Have you ever noticed the constant chatter in your mind? Those inner conversations that question your actions and words, leaving you feeling like you are not good enough? We’ve all been there! But guess what? You absolutely don’t need to let those thoughts hold you back! It’s time to transform that critical voice into a supportive one, and in Katie Krimer’s book “Sh*t I Say to Myself: 40 Ways to Ditch the Negative Self-Talk That’s Dragging You Down,” she shares amazing techniques to do just that.
Let’s dive into these simple tips, perfect for women who want to feel better about themselves and create a healthier relationship with their inner selves.
Your Brain’s Unique Perspective
Our brains have a natural tendency to focus on the negative. This “negativity bias” served our ancestors well by protecting them from potential dangers. Remind yourself that your brain tends to focus on negative thoughts to protect you, but it’s not always accurate. Whenever a negative thought arises, take a moment to assess if there is a real threat. More often than not, you’ll find that you’re not in immediate danger. By challenging your Negativity Bias, you are teaching yourself that you’re not in constant danger, and training your brain to embrace positivity and safety.
But wait there’s more! We tend to see things from our own perspective (egocentrism) and our upbringing, past experiences influence our beliefs, perceptions and how we see reality (cognitive bias). Acknowledge that your view of the world may be colored by these biases. To gain a more objective self-assessment, try to step outside your usual thought patterns and see situations from different perspectives.
But don’t worry; your brain means well and is just trying to keep you safe. And with some awareness and positive self-talk, we can teach it to be more supportive and encouraging. It’s like turning a protector into a cheerleader!
So let’s kick those negative thoughts to the curb and start nurturing a more positive and supportive mindset with these tips.
Tip 1 Evaluate Your Chatter
Take a moment to listen to the different voices in your head. You might notice the inner critic, always ready to point out your flaws and mistakes. But hang on, there are other voices too! The “planner” helps you organize your thoughts and the “comforter” offers comfort and support.
The key is to recognize and acknowledge these voices to identify the inner critic from the rest. Remember, you have the power to transform your inner voice, ditch the negative self-talk that might be dragging you down and nurture more positive and empowering self-talk.
Tip 2 Banish “Should” and “Can’t”
First, pay attention to how often you use the words “should” and “can’t” in your thoughts and conversations. They might seem harmless , but these words carry a lot of judgment and limitation.
Drop these words from your vocabulary and replace them with empowering phrases like “I want to” or “I plan to” to open the path to positive change. For instance, replace “I should exercise more” with “I want to prioritize my health and fitness.”
By making this simple shift, you free yourself from guilt and open the path to positive change. Remember, you are in control of your choices and actions, so use language that motivates and uplifts you.
Tip 3 Avoid Black-and-White Thinking
Life is not just good or bad; it’s full of shades of gray. Situations can be complex and life is rarely simple!
Challenge absolutes like “always” and “never.” Allow room for growth and learning from your experiences without being too hard on yourself.
Tip 4 Be Present and Observe
Mindfulness is a powerful tool to combat negative self-talk. Being present in the moment and observing your thoughts without judgment creates space between you and your emotions. This space allows you to respond with self-compassion rather than reacting impulsively to your negative inner dialogue.
By practicing mindfulness, you develop a deeper understanding of your thoughts and emotions, fostering healing and self-acceptance.
Practice mindfulness to become more aware of your self-talk patterns and respond with self-compassion.
Tip 5 Practice Self-Compassion and Self-Kindness
We are often our harshest critics, expecting perfection and berating ourselves for our mistakes. But remember, everyone is human and makes errors.
Think about how you talk to your friends or loved ones when they face challenges or make mistakes. Chances are, you offer them kindness, understanding, and encouragement. Now, apply the same approach to yourself.
Offer yourself the same level of support and compassion you would offer to someone you care deeply about. Be gentle with yourself especially during difficult times.
Tip 6 Understand Thought Repetition
Take a closer look at your self-talk patterns. We all have familiar thoughts that recur regularly. Some of these thoughts may be helpful and motivating, while others can be self-limiting. Do you use self-sabotaging phrases like “I’m so stupid” or “I can’t do anything right”? These patterns can be harmful to your self-esteem.
When you catch yourself saying something negative about yourself, replace these unhelpful thoughts with affirmations that support your personal growth and well-being.
The more you practice this, the more you will internalize self-compassion and build a stronger sense of self.
Tip 7 Fact-Check Your Thoughts
With thousands of thoughts passing through our minds daily, not all your thoughts are facts! Yet, we often accept our thoughts as absolute truths. It’s impossible for our brains to fact-check them all.
To challenge this, imagine standing in front of 300 people and asking them to validate every thought you have about yourself. You’ll likely find that not everyone would agree. This exercise helps you realize that your thoughts are not universal truths but rather subjective interpretations.
Your thoughts do not define you, and you have the power to choose how you respond to them. When a negative thought arises, pause and ask yourself if it’s a helpful or accurate assessment.
By fact-checking your thoughts, you can throw away harmful beliefs that don’t align with reality.
Tip 8 Embrace Healthy Comparison
Comparing ourselves to others is a natural human tendency, especially in the age of social media. However, comparing ourselves negatively to others can harm our self-esteem.
Instead, use comparison as a tool for inspiration and growth. Identify individuals you admire and use their achievements as motivation to set and achieve your own goals.
Recognize that everyone’s journey is unique, and comparing yourself unfavorably to others only diminishes your progress. Embrace healthy comparison as a means of learning and growing, without devaluing yourself in the process.
Tip 9 Recognize Highlight Reels vs. Real Life
Have you ever noticed that social media mostly displays only the best parts of people’s lives? It’s like a highlight reel where everything seems “picture-perfect”. But here’s the thing, it’s not always the complete story.
When you scroll through your feeds, you might see friends and influencers posting beautiful pictures, exciting adventures, and happy moments. And while it’s great to celebrate their successes, it’s essential to remember that social media doesn’t always show the WHOLE truth.
Behind those polished curated posts, everyone faces challenges, struggles, and ordinary days. Nobody’s life is a continuous stream of amazing experiences. So, don’t compare your everyday life to the highlight reels you see online.
Instead, focus on your own journey, with all its ups and downs. Remember that everyone has their unique story, and real life is a mix of highs and lows. Embrace your own experiences and appreciate the richness of your journey without getting too caught up in the filtered world of social media.
Tip 10 Surround Yourself with Positivity
Look for friends who uplift and support you. When you surround yourself with encouraging individuals, their positivity rubs off on you!
Imagine being around people who believe in you, cheer you on, and remind you of your strengths. They help you see the good in yourself and give you that extra boost of confidence. These are the kind of people you want to have by your side.
When you share your thoughts and worries with them, they won’t let you dwell on self-doubt. They’ll remind you of your accomplishments and help you see that you’re capable of great things.
And it’s not just about what they say—it’s also how they make you feel. Being around positive people creates a warm and supportive atmosphere that helps combat negative self-talk.
So, seek out those who inspire and bring out the best in you. Spend time with those who make you feel loved and valued. With their positivity, you’ll find it easier to silence those negative voices in your head and embrace a more uplifting mindset.
Tip 11 Practice Self-Care
Taking care of yourself is a powerful way to combat negative self-talk. When you prioritize self-care, you invest in both your physical and emotional well-being, leading to a more positive outlook on life.
First, focus on your physical health. Make time for regular exercise, even if it’s just a short walk or some stretching. Moving your body releases feel-good chemicals in your brain, boosting your mood and reducing stress.
Next, pay attention to your diet. Nourishing your body with healthy, balanced meals can have a significant impact on your energy levels and overall well-being. Remember, a well-fed body is a happier body!
Additionally, don’t underestimate the importance of restful sleep. Aim for a consistent sleep schedule to ensure you wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day with a more positive mindset.
Creating time for hobbies and activities you enjoy is another crucial aspect of self-care. Engaging in things that bring you joy can uplift your spirits and serve as a powerful antidote to negative self-talk.
Remember, self-care is essential for your well-being. By taking care of yourself physically and emotionally, you’ll be better equipped to banish those negative thoughts and embrace a more positive and compassionate inner dialogue.
By applying these tips from Katie Krimer, you can transform your internal dialogue, defeat negative self-talk, and embrace a more empowered and compassionate mindset. Remember, self-love is the foundation to thriving in all aspects of life. So let’s be kinder to ourselves and start a journey of self-discovery together!
- Sh*t I Say to Myself by Katie Krimer
- Evidence Based Podcast: Negative Self-Talk & The Inner Critic Katie Krimer Nov 29, 2022
Bringing a fresh loving and supportive perspective, I can help you set goals, create healthy routines, or help you become the most loving and confident woman you have always dreamed of to be.