Do you have a tendency to beat yourself up? Got a really harsh inner critic that goes everywhere with you? Want to know how to stop negative self talk? The answer is quite possibly the thing that could change everything for you. Do you tend to be hard on yourself? Being hard on yourself could be as obvious as calling yourself names. Maybe it’s disguised as blaming or belittling yourself. It could also be making assumptions about others or the future and how it relates to you.
In this article we are going to cover how to stop negative self talk. Learn 10 strategies to stop beating yourself up! If you’re wondering where negative self talk comes from, we’ll cover that, too!
Where does negative self talk come from?
Often times, patterns of negative self talk were established long ago. Think back to when you were young. What were you like? Were you hard on yourself back then? How about the adults in your life – were they hard on you? However far back you trace it, one thing is for sure… Practice makes perfect. Every time you repeat harsh words to yourself, you add etch it on your mind and heart a little deeper.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
How to Stop Negative Self Talk
Identify the script
Very often, we are not entirely aware of what we are saying to ourselves. It’s important to practice self awareness and identify the script that runs through your mind. You might even be surprised by what you learn. Consequently, we feel bad, but can’t place where these feelings are coming from. We have emotions that are tied to the things we believe and the thoughts we think.
Knowing the script gives you a starting point for changing the script. Rewrite the script so it’s less harsh – maybe even encouraging. You get to choose what you say to yourself.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23
What are you believing about yourself?
Is there a part of you that believes you deserve the negative self talk? Do you think harsh words are accomplishing something? You are worth more than you may believe.
Understanding our value, significance and identity in Christ makes a difference in how we treat ourselves or talk to ourselves. Check out this article on core beliefs and get the free download on common negative core beliefs.
Once you identify any false believes you are caring about your worth, value or significance – you can challenge those false beliefs with Scripture. Check out this article on biblical affirmations and grab the free download to start challenging false beliefs today.
…you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:31b
Grasping onto grace is one of my favorite ways to stop negative self talk. Acknowledge that it is okay to fall short. We all fall short. Nobody is perfect. Stop negative self talk by replacing it with kinder words. Consider telling yourself- “I don’t have to have it all figured out.” Try, “I did my best” or “I am okay”. Kind of words will be like honey to your soul.
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24
Ditch black-and-white thinking
All or nothing thinking frequently leads to negative self talk. If you want to stop negative self talk, then be aware of a script that uses words like never and always. These type of all-encompassing words are not only harsh, but not true. It’s highly unlikely that “never and always“ apply to your circumstances.
Choose your thoughts with intention
Have you ever heard the saying, “you drive where you steer.“? Every. Single. Person. Has strengths and weaknesses. Choosing to put your thoughts on your weaknesses will only compound negative self talk. Be intentional in putting your thoughts on your strengths. God has gifted every single child of His with strengths to be used for His glory. Stop negative self talk by putting your thoughts on your strengths.
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 1 Corinthians 12:4
Stop making assumptions
Another great way to stop negative self talk is to stop making assumptions. Our brains are wired to fill in gaps of missing information with our best guesses… i.e. making assumptions. Stop making negative assumptions about how people will respond to you, talk or think about you. Additionally, stop making assumptions about how the future will turn out. Bottom line – we can’t read minds nor can we tell the future. So stop trying! When you stop making negative assumptions you will see how negative self talk gets greatly reduced.
Let go of unhealthy guilt
Unhealthy guilt is usually connected to some thing that we’ve done that doesn’t line up with our unrealistically high standards. Have you considered that your expectations need to be lowered to a more reasonable standard? In order to get rid of unhealthy guilt we have to correct the unrealistically high standards we have set for ourselves. Check out this article for more information about unhealthy guilt.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36
Stop viewing your thoughts and opinions as facts
We have a tendency to believe that the things we think and the feelings we feel are facts. Just because we think it, doesn’t make it truth. If we believe that every negative thing we say to ourselves is truth we will never be able to stop negative self talk. Begin to challenge the things you say to yourself rather than treating them as factual. Play devil’s advocate with those harsh words.
Stop the comparison game
Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy”. In a world where social media invades every facet of our life, the propensity to compare ourselves with others, is high. Interestingly, we tend to compare in a way that highlights our shortcomings. Remember, we all have strengths and weaknesses. Everyone is allotted different gifts. Stop wasting time comparing your weakness with someone’s strength. When noticing someone else’s strength, acknowledge it and move on rather than lining their strength up against your weakness.
“Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else,” Galatians 6:4
Personalizing is taking on all the blame for an outcome rather than acknowledging that there are many different pieces to how things turn out. It can be also taking on the blame for something that is entirely unrelated to us. Rather than engage in self blame, consider saying, “it’s not all about me“.
Wrapping up how to stop negative self talk
We all say unkind things to ourselves at times. However, if you have established a pattern of being hard on yourself, consider the 10 strategies listed in this article to begin doing a new thing. Consider this- negative self talk does not accomplish anything good. Instead it wears you down and drains your energy and time. Which of these 10 strategies listed above, will you begin to practice in order to stop negative self talk? If you have a strategy that has not been listed here leave it in the comments!