Is Negative Internal Chatter Holding You Back?

Posted by on Aug 15, 2017 in Emotions | Comments Off on Is Negative Internal Chatter Holding You Back?

  • Do you have a little voice in your head that seems to be saying all sorts of negative things daily?
  • Are you feeling discouraged and anxious all the time?
  • Do you feel stuck moving forward toward your dreams?

Well, you are not alone.  I believe each and every one of us has this going on at different intensities all through life.

Negative self talk arises from different types of negative thought patterns, or limiting beliefs. We pick up “data” about different areas of our life- relationships, health, money, self worth, marriage, children etc. since our childhood days. As we go through life, for example, you may be compared to your siblings and made to feel “not good enough”. Or you may find that no matter how hard you try, you get no recognition or appreciation from parents, only criticism.  Since this is so much a part of your everyday experience, it feels like your truth. Soon whether your parents say it or not, you “internalize” these critical voices and they become part of your “negative self talk”.

Here are 3 simple steps to help you SHIFT the negative chatter and move past it!

Step 1: Pause, Listen, Become Aware. You can only stop something when you are consciously aware of it.

  • So take a PAUSE for a minute. Get a piece of paper, a pencil and a pen!
  • Listen to the Negative chatter in your head on the different areas in your life- health, money, self worth, family, marriage, relationships, work etc.
  • Write down the negative Inner Chatter in all these different areas of your life so you are AWARE of all that noise in your head.

Step 2: Question and Challenge – Once you have written it all (and yes it will take a while if you are open, honest and willing to do the work), read the statement out loud to yourself one by one.  QUESTION each negative statement. Ask yourself it that statement is an undisputable FACT?
Challenge that negative statement. See if you have ANY proof against that statement. Even a SINGLE experience/evidence to prove that that negative statement is not a FACT will do.

When we have negative chatter, and we buy into it blindly without questioning or challenging it, it FEELS LIKE our truth. But begin to QUESTION and CHALLENGE it, we recognize that it is far from the truth. In fact, often, it’s a lie!

Why do we lie to ourselves? Well, we have to recognise that that voice in our head it not really “us”. That negative voice in your head is the way your brain tries to protect you from “danger” … whether that “danger” is REAL or PERCEIVED! So you have to create your own filter for negative stories and chatter that the voice in your brain fills you up with.

You have to recognize YOU are not your brain or that negative voice. And you have to create your own filter for negative stories and chatter that voice in your brain fills you up with.

Step 3: Replace and Reframe – Once you’ve become aware of the negative chatter and questioned and challenged the negative statement, you need to recognize it for the lie that it truly is. Now, you can now choose another more supportive, encouraging, positive statement against each of the negative ones. Here are some examples:

Negative Inner Chatter Statement   Supportive/Positive Statement

  • I am a complete failure    I do many things successfully
  • I will NEVER achieve my goals   I’m taking steps to achieving my goals
  •  What if it all goes wrong?   What if it’s not the end of the world & I give it a go! Who knows it might go well!
  • I am a fake and they’ll soon discover it   I am who I am and those who  truly care will like me for who I am

As you do this process over a period of time, neutralising the negative statements to supportive, empowering ones, you will begin to re-program your brain. In time you will create voices in your head that encourage and support you on your journey to your dreams.

Note that you cannot eliminate the negative inner chatter for good. Life is a journey of unexpected twists and turns to help us grow and expand. But once we have the right tools, we can navigate through the different emotional landscapes with a lot more ease towards our goals.

So make a conscious effort to pay attention and catch your negative self-talk. Identify, question and challenge it’s logic and replace and reframe it with thought(s) and feelings that more closely align with reality.