Managing your inner critic

Do you find yourself thinking:

  • I can’t….
  • I am not good enough 
  • Do I look out of place
  • Will I be last… 

These statements are samples of negative self-talk. 

This type of self-talk can negatively influence our self-esteem, confidence and performance. 

Changing negative self talk is difficult because likely its something we’ve been doing for years. This negativity affects our productivity, attitude, confidence and can impact every aspect of our life. Most times we can take ownership of this as we are our own biggest critic. 

So how do we start changing our outlook?  

First and foremost we need to recognize the negative self talk. It can be a habit that has been going on for years so it can be difficult to recognize. A lot of people use this type of talk as a form of protection, it gives them the easy out and is a coping mechanism. 

A few common examples we find is all or none thinking, labelling yourself, discounting or paying attention to only certain pieces of information… at times the negative ones. 

Looking at changing negative self talk is important as this talk can be holding you back. It can affect your performance and have you quitting before you even start. We need to recognize which mechanisms we use and the “why” so we can make positive changes.

Pay attention to what you’re thinking about and recognize that just because you think something, doesn’t mean it’s true. Treat yourself equally as kind as you’d treat a friend and apply those words of encouragement to you. When you find yourself thinking an magnified negative thought, rephrase with the more accurate statement.

Remember change doesn’t happen overnight and we need what feels like 10 positives to 1 negative but with effort changes can be found.  

Remember, as stated by Henry Ford  “if you think you can or can’t… you’re  right.”