As long as I can remember I have struggled with negative self-talk and condemnation. Never believing I was good enough. The simplest mistake would start the tape rolling. “I’m stupid, bad, a failure, I shouldn’t have ever tried.”
It only got worse once I became a mom. Fear of “doing it wrong” plagued my mind. Almost every time I lost my patience or the situation was difficult, I would hear “you never should have become a mom, what were you thinking?! You weren’t meant for this!”
By the Grace of God and being intentional with my thoughts my negative self-talk is a lot quieter. It still pops up from time to time but it no longer has control.
What is negative self-talk? It is self-blame. Self-condemnation. Self-limiting messages. Breaking this habit is possible, though it takes effort.
Some common negative thoughts:
- I’m not good enough.
- I’m ugly.
- I’m too fat/tall/short/young/old.
- I’m stupid.
- I am not lovable.
- I am a bad parent.
- There is something wrong with me.
- I never have enough time.
- I don’t deserve …
- I can’t …
- I’m a failure.
- I’m not worth it.
Negative self-talk can be automatic. Often we aren’t even aware our tape is playing.
Do you experience negative thoughts? The first step in changing negative self-talk is recognizing it.
The second step is discovering what triggers it. Over the next few days pay close attention to your thoughts. Is there a tape of negative self-talk that starts when you are upset, frustrated or something has gone wrong?