Behaviors That Harm Your Success Series- Is Negative Self-Talk Holding You Back?

Behaviors That Harm Your Success Series- Is Negative Self-Talk Holding You Back?

Is Negative Self-Talk Holding You Back?

How have you been talking to yourself lately? Would you say the same thing to your family that you say to yourself? When you say something like, “I’m not good at X, so I won’t try,” you are expressing negative self-talk. Sometimes, a little negative speak stops you from making an unwise or unsafe decision. Most of the time, the critical voice in your head prevents you from reaching the success you desire.

How Negative Self-Talk Holds You Back

Negative self-talk prevents you from seeing opportunities. It increases your stress and may affect your behavior. It may also manifest itself in these ways:

  1. You believe things about yourself that aren’t true. When you keep repeating the same negative ideas, you start believing them. Soon, your thinking is limited, and so are your chances of success.

  2. You believe that great is no longer good enough. You may find yourself picking apart your last project, looking for all those bits that didn’t go as planned. This may lead you to think only perfection will do, and since perfection isn’t attainable, you shouldn’t try.

  3. You feel depressed. Too much negative talk can lead you down the path of depression, damaging you and your loved ones.

  4. Your relationships may suffer. Constantly living in a mind of self-deprecation can leech out into your relationships. Others may see you as needy and insecure. It can prevent open communication and a feeling of closeness because anything they say may be taken wrong by you.

4 Suggestions to Stop the Negative Self-Talk

You can stop the negative self-talk from preventing your success. Here are four suggestions to get you started:

  1. Pay attention to how you talk to yourself. When the inner critic starts chattering, stop and listen. Then, pay attention to how you feel when the words are harsh.

  2. Live in the moment. Reduce the chatter in your head by focusing on what you are doing now, not the stuff coming up. For example, if you are sipping a cup of hot tea, relish the flavor and warmth of the cup in your hands.

  3. Play devil’s advocate. As negative self-talk springs up, challenge the thoughts coming out. Ask yourself if the statement is true. Most likely, it is an exaggeration instead of the truth.

  4. Swap out negative words with positive ones. Decrease the negativity in your everyday speech by actively using more favorable terms.

Remember that your journey to success will move smoother when you beat back any negative self-talk that’s holding you back

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