Much has been written about the power of positive thinking. I have worked hard to become aware of my negative thoughts and self-talk. I have also worked hard to replace them with resilient and uplifting thoughts and self-talk. My strongest, negative self-talk was “You are stupid”. But it was and continues (in rare moments) to be only a thought. It was passed onto me by my father. A gift, that keeps giving, if I do not catch it! I still can hear him yelling at Mom and me, “You stupid females!”
It has been estimated that up to 90% of some people’s self-talk is negative. WOW! That is heavy but we have a choice. We can hang on, strengthen, minimize or let go of thoughts. And yes, reprogramming negative self-talk takes awareness, emotional intelligence, and committed effort. Are you ready to take on your negative self-talk beast?
The Self-Talk Loop
Most of our self-talk is like a looping and internal audio tape. It was often embedded into our unconscious during childhood. Caregivers pass on their automated messages to their charges. Some of the common negative messages include:
- “Don’t do that!”
- “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.”
- “You can’t do that.”
- “Don’t be so stupid.”
- “You’re so selfish.”
- “Behave yourself!”
- “Do as you are told.”
These demeaning and confidence squashing messages can have a significant impact on young children’s brains. They can become unconsciously embedded from our caregivers to ourselves. Then we continue the dirty self-talk work; often passing on to the next generation!
Re-program Your Self-Talk
- write on cue cards,
- record and play back to yourself,
- write in your journal,
- have a support person repeatedly say to you,
- breathe in!
25 Affirmations to Increase your Positive Self-Talk
- I deserve love.
- I am a good and loving person.
- I can do it.
- I can trust myself.
- I am in control of my life.
- I now have choices.
- I have intelligence.
- I am okay just the way I am.
- I can get what I want.
- I can succeed.
- I can make mistakes and learn.
- I can choose who to trust.
- I belong here.
- I can feel all of my feelings.
- I can think and feel at the same time.
- I can know what I know.
- I can initiate, grow and learn.
- I can be active and quiet.
- I can think and speak for myself.
- My needs and wants are important.
- I can be independent and interdependent.
- I can be powerful and ask for help at the same time.
- I can be creative, competent, productive, and joyful.
- I can trust my inner wisdom.
- I am lovable at every age.
Give yourself these affirming messages ten times more than you imagine you need to hear them. Practice, practice and practice and you will get to the hall of self. Renovate your interior, replace your negative self-talk, and enjoy the sweetness of positive self-talk.
Here are two books that can help you transform your negative self-talk:
Growing Up Again: Parenting Ourselves, Parenting Our Children by Jean I. Clarke
Taming Your Gremlin by Richard Carson