How we talk to ourselves is a major force in our day to day happiness, capacity to love, and ultimately our success. In this post, I’ll share how I unlearned negative self-talk as an adult in order to reach my goals.

What Does Negative Self-Talk Mean to Me?

Negative self-talk means different things to different people. To me, negative self-talk occurs any time I diminish my own ability, potential, or belief in myself. These issues are rooted deep for many of us, and often start when we are children. While my parents were amazing, I was never taught about negative self-talk or the power of thinking positively.

Common Negative Self-Talk Examples

Here are some common examples of negative self-talk I have noticed hearing in my head:

I’m Not Good Enough: This phrase has entered my mind when I have met people that seemed to have it all together, at least on the outside.

I’m Not Talented Enough: Similarly to the above, I’ve heard the “I’m not talented enough” line in my head, especially when I got out of my comfort zone in starting my mental health marketing company after quitting my cozy corporate job.

This Is Too Hard: Many times this thought has popped up in my head. A ask seems too difficult and my first response is “this is too hard.” By saying this, I am undercutting my potential, my mind wants the easy path that gets me to old destinations. When I started my mental health directory TherapyByPro, I had no idea what I was doing. The amount of work required was massive, and I felt like giving up. But these are lies, and must be disregarded.

Ways to Undercut Negative Self-Talk as an Adult

Let’s review some things that have helped me undercut negative self-talk:

  1. Be kind to yourself: This is a big one. If you’re tired, take a nap. Get up and try again
  2. Tell yourself 5 nice things every morning: I like to take a walk every morning and think about all the things that are going right in my life, even when things seem in chaos. I am teaching my brain to think positively and be in a state of gratitude. Sometimes it’s small things, other times it’s bigger things. For example, I woke up this morning. That’s a huge thing we take for granted! I also got a new client this week, an Excel consulting company. I put the work in and I did a great job! (it sounds weird to congratulate yourself, but try it! It is necessary in the world we live in)
  3. Take on a challenging project, goal, or task: Avoid the “easy path.” Purposely go out of your way to try to accomplish things you don’t think are possible, or in the very least, very difficult to accomplish. By taking on these tasks, you are telling yourself that “I am at that next level. I am good enough.”
  4. Practice encouraging others: One clever way to start encouraging yourself is to “spread the love” to others. Start by encouraging others who are having negative self-talk. Positively is contagious! Your own positively to others will influence your own mind.

Conclusion on Negative Self-Talk

Negative self-talk is detrimental to your own well-being. Many of us have brought negative self-talk into our lives from childhood, we never learned the above principles. Mental health is a massive challenge in our world today, we need a lot more positive self-talk. Regardless of your background, race, ethnicity, gender, or your past, you are capable of achieving incredible things in your life.

My name is Anthony Bart, I’m the owner of BartX Digital. We operate TherapistX, and Therapybypro. I’m a huge small business advocate and enjoy working with mental health professionals.