We all give ourselves a little self-criticism from time to time.
And, honestly, this is pretty normal behaviour.
Sometimes, though, this self-criticism can get out of hand and open the door to constant worrying, limiting beliefs and negative self-talk. If you’ve ever done something or said something and then spent hours afterwards analyzing it, you know what I mean!
While a bit of self-criticism is normal and often healthy, too much too often can create a downward spiral. It depletes your self-confidence and you end up in a state of negativity, always seeing the glass as ‘half full’.
As someone who firmly believes that ‘like attracts like’, when you get stuck in this state, you tend to also get stuck in bad situations. And, having been there, doesn’t it also feel like NOTHING good ever comes your way???
A few years ago, I had a friend who only saw the bad side of every situation. Everyone and everything at work had something wrong with them, and eventually she lost her job (just one of the bad things that happened to her). She spent months unemployed and I really do believe that her negative attitude and continual negative self-talk brought a lot of this on. Especially because the economy was healthy at the time and everyone else I knew (who had positive attitudes) had no issues finding new jobs.
Why You Need to Kick the Negative Self-Talk to the Curb
Do you ever wonder why bad things keep happening? Or why you can’t ever seem to do or get what you want or need in life? This may be related to too much self-criticism or negative self-talk. This kind of mental chatter attracts negative energy.
Plus, deeply held negative beliefs, especially when they are firmly rooted in your subconscious, stress you out on an emotional level. Your body reacts to stress in the same way no matter if it’s physical, mental or emotional stress. And that means your cortisol rises, blood sugar gets out of whack, inflammation sets in, your hormones become unbalanced, and your health suffers.
There is a very real connection between imbalanced hormones and inflammation and mental health, too. Anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders are often related to poor stress response, too.
These negative beliefs can then affect your relationships and limit your potential to be your most awesome and amazing self.
And you want to be your most amazing self, right? Of course, you do!
What are limiting beliefs?
Limiting beliefs are the little, but persistent voices that convince you that you can’t be or do or have something due to a perceived inadequacy in some area of your life or personality.
These limiting beliefs or thoughts typically follow some form similar to this:
I will never be [this]…
I can’t do [that]…
I don’t have [this]…
I don’t deserve to be/have [this]…
And, one really common one that comes up for many people…
I am not good enough.
Because you ARE good enough and you deserve all the things you want in life, let’s see if we can change up the conversation going on inside your head!
How to Overcome Negative Self-Talk
Your thoughts and beliefs, whether positive or negative, influence your entire life.
Positive thoughts have likely gotten you into some amazing experiences, like a promotion or finishing a marathon.
Limiting beliefs, however, could be preventing you from seeing opportunities for amazing things or they may be discouraging you from even trying something new. Or, worse, preventing you from getting back into a hobby or activity that you know, deep down, you love.
And, not only can YOUR limiting beliefs put you in a bad place, limiting beliefs from friends and family can also be super discouraging. These are harder to fix on your own, but, as someone who gets a LOT of flak for the direction I want to take my life, it’s really up to you to stick to your plans, do what you can to get what you want, and just let these negative comments slide right off you.
After all, it’s your life you’re talking about, not theirs.
So, for you, there is good news. It is totally possible to permanently change any long-term negative or limiting beliefs.
Ideas to Help you Silence your Inner Critic for Good!
Do you find yourself ‘stuck’, spinning your wheels on the same speed bumps over and over?
If life seems to be throwing you curveballs, or even brick walls, it may help to talk with a counsellor, life coach or therapist. Speaking with someone unbiased is a great thing if you’re feeling really stuck in a downward spiral.
However, there are lots of ways you can help silence the negative self-talk on your own, too!
#1: Become more aware of what you’re thinking.
This is huge, though it may not seem like it. Bring those disempowering thoughts out of hiding so you can actually be more aware of their frequency, content and timing. Knowing this stuff gives you choices.
And this is key…knowing and understanding that you do have a choice about how to handle stressful situations.
#2: Rearrange your thoughts towards what’s possible.
Do you realize just how powerful your mind can be? It’s truly amazing, and why affirmations are so helpful and life-changing.
When you believe that things are possible for you, you get this amazing mindset shift that opens up your world.
Believing in the possible opens up opportunities and options where you never thought you had them before. Negative self-talk closes the door on opportunities and you’ll never see what’s possible in this state of mind.
Most importantly, this isn’t something that changes within us overnight. You need to practice thinking about what’s possible. And, over time, those positive thoughts will intensify and your neural connections will strengthen.
New “wins” will pop up more and more and you will feel great! This helps you see the bright side in situations that would have previously levelled you to your knees. Plus, thinking about what’s possible helps you accept that life isn’t perfect. But that you’re perfect just the way you are.
#3: Pay attention to what you’re telling yourself.
How do you respond to friends who start beating themselves up? Do you reply the same way as you do when respond to your own negative self-talk?
#4: Ask yourself: would I say these negative, hurtful and unsupportive words to a friend?
These limiting beliefs you may have about yourself at never helpful, nor do they serve to help you achieve your goals or ambitions.
Affirmations are Powerful:
Start repeating 2-3 empowering affirmations each and every day. Pick ones that align with your goals and dreams. Repeat them often. Some options to get started are:
“It is not my job to please everyone else.”
“Just be me. There will never be anyone else like me.”
To swap out your limiting belief with a more empowering one, you’ll need to play a little mind game:
Convince yourself that the value you thought you were getting from the former limiting belief isn’t worthwhile, and that your new empowering belief can serve to fill this void.
Take action and use your powerful new beliefs to get what you want:
Once the limiting beliefs are eliminated, or adjusted to become empowering, make sure you’re setting aside time and space for positive thoughts and affirmations. Repeat your affirmations every morning as soon as you wake up and every night before bed. All it takes is 5-10 minutes each day.
Keep doing this, especially with the tough affirmations, until they become comfortable and feel right to you.
You deserve the most empowering and positive life you can ever imagine. Help yourself get there, achieve your dreams and get everything you want out of your life.
Remember, you do have the ability to harness the power of what’s possible! Release limiting beliefs and negative self-talk and turn those thoughts into positive affirmations that help you get where you need to be.
Mindset adjustments take commitment, time and dedication to really make those belief shifts stick. But once you get there, you’ll feel more confident, strong and empowered.
You are enough…never forget that!
Health.com: 9 Ways to Silence Your Inner Critic
Thrive Global: What are Limiting Beliefs and What Causes Them?
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