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Remember it's ‘YOU’ talking to yourself and ‘YOU’ are listening to yourself.

Updated: Sep 10, 2022


Every person has an inner critic. This tiny voice can occasionally be beneficial and keep us motivated toward our goals, such as when it warns us that the food we're going to eat is unhealthy or that the action we're about to take might not be a good idea. However, this voice can frequently do more harm than good, especially when it descends into overwhelming criticism. This is referred to as negative self-talk, and it can really bring us down and be very depressing.


Most people occasionally engage in negative self-talk, and it can take many different forms. If we're not careful, it may also cause a lot of stress for both us and those around us. Here's all you need to know about negative self-talk and how it affects your body, mind, life, and loved ones. There are several ways to engage in negative self-talk. In some cases, it can sound reasonable ("I'm not good at this, so I should avoid trying it for my own personal safety," for example), but in others, it can come across as blatantly cruel ("I can never do anything well!"). It may seem like a reasonable assessment of the circumstance ( "On this test, I scored a C. I assume I'm not very good at arithmetic," only for it to turn into a fantasy based on dread (" I'll never be able to attend a decent college.")

Your inner critic could sound very similar to a judgmental parent or former best friend from your past. It may proceed along the lines of common cognitive distortions, such as catastrophizing, blaming, and so forth.

Negative self-talk basically refers to any inner conversation you have with yourself that can be preventing you from believing in your own abilities and potential. Any thinking that undermines your capacity to alter your life for the better or your belief in your own power to do so is a negative thought. Negative self-talk can therefore seriously hinder your success in addition to being stressful.


Well in my experience of treating people, I saw them fighting with fear, anger, anxiety, guilt, shame, or regret, and all of these lead to a ‘NEGATIVE IMPACT’ on your mind, body, heart, and soul. So, as Hayes quoted “Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening”, I firmly agree with this line, it not only leads to mental deterioration but physical deterioration.

People who constantly talk to themselves negatively tend to be under higher pressure. This is large because their reality has been changed to make it so that they are unable to accomplish the objectives they have set for themselves.

Lemme tell you the consequences:-

  • Having a limited perspective causes you to believe something more and more as you keep telling yourself you can't.

  • You start to truly think that "improvement" is inferior to "perfect" and that perfection is actually possible. Simply high performers, on the other hand, frequently outperform their perfectionistic colleagues since they are typically less stressed and content with a job well done. They don't analyze it in detail and try to pinpoint improvements.

  • According to some studies, negative self-talk might exacerbate depressive symptoms. This might be quite harmful if left unchecked.

  • A lack of communication and even a "playful" amount of criticism can have harmful effects, whether the continual self-criticism makes you come out as needy and insecure or you transfer your negative self-talk into more general negative behaviors that annoy others. ​

The fact that negative self-talk is not positive is one of its most obvious disadvantages. Although it may seem obvious, research has proven that having a positive outlook on oneself is a strong predictor of success. ​One study on athletes, for instance, evaluated the four forms of self-talk (instructional, motivational, positive, and negative) and discovered that positive self-talk was the best indicator of performance. People needed to tell themselves they are doing something excellent and that others are noticing it as well, rather than reminding themselves how to do something. ​

Positive thoughts, on the other hand, flood your brain with endorphins, allowing you to relax and become more focused and alert. Positive thinking also lessens physical pain while increasing feelings of pleasure. And as a result, you're much more likely to feel optimistic, self-assured, and driven to take the necessary steps to accomplish your objectives.

One study on athletes, for instance, evaluated the four forms of self-talk (instructional, motivational, positive, and negative) and discovered that positive self-talk was the best indicator of performance. People needed to tell themselves they are doing something excellent and that others are noticing it as well, rather than reminding themselves how to do something. ​

How to catch that DEMON and STOP it?

However, it can be more difficult said than done for some people to change their negative ideas to positive ones. But, there are always some ways, which can help you minimize it

Keep in Mind That Feelings and Thoughts Aren't Always Reality.

Although having unfavorable ideas about yourself may seem like wise insights, they are most definitely not reliable sources of information. Like everyone else, you are susceptible to biases and the sway of your moods on your thoughts.

Identify and rename your inner critic.

Debbie Downer was a former "Saturday Night Live" character. She could always find something wrong with a situation. If your inner critic possesses this dubious talent, you might tell yourself that Debbie Downer is acting out once more. It's easier to grasp that you don't have to agree when you think of your inner critic as a force outside of yourself, especially if you give it a silly moniker. It also becomes less intimidating and easier to see how absurd some of your critical ideas can be.

Put Your Negativity in Check.

If you catch yourself complaining to yourself, it can help to limit the harm that a critical inner voice can do by only letting it complain about particular items in your life or for one hour each day. This limits the amount of negativity that can be generated by the circumstance.

Neutralize Negativity by default.

You may be able to catch yourself when you are using negative self-talk, but it can occasionally be challenging to will yourself to halt a thought in its tracks. It's frequently simpler to alter the tensile nature of your language. It changes from "I can't stand this" to "This is difficult." "I dislike..." changes into "I don't like," "I don't prefer," and so on. Much of the negative force of your self-talk is also diminished when you speak to yourself in a more kindly manner.

Examine Your Inner Critic Closely.

The fact that negative self-talk frequently goes unchecked is one of its destructive qualities. Since it's happening inside your head, it's possible that nobody can correct you if you're wrong because they aren't aware of what you're saying. Catching your negative self-talk and evaluating its veracity is significantly preferable. The bulk of negative self-talk is an exaggeration, therefore recognizing this might help lessen its harmful effects.

Be a Friend to Yourself.

At its worst, our inner critic can resemble our deadliest enemy. We frequently speak to ourselves in our heads in ways that we would never speak to a buddy. Why not flip this around and make it a point to envision saying this to a dear friend whenever you catch yourself speaking harshly in your brain? If you are certain that you wouldn't express yourself in this manner, consider how a good friend might respond to you or how you would like to be addressed by a good friend. This is a fantastic approach to altering your general self-talk.

Change Your Viewpoint.

You might not be paying enough emphasis on anything until you take a long-term view of the situation. If you're outraged about something, for instance, consider whether it will still matter in five or even one years.

Consider panning out and viewing your issues from a vast distance as another method to change your viewpoint. You can be reminded that most of your troubles aren't as significant as they appear by simply seeing the world as a globe and yourself as a tiny, tiny person on this globe. This frequently helps to lessen the hurry, fear, and pessimism in negative self-talk.

Spit It Out.

Simply speaking negative thoughts out loud can sometimes be helpful when you catch yourself doing so. When you confide in a trusted friend, it frequently results in a nice laugh that highlights how absurd some of our negative self-talk can be. Sometimes it at least provides support.

Stop Thinking That.

Simply putting an end to unpleasant thoughts can be beneficial for some people. When a bad idea enters your head, you can "think-stop" it by putting a rubber band around your wrist, picturing a stop sign, or just switching to another one. This can be beneficial when dealing with negative or recurrent ideas, such as "I'm no good" or "I'll never be able to do this," for instance.

Justify the Good by Replacing the Bad.

One of the best ways to deal with negative self-talk is to switch it out for something constructive. Transform a pessimistic notion into an inspiring and true statement. Repeat until you find that you need to do it progressively less frequently. Most negative habits can be broken by doing this; for instance, substituting good foods for unhealthy ones. It's a terrific way to cultivate a more optimistic outlook on life and on yourself.

So, In the end, I’ll say, some people have the ingrained tendency to always find the negative, even in themselves. They could attempt to defend their pessimism by listing all the negative things going on in the world and claiming that they are "just being realistic." However, they are only actually sabotaging themselves mentally. The good news is that because you are the source of your thoughts, you are ultimately in control of them. This means that you can develop the ability to actively choose to swap out your negative ideas for ones that will improve your life. Not all unfavorable thoughts come from your inner critic running amok. There are other forms of negative thinking, and if you can learn to recognize them and overcome them, you can have a happier, more fruitful life. AND YOU CAN ALWAYS SEEK HELP!!

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