Updated: Jan 18, 2020
The way that we talk to ourselves can have a significant impact on our self-esteem and the way that we live our lives. We are either led by negative self-talk or empowering self-talk. All of us have an inner critic that can be very helpful at times, telling us to make healthier food choices or nudging us on to follow through on commitments. When this inner critic, however, goes beyond helpful into being condemning of who we are, the impact is harmful. Negative self-talk shames, blames, and limits our potential to be the best that we can be. It binds us in so much condemnation, we can find it hard to move forward.
According to Very Well Mind, negative self-talk has been linked to stress, low self-esteem, and depression. All of this can spill over into every area of our lives, affecting our relationships, our work, and our self-image. Empowering self-talk is the opposite of negative self-talk. It affirms, validates, and pushes us forward toward accomplishing our goals. It does not negate areas of our lives we need to work on. Rather it accepts those areas while at the same time reminding us of the positive truths about ourselves. When we can accept those positive truths, we can also accept the reality that those areas of our lives that we need to work on do not mean we are not worthy of success. Nor do those areas mean that we are not meant to be valued as a person. One of the most immediate ways to create new thinking patterns is to learn to intentionally counteract every negative thought about yourself with a more compassionate, encouraging one. When we demonstrate intentionality in our self-talk, it is very affirming and will spill over into every area of our lives.
If you would like to learn more about how to make this simple, yet challenging change, reach out to a counselor who can provide Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. Counselors trained in CBT are skilled at teaching you how to create new thought patterns, challenge negative beliefs and work to install new compassionate and more helpful self-reflective thoughts. CBT is a therapy treatment based on the concept that our thoughts influence our feelings, our feelings influence our actions, and our actions influence our results. In other words, situations don’t make us feel or think certain ways. People don’t make us feel or think certain ways. Rather, it's how we interpret or think about situations or the things that people say & do that most strongly influences how we feel and what we do next. CBT is about acknowledging that however we choose to perceive a situation will lead us to an outcome inside of us and typically influence the next steps we take. If we can identify thoughts that will help us with our next steps, then we are in a place of empowerment. Thoughts can start to go from "bad things always happen to me, I'm such a loser and no one likes me" to "I've dealt with a lot of adversity in my life, I am worthy of love and I am lovable."
eSupport provides convenient, secure, online counseling that will help you reach your goals. in dealing with your negative self-talk and assist you in training your inner critic to be a helpful coach, rather than a criticizing judge.