Overcoming Negative Self-Talk (with Examples)

Positive woman at the beach, facing the sun

Do you feel like you’re not good enough? That you have a habit of making stupid mistakes and disappointing yourself? That no matter if you try or not, you’re simply not destined to succeed? If you answered yes, you might suffer from negative self-talk. It’s very common and surprisingly often ignored.

While being critical of your own actions can sometimes be advisable, constantly talking yourself down and being overly critical of yourself is only damaging to you. That’s why you have to do something about it. In this post, I will explain what negative self-talk is and how you can overcome it.

Being good to yourself and talking to yourself kindly is one of those life skills that can take a long time to master. It is still definitely worth it to try to fix this problem and take steps toward becoming someone confident and positive. This is especially important if you are working on leveling up your life.

What is negative self-talk?

Negative self-talk is anything negative you tell yourself. Again, criticism can be good in the right situation. But telling yourself you’re simply not good enough, that you can’t do anything, or that for sure you can’t reach your dreams because of who you are, is negative self-talk. And it is harming you and your future.

There are many ways in which you can have a negative dialogue with yourself. Sometimes it can be hard to recognize. If you have never done well in a math test, it’s easy to think that you’re bad at math, right? But what if you told yourself that you should get back to the basics and work your way up from there? What if you just need some extra help?

Negative self-talk can manifest itself in many ways. It can be about your skills, your looks, or who you are at the core. It can be about how you think other people see you. It can be about the past or the future. When you’re not being positive about yourself and your skills, you typically focus on your negative qualities, anticipate the worst outcomes and blame all shortcomings on yourself.

Negative self-talk examples

To overcome negative self-talk and start being more positive, you have to recognize the unnecessary negativity you keep telling yourself at first. Here are some examples:

I’m never going to be good enough to get a job I like.

Most people probably don’t like me.

I have always been bad at sports.

I’m unhappy with my life, but I can’t change it.

People see me as shy and boring.

It probably won’t work anyway, because it didn’t work the last time.

Positive message on a napkin next to a coffee cup: The best day ever!

Effects of negative self-talk

Talking to yourself in a pessimistic and discouraging way will of course have consequences. If you tell yourself the same thing over and over, you will start to believe it.

Constantly telling yourself that you’re bad at public speaking will make you fear situations where you have to speak in front of an audience. You’re likely to feel more nervous simply because you’ve been telling yourself this is something you are not good at.

Negative self-talk can also lead to perfectionism if you’re scared of failing. It might keep you from even trying or going after your dreams. If you’re all the time telling yourself that you’re not good enough can lead to feelings of self-loathing and depression.

In other words, being negative about yourself and your skills can keep you from living your best life and making your dreams come true.

How to stop negative self-talk

If you want to become a more positive person who doesn’t talk yourself down, you have to actively start talking to yourself in a more positive manner. Positive thinking has many health benefits and it is guaranteed to make your life better.

The most important thing for you to do is to realize that just because you have failed at something in the past doesn’t mean that you can’t do it.

No one is good from the beginning and everyone needs to practice new things. Don’t beat yourself up for making mistakes or not being as skilled at something as someone else. Chances are they spent a lot of time and effort to become that good.

You have to teach yourself to recognize negative-self talk and intervene whenever you tell yourself something pessimistic or something that isn’t true. This can be difficult at first, but soon you’ll learn to spot the negative thoughts and that’s when you can really start to change.

Every time you think something negative, you have to transform it into something positive. This way you’ll start to believe in yourself more and you’ll have the courage to take chances and try new things.

Examples of negative self-talk to positive self-talk

It didn’t work last time, so it won’t work now.  ⟹  This time I’m more prepared, so I have a better chance at making it work.

I’ve always been bad at this. ⟹ I need to come up with a new technique and try again.

People think I’m boring or stupid. ⟹ I can attract the right people by being myself. People usually think good of other people.

It’s way too radical for me to try. ⟹ If I do my best, I’m likely to succeed.

Other people can do it, but I can’t. ⟹ If they can do it, so can I.

Do you struggle with negative self-talk? Have you tried to become more positive and self-confident? Let me know in the comments! Also, remember to pin this post if you found it useful.

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  • Kate Maddox
    August 18, 2021 at 2:46 am

    This is definitely something I’m working on and have been trying to fix my internal monologue as much as possible to be more positive and stop letting negative talk hinder my dreams

    • Nina
      August 18, 2021 at 6:15 pm

      Good to hear! It definitely takes time to change these things, but the effort will always be worth it! Don’t let anything make you feel like you can’t achieve your dreams 🙂


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