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Negative self-talk is self-sabotage. It is the way you talk to yourself which is usually negatively. It sounds like- I am not good enough, not successful enough, they are better than me, I don’t look good, I am too fat/lean, and so on.

Some people have a lot of expectations from themselves. They try to do everything to be their best. They want to reach for the sky and whatnot. These expectations, however, lead to a lot of mental pressure. If such people accomplish what they want to, they are happy, otherwise mental blockages are created.

It can arise from various sources- childhood conditioning, bullying in school, critical friend-circle or under/overestimation of one’s abilities. Whatever the cause may be, the effects of negative self-talk can be detrimental to one’s mental health and sometimes to physical health as well.

Let’s see the solutions and tips to deal with negative self-talk:

1) Knowing where they come from: You need to know the origin of the beliefs you have about yourself. They might not be necessarily how you think about yourself from the beginning. Those beliefs could be from someone near you or someone who might not know you at all. As mentioned above, whatever the source was, you didn’t know then that you can change your beliefs as and when you like. Once you know the origin, we move on to the next step.

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2) Challenging those beliefs: It means sitting down and remembering the time when you first heard them and figuring out whether it’s still true? When you challenge those beliefs, you find out that they were not true. But, you believe them. It is a shocking revelation! You will get reminded of some unpleasant times too. Don’t worry. You are exploring the truth of your negative beliefs.

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3) You have the power: Once you acknowledge and challenge the negativity lying inside of you, it is imperative to gain control of your thoughts and emotions.

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The power lies in your hands. You can change what you have been thinking until now. Know that and be in that energy of change.

4) Change with love and positivity: It means changing the earlier beliefs with positive ones. For example, earlier, you might say that – I am not as successful as my friends. Now, you will rephrase it as – I am not where I want to be as of now, but I am making progress each day. My journey is different from others, and that’s the beauty of it.

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So you see the difference? That is how you alter the negative beliefs to work in your favor.

You might also want to check out our post on Decoding Self-Love.

5) Affirmations go a long way: Affirmations are often seen as a hoax and too good to be true. But, in reality, they can work wonders if used properly. The reason is simple – repeated positive self-affirmations enter our subconscious mind, and in turn, help us replace the old negative beliefs with positive ones. So, there are multiple ways you can start from – YouTube, recording your voice with you speaking them to yourself, writing them and reading them daily, and so on.

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6) Distancing from those who bring those thoughts back: You can do everything to change and release negativity from your mind, but some people might remind you of that again and again. They could be your family members, friends, toxic partners, and many more. Ask yourself- are they worth the time and space in your life when they make you miserable? Not at all. So, try to engage with them only when necessary- you might come across as rude- but it’s okay. You are trying to come out of the trap of your thoughts, and surrounding yourself with positive people is imperative.

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7) Practice what you preach: Negative self-talk can sometimes arise when you say one thing, but you want or do another. For instance, you might say that you want to be an accountant to impress your peers. But, deep down, you want to become a YouTuber or writer. So, when this difference comes in what you say and what you do, self-criticism starts, and in turn, self-sabotage. So, stay true to who you are. Speak up your mind, say what you feel. It will give you a lot of emotional freedom. If you’re afraid that some people near you might not like it, then stop trying to get their approval. Not everyone will like you for you, and that’s okay.

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It is never too late to realize and understand that change is possible. Letting go of the negativity can take a while, but it leaves you with a heightened sense of self-worth.

A lot of people have a lot of opinions about everything and everyone. You don’t need to bother yourself with the labels they give you.

You are unique, and that’s your power!

Here is a video on How to End Negative Self-Talk by Jim Kwik.