You’re caught up in a cycle. You know the one. You find yourself saying negative things to yourself all the time.  You can’t remember when you said something lovely to yourself.  Every word in your mind points out your flaws and mistakes to where you have just started to accept it and try to ignore it.

Negative self-talk gets in your head, courtesy of previous experiences and negative input from people, some who mean well and some who don’t.  Once there, it plays the same song on repeat, growing somehow worse with every retelling until you quit trying. 

You’re ready to change that voice once and for all.  Well here are some things you can try so you can start being kinder to yourself:

Tip #1. Find the calm

First of all, you can’t combat anything when you’re overly emotional and overwhelmed mentally. Find a quiet place and sit down to take a few deep breaths. If you can, meditate or try a mindfulness exercise until you can reach a peaceful place internally.

Tip #2. Take Note of What You’re Thinking

Don’t avoid the negative thought. Listen to it. What is it saying?  You have to know what it’s saying so you can decide whether you want to change it.   Notice how mean you are being to yourself.  You wouldn’t speak to anyone else like it so why speak to yourself like it.

Tip #3. Dig into the roots

Now ask yourself what the thought represents. Where did this come from? Is this from an expectation you put on yourself at some point, or does it come from someone else entirely?  More often than not, it’s not true, yet you’re letting that dialogue run in your head.

Tip #4. Drop the Unreasonable Expectation 

Are you trying too hard to be perfect in some regard? Is there a more reasonable expectation you can put on yourself in the place of this thought?

Tip #5. Turn it around  

What is the positive opposite to this thought? For example, if you’re worried about how bad you are with money, remind yourself of a time when you saved up for something you wanted, or think about a time when you paid off a debt and how good it felt afterward.

Tip #6. Create a habit

Are you trying too hard to be perfect in some regard? Is there a more reasonable expectation you can put on yourself in the place of this thought?

Tip #7. Just Stop

In the end, the only way to get rid of a negative thought is to consciously put a halt to it. Once you’ve gone through these steps, tell yourself to stop when the idea comes up again, and replace it with something positive. 

Please note: You don’t have to listen to negativity but sometimes it becomes so firmly entrenched you might have trouble dislodging it by yourself. When this happens, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talking to a trusted friend or a coach who can help you lay this negative chatter to rest once and for all.

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