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4 Ways You Can Overcome Negative Self-Talk

Raise your hand if a little voice tells you you're not good enough. Here are 4 ways I fight back against that voice every day of my life.

I don’t know about you but, on a daily basis, an inner monologue runs through my head constantly repeating all of the ways in which I am not enough.

I am extremely good at self-deprecation, and horrible at self-affirmation. I don’t know why some people seem to fully embrace self-love, and others can’t imagine finding one good thing about themselves to celebrate. I envy those who move about their days with extreme confidence, unaffected by lack of self-esteem.

Needless to say, I do not have a positive perception of myself.

I don’t know where it comes from, but I have spent more days than not wishing to be someone different. Hoping I could fix this or that. Pining to change in order to be seen as more desirable and accepted.

A few years ago, the negative reel that incessantly plays through my head was a lot worse. When depression had me in a chokehold and anxiety shook me to my core, the statements were not only annoying, but destructive. Thankfully, I was able to work through a lot of the dangerous symptoms that accompanied my negative self-talk.

Check out the below tips if you find yourself being inundated with a negative self-perception.

1. Trust that you really are doing the best that you can.

If you’re reading this, then it’s extremely safe for me to assume that you are alive and breathing. That may be all that you are right now, and that’s okay. “Sometimes it’s okay if all you’ve done today is breathe” is a popular quote floating about the Internet, and it’s true.

There are days when life knocks all of us down, there’s no avoiding it. No one ever said that being human means that you need to have your stuff together 100% (or any percent) of the time. Let yourself trust your journey, hiccups and all. Life is hard and the sooner we all accept that, the easier it will be to work through moments that seem devastating.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Mini pep-talk: Your survival rate so far is 100%. You can do this.” quote=”Mini pep-talk: Your survival rate so far is 100%. You can do this.”]

2. Train yourself to say three good things about yourself each day. Then, accept them.

Every day, I try to identify THREE good things either about myself or three good things that happened that I played a part in. This is the hardest thing I had to force myself to do, because I don’t think I deserve to see myself in a positive light.

I learned in therapy, however, that some people just need to train their brain to see the good. Not only do I identify three good things, I attempt to take it a step further and accept them.

This is obviously more difficult but we don’t grow if we don’t allow ourselves to accept hard truths. For me, hard truths are positive things about myself. Working diligently to pinpoint positivity has helped to change my way of thinking which, in turn, has aided in me seeing myself in a more healthy way.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Say 3 positive things about yourself right now.” quote=”Say 3 positive things about yourself right now.”]

3. Ask for affirmations from your community.

There is nothing wrong with telling the people that you are closest to that you are struggling and that you need some encouragement to make it through. Sending a simple text, or making a quick phone call can make a huge difference. We were made to be supported. No one should travel through dark times alone but sometimes, it is necessary to ask for help in order to receive it.

If you struggle with this like I do, start small. Get comfortable with asking for help and don’t be afraid to rely on others. This is not a weakness. It is a strength to go to another and ask for support.

4. Find a healthy outlet to channel your negative self-talk.

What is something you like to do? Write, read, journal, exercise? Everyone has at least one thing that helps calm them down during times of distress. Find your thing, and stick with it. Know your triggers, and the indicators that tell you things are about to get overwhelming. Listen to yourself and be intentional about taking care of your needs. You are the expert on you, don’t take this for granted.

It is important to note that negativity manifests itself differently in each person and there is not one way to tackle it, break it down, and redirect it to positivity. It’s important to seek out resources that are helpful to you and to listen to yourself and what’s best for you.

Overcoming my lack of self-love is something that I am likely to be doing for the rest of my life. Some days, I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress. Other days, I feel like I’ve taken ten steps backward. As long as I’m trying to get better, however, then I am happy.

What ways have you utilized to overcome feelings of negative self-talk? What’s worked, and what hasn’t?

Let the G20 community know in the comments below!

About the Author

Mae L'Heureux

Originally from New England, Mae L'Heureux is a twenty-something mental health advocate learning to navigate the ups and downs of her twenties. After graduating from Assumption College in 2014 with a Bachelor or Arts in psychology and human services & rehabilitation studies, Mae spent a year living in the Midwest and serving at a nonprofit mental health organization. She hopes to one day become a mental health nonprofit professional, helping individuals on their recovery journeys. In her free time, Mae loves writing, traveling, and immersing herself into a good book. Her love can be bought with a bowl of ice cream and a cuddly kitten.