Limiting negative self-talk

3 steps to overcome or reduce them

By Denise Harris

Limiting negative self-talk

3 steps to overcome or reduce them

Many of us have dealt with some form of negativity in our lives. Negative experiences sometimes start during childhood and continue throughout our adult lives where we allow others to install negative thoughts into our minds.  This is a part of life that we all deal with. Too often though, our thoughts become negative as well. Even more difficult is when we start talking to ourselves in a negative manner. This negative self-talk is one of the most limiting behaviours we can have to deal with. Use these tips to help overcome it.

  1. Distinguish between negative thoughts and critical thinking.

Having a certain amount of self-critique is beneficial, otherwise we will never believe that we are doing something wrong. However, it is good to recognise when that critiquing becomes negative self-talk. When you can distinguish between these, it will lead to a better awareness.

  1. Accept failure.

If you like to beat yourself up whenever you fail, you are in for a steep road ahead. You will fail, and you will do sometimes in your life. Embrace this as a gift rather than a burden. Do your best to view failure as more of a lesson learned or feedback. Don’t tell yourself you are a failure, tell yourself that you just learned what does not work.

  1. Repeat daily affirmations.

Look for affirmations that fit your current life situation. Use these as often as you can. Repeat these affirmations every day. Write them out on a piece of paper and keep them close. The idea here is to program your mind for positive thinking. The more you keep at it, the more natural it will become. Ideally, those negative things you tell yourself, will eventually be taken over by your positive affirmations.

  1. Limit your exposure to people who are negative.

These people thrive on negativity and enjoy dragging others down with them. If you cannot avoid them altogether, spend as little time with them as possible. You already struggle with negative self-talk, so you don’t want them adding more negativity. If you spend more time with positive people that build you up, your negative self-talk will naturally reduce.

  1. Learn to see the good in people.

If you are always thinking negatively of others, it makes sense that you will more naturally think negatively about yourself. Being more open minded towards others will help you be more accepting of your own flaws as well.

  1. Negative thinking is a choice.

Even though you have may have been bombarded with it since you were a child, thinking negatively is something you choose to do. Conversely, positive thinking is just as much a choice as negative thinking. Choose positive thinking. This is not always an easy quick fix, it takes consistent work and practice.

  1. Strengthen your self-belief.

Negative thinking often occurs due to a lack of belief in yourself. When you strengthen your confidence, it will help you get through those times that bring you down.


1              Each month find a new affirmation that you can repeat to yourself daily. Affirmations will help you switch your focus from negativity to positivity.

2             Set up a negativity journal and write in it whenever you think a negative thought. Write down all your feelings and if possible, the reasons why you came to that negative conclusion. Then write down the reasons the negative thought is not true.

3             Write down three aspects of your life you are grateful for. It can be anything you want. Think about your family and other people in your life. Think about your job or your business. Repeat this as often as possible.

“You are capable of amazing things”