless.
We can’t always make that pessimistic voice disappear completely.
But we can lesson it and not allow it to drive our actions or hold us back.
Here are some ideas for getting that negative voice out of your head.
Acknowledge The Thought
Rather than try to push the thought out of your head, acknowledge that it is there.
Most of us just allow it to happen and take it for truth without bothering to believe we have the power to change it.
So acknowledge the thought.
Write it down when you hear the negative voice.
This way you can document the occurrences and get a clearer understanding of what you’re saying to yourself and how you’re feeling as a result.
Look for evidence that your thought is true.
Just because you think something doesn’t make it true.
In fact, most of your thoughts are more likely to be opinions than facts.
So ask yourself, “What’s the evidence this is true?”
So, for instance, if you got an email from your boss that she wants to have a meeting with you, did your thoughts immediately go towards getting fired?
In that example, what evidence do you have that you’re about to be fired?
Create a list of the evidence that supports your thoughts.
Perhaps you called in sick for days in a row recently.
Or maybe you missed a deadline on an important project a month earlier.
List as many reasons as you can.
Look for the evidence that your thought isn’t true.
Then, create a list of reasons why your thought might not be true.
So, in that example about your boss wanting a meeting, why would it not be true that you’re about to be fired?
Maybe you are one of the hardest workers on your team.
And you know that your boss rarely fires people without good reason.
Or maybe you’ve been called into meetings with the boss before, and you’ve never gotten fired.
If you struggle to find contrary evidence — which is common when your emotions run high — ask yourself, “What would I say to a friend who had this problem?”
If your co-worker said, “I’m about to get fired,” you’d likely be able to conjure up some reasons why that might not be true.
So, give yourself the same consolation you’d give someone else.
Use The “Double Standard Method”
Most of the time, we are a lot harder on ourselves than we are with other people.
So next time the negative voice crops up, try treating yourself with the same courtesy that you would a friend.
Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend.
Most of us judge ourselves very harshly.
But we are more compassionate toward others dealing with the same issue.
Remember you are important enough to deserve your own compassion.
Try Thought Stopping
When you notice a negative thought, say (or yell) in your own mind, STOP!
Do this immediately when you notice the voice.
Then take 3 deep abdominal breaths.
And then envision a quiet calm, beautiful and strengthening image that you have already created as a go to focal point.
And repeat as necessary.
Combat With Positive Affirmations
Paying attention to being kinder and gentler to yourself is more powerful than most of us think.
Positive affirmations can be really effective to replace the negative voice in your mind.
Find or create positive self-statements that reflect strength, confidence, accomplishments and personal rights.
By challenging the negative and creating positive emotional strength, you increase both your mood and your self-respect.”
Name Your Negative Voice
Give your negative voice a name.
Psychologist Maria Sirois, says, “I call mine Fred, and tell her that she can come along for the ride but she can’t drive the car.” She says, “Back seat only.”
Negativity such as fear, worry, anger, self-criticism may be a part of our mindset and emotions that we have to deal with.
But they don’t have to be the part that decides where we are to go and what we are to do when we get there.
Dr Sirious says, “Fred is often along for the ride, but I clearly tell her that she is only allowed to be with me, as I find my way listening to other voices.”
Immediately Pair The Negative Thought With A Positive “And”
When you have a negative thought, immediately pair it with a positive “and.”
For example, “I completely messed that conversation up and I am worthy anyway.”
Or, “I hate this job and I have the strengths to figure out how to create a new path.”
Pairing a negative with a positive ending does two important things to our brain
First, it reminds us that we are in control of our thinking and we can shape our day by shaping our thinking.
And Second, we begin to trigger, more often, those parts of our brain that elevate optimism, positive self-regard, and creativity.
Share Your Thoughts With Someone
When that negative voice is running rampant, it can lead us to make bad decisions.
Instead, call a friend you can trust and ask if you can borrow their clear mind for a time.
Their suggestions may not always be the perfect ones, but it opens your mind.
When you hear other ways of thinking, it frees up your mind to see things differently.
And, when you’re seeing things differently, you can remind yourself that negative thoughts can exist, but they don’t have to be the deciders in any one moment.”
We all suffer from that cruel, negative voice from time to time.
Whether it’s you calling yourself names or you always talking yourself out of trying something new, try using some of these tricks to banish those thoughts as much as possible.
You might never get rid of your negative self-talk completely — and that’s fine.
The goal is to recognize that your brain’s predictions and conclusions are draining your mental strength.
Once you acknowledge your thoughts aren’t realistic, you’ll be less affected by them.
Responding to your thoughts in a healthy way will reduce the discomfort and unproductive behavior that accompanies negative thinking.
The more you practice replacing your negative self-talk, the more equipped you’ll be to reach your greatest potential.
After all, you’ll never become your best self if you’re constantly beating yourself up or dragging yourself down.
Now I’d Love to Hear from You
So how about you?
Do you suffer from negative self-talk?
What kinds of things help you to quiet that negative voice in your head?
Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
I’d love to hear your stories.
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