Self-talk is that internal dialogue that we have with ourselves and if you’re anything like me, that internal dialogue doesn’t shut the hell up! It’s constantly rambling on and on like a roomful of monkeys and some moments we don’t notice it at all and other moments we want to tear our brains out to shut it up (can I tell you how awesome a little meditation is?!). But what happens if this internal dialogue is saying things like “I can’t do this”, or “I’m too old/young/fat/stupid/etc. to do _______”, or even worse, “I’ll never get this weight off”? This is negative self-talk and if you wouldn’t let someone say something like that to your loved ones, it’s time to stop saying it to yourself!
Negative self-talk does nothing but hold you back in life. It stops you from getting the love you deserve, having the career you want, doing what you want and it even keeps the weight on that you so desperately want to lose. If you yourself are telling you that you can’t lose weight, how on earth do you expect to actually lose it?!
Typical examples of negative self-talk come from the following:
- Filtering towards the negative – Focusing only on the negative aspects of a situation instead of the positive (i.e., you gave a speech that garnered you a standing ovation but instead of remembering that, you simply remembered the one moment you stuttered on a word).
- Personalizing – In a word, you make everything about you. If someone close to you whispers to another person you think they’re whispering about you. If a friend cancels on a dinner date due to illness, you think they’re lying and that they cancelled because they don’t like you.
- Anticipating the worst – Always thinking about the worst possible scenario that could happen in any given circumstance. You decide not to sign up for a 5k run because you think you’ll be the last person to cross the finish line or you won’t even be able to finish at all!
- Seeing things only as black or white – I’ll only be happy when I’m thin! I can’t possibly be happy and fat at the same time. You can’t see that it’s actually possible to be thin and unhappy or overweight and happy.
How To Break Free From Negative Self-Talk
Note your negative thoughts
For one or two days, take note of how often you engage in negative self-talk and write them down. This will help you to become more aware of how often you do this and in what ways.
Focus on being productive
Surround yourself with positive people
Get a reality check