How to get your inner-voice to SHUT UP!

Do you constantly hear that voice in your head that second guesses everything you say and do?

 

It may sound like this:
  • Ugh, did I really just say that?
  • I forget everything that person just said, now what do I say?
  • Why is she looking at me like I’m an alien?

That voice tells you you’re not good enough, it makes you feel like absolutely everyone is judging you (even though they’re not), and it tells you this is just the way you are… Yes, that’s the negative self-talk I’m talking about.

Contrary to what that voice is telling you, it doesn’t have to be “the way you are.”

The reality is that the things we tell ourselves dictates our moods, our outcomes and ultimately…our life.

Today I want to share three ways you can beat negative self-talk so you can start living your best life.

1. Transfer the guilt

Do you ever do something silly or make a mistake and say “Jeez, I’m so stupid”?

You may think this is something really minor, but it’s not. You are creating a generic label for yourself based off of one tiny mistake or comment. Sometimes it’s not even a “mistake” that triggers this, it’s a reaction from someone else or something in your external environment that you’re not consciously aware of.

You are the story you tell yourself.

Next time you make a mistake, try changing your narrative from negative to empowering. So rather than telling yourself you’re dumb, change the narrative to something like “Oops that thing I did was silly, next time I’ll think through it.”

You’ve done two things here:

  • First you are removing your SELF from the equation. You did something that was a silly mistake rather than equating the mistake to mean you’re dumb
  • The second thing you are doing is deciding how you will take action if that happens again. You have gone from making yourself a victim of “dumbness” to empowering yourself

2. Use mental habits to gain control

Do you close the bathroom door even when you’re home alone? How much mental power does it take for you to brush your teeth as soon as you get up? Not much right? That’s the power of habit.

In the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, he discusses the habit loop which consists of the cue, routine, and reward.

Start identifying the cues that make you think negatively about yourself. Is it when you make a minor mistake? Is it when you first sit down behind your desk at work when you don’t want to be there?

Identify these cues and note them down. The next time you’re “cued” become aware of it and actively change the routine of negative self-talk.

Once you identify that cue, you can change the routine. Rather than allowing your negative self-talk to kick in commit to a “plan B.” It may be that you leave the office for a 5 minute walk or pick up the phone and call a loved one. Remember, changing habits is all about trial and error.
Neuroscience has shown that you can program the brain to make automatic habits. Habits take anywhere from 2- 4 weeks to solidify so start taking action today.

3. Change your Vocabulary

Now that you’re aware of your “cues” you can change your routine. When you hear those negative thoughts, change them into positive ones immediately, even if you have to trick yourself into doing it in the beginning. This will help you create the important mental habits to get over negative self-talk.

For example:

  • “That person doesn’t like me, they never stop by my desk or greet me.” VS
  • “That person hasn’t gotten the chance to get to know me. I’ll be the bigger person and introduce myself when I’m ready.”

Remove words from your mental vocabulary like “wish, could, should, can’t, won’t” etc. Change those words into words like “can, will, I will do this by…, etc.”

Even the simple step of using different words to talk to yourself can transform your confidence. Identify the cues and the words you use. Do your best to change them every moment you get.

In the beginning you may not believe the positive thoughts you’re telling yourself and that’s normal. For starters, simply replace negative words with less harsh ones and then keep on building upwards until you get to positive statements.

Take control

Start taking control today, it’s within you. Developing positive mental habits will help improve your self-confidence and your life.
Commit to trying out one of these strategies now by sharing which one you’ll choose in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “How to get your inner-voice to SHUT UP!

  1. Hi Katrina,
    Truly, I have read a meaningful post. I had neglected to respond to the previous post even though I have read them. Unfortunately, I was distracted by the passing of a couple of relatives however I am back on track. I really like the aspect of taking control by changing the thought process through repetition and time. Making a change in my vocabulary and thinking as a habit makes perfect sense. I will definitely be mindful in tracking my mental exchange between negative and positive thoughts. I have implemented this pattern of thinking when I talk to strangers as well as the people close to me. The effort I take is paying off however I will find challenges with every interaction. I notice that the more emphasis or value I place on a person the louder the voices become. I will be mindful of these things.
    Thank you
    Jim

    1. Hi James, I’m glad you enjoyed the post and so glad to hear you’re taking action. That’s awesome. Yep, building this habit will only make it easier to do moving forward. No better time than now to begin!

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