We all have one. That little inner critic. Mine looks a lot like Edna Mode from The Incredibles. At times, this voice pushes me to stay motivated and reach goals. However, she’s not always my best ally. Sometimes her voice can be more harmful than helpful.
Negative self-talk is something that we all experience at one point, and it comes in many forms and voices. Sometimes we are aware of it and can stop it in its tracks. Others, we let get away with it, allowing it to bring us down. Becoming aware of this inner critic is the first line of defense against its negativity.
The Real Talk about Negative Self-Talk
Negative self-talk takes on many forms and comes in different voices. Sometimes it can sound grounded, while on occasion it can sound downright mean. Basically, negative self-talk is our inner dialogue that may be limiting our ability to have a positive self-image.
Over time, negative self-talk can limit our ability to make positive changes in our life, it can bring our confidence down, and it can become a real-life stressor.
How Toxic Can Negative Self-Talk Be?
Negative self-talk can be as toxic as having a real-life bully following you all the time. Those who find themselves engaging in negative self-talk tend to feel more stressed. By altering your reality through negative comments, your experiences take on a different meaning.
Negative self-talk often leads to limited thinking, an unhealthy desire to become perfect, and a worsening of feelings of depression. It can turn virtually every relationship you have into a challenge.
Sneaky Types of Negative Self-Talk We’re All Guilty Of
Certain types of unhelpful self-talk are easy to notice, others not so much. Even if you’re not consciously aware of when they’re happening, you’re feeling the effects of them anyways. In psychology, the different forms negative self-talk can take are referred to as Cognitive Distortions.
Having said that, it’s important that you know there’s a lot of overlap between cognitive distortions. Also, negative self-talk is not an intellectual problem – it’s an unhealthy habit. So, have you ever caught yourself thinking or saying:
She must be upset with me for something.
I’ll never get offered a promotion, I should start looking for a new job.
I’m not going to the gym today; I’m just not feeling it.
Ugh… I’m so awkward.
Why can’t I just do things right, for once?
There’s no way they’re going to call me back.
He’s such a fool.
I should have known better.
They seem like harmless statements, right? Believe it or not, those are some of the sneaky ways we fit in negative self-talk into our daily lives.
Now that you know a little bit more about this unhealthy habit. Do you feel you’re aware of your negative self-talk? Share your thoughts in the poll below.