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Avoid Negative Self-Talk and Build Self-Esteem

Sun, 01/13/2013 - 12:28pm | by Helen Hoart

Do you sometimes have a tape playing in your head when you make a mistake?  The tape goes something like this:

  • “How can you be so stupid?”
  • “What an idiot you are.”
  • “You are such a failure.”

This negative self-talk does so much damage.  It’s as if we’re carrying around a mean parent who has no faith in us and continues to undermine our confidence and self-esteem.

With negative self-talk, people tend to engage in all or nothing thinking.  It’s all black or white. There’s no gray. Quite frequently in these situations people forget about their accomplishments.  If as if all the successes they had in the past no longer matter. Instead when negative thoughts surface, figure out how you can take those thoughts and move them into positive encouraging statements. 

Remember, be kind to yourself and treat yourself with respect. When faced with a difficult situation encourage yourself and tell yourself “I can do this.  It’s a challenge, but I can do this.”

Think about the good parts of your life.  Remind yourself of things that have gone well.  Remind yourself of the skills you’ve used in the past to cope with challenging situations.

Instead of berating yourself the next time you make a mistake or something goes wrong, take stock of the situation. Figure out how you could have had a better outcome and then move on.  We all make mistakes.  It’s what we do about them, how we fix them, that’s important.

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