Your inner talk is likely to be mostly negative if you have little self love or have worthiness issues. Negative self talk is limiting, crippling and harmful. Your words carry the toxic energies of fear, shame, criticism, judgment, shame, fear, blame and doubt. As a result, you feel depressed, depleted and dispirited.
(From My Art journal: Self Talk Painting made in 2010)
Awareness is key. What you can do is to become aware about what you are or have been saying to the self. It requires you to review your own internal dialogue.
However, as you go through this process, avoid adding another round of criticism. The last thing you want is to direct more negative energy inwards. The idea behind creating awareness is to bring about change, healing and transformation.
After conducting interviews and doing some research, I discovered that there are 5 main negative self talk patterns. Check to see which make up your inner dialogue:
Negative Self Talk Pattern #1: Self Criticism
I was so naïve to think that I can approach a girl or boy like her.
I am way too stupid.
I am a slow learner.
I just cannot do it.
What was I thinking? I will never be accepted for who I am.
It’s not as if I have stellar looks. Who would take notice of me?
What made me say that? I feel as if I can now die a thousand deaths for looking like a fool.
Self criticism means you “attack” yourself with harsh words. Self criticism is synonymous with self judgment. You judge yourself poorly. You are the judge and the accused – rolled into one.
With chronic self criticism, you have a debilitating tendency to put yourself down. You are your own worst enemy. Your thoughts are poison, eroding any love energy that you can otherwise embrace yourself with. When you are saying all these mean things about yourself, you invariably find it difficult to be more self-loving.
Your greatest skill? You have an innate ability to shred the self to pieces. Make the pieces a thousand…hold on…a million of them!
Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.
- Frank Howard Clark
Negative Self Talk Pattern #2: Self Rejection
I am too fat.
I am too thin.
My boobs are too big.
My boobs are too small.
I have a horrible looking nose.
I am nothing special and there is nothing lovable about me.
I am not capable.
I am born unlucky.
I have no gifts.
Self rejection happens when you are unable to accept yourself fully and unconditionally. And so you diminish your own value. You feel unworthy.
By devaluing the self, it is possible that you look up to others to make up for the qualities that you fall short in. You idolize others with blind adulation. However, it can cause you to give your power away. Your hero-worship of others masks the derogatory remarks that you have been saying to yourself.
An inner dialogue with words like the ones stated here can prompt a person with extreme self rejection issues to suicide. Self rejection can also lead to harmful illnesses such as anorexia or addictive behavior such as drinking.
Our entire life….consists ultimately in accepting ourselves as we are.
Negative Self Talk Pattern #3: Self Doubt
I doubt that I can do it.
I am just too old to learn at my age.
I have always been a slow learner.
I am not intelligent enough.
I don’t trust that I can make my own decisions.
Self doubt happens when you have little belief in the self. You are lacking in trust. You feel terribly insecure.
Overcome with anxiety, you become paralyzed into inaction. You also doubt in your ability to receive resources, support and encouragement by others or the universe. Because of doubt, you lose much inner power.
“Our doubts are traitors and makes us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”
– William Shakespeare
Negative Self Talk Pattern #4: Self Pity
Poor me! I am ill fated.
Why does this always happen to me?
Why are others so much luckier than I am?
There is no way I can make it as I am born poor, stupid and ugly.
With self pity, you make yourself out as the victim. You go over your “poor me” like a mantra. You justify your beliefs by pointing blame at external circumstances. Since they are beyond your control, you claim to have a “right” to feel and believe this way.
Self pity invariably leads you to making comparison about how you are doing against others. You find that you can never measure up because you are never good enough. Even a cat does a better job in self loving than you do!
Wallowing in denial, defeat and grief, you believe that you are unable to take charge. The reality is that you have chosen not to. You are unable to see that you have the choice to create a different life for the self.
As much as your friends would like to practice compassion, they eventually give up on trying to help you shift your victim mentality. You have become too addicted to your stories to consider otherwise.
“Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world. ”
– Helen Keller
Negative Self Talk Pattern #5: Self Blame
It is all my fault for things turning out this way.
Why was I ever born? I never do things right.
Why am I such a lousy mother? I cannot even teach my children well.
I blame myself for causing the rape, trauma or abuse.
With self blame, you believe that you are wholly responsible for everything that has gone wrong. It does not matter if there are factors beyond your control. Instead of pointing your fingers at others, you point them at yourself.
Self blame is like taking a ton of bricks and hurling them all at yourself. It can also be described as crushing yourself with heavy weights on your back and shoulders. You feel weighed down. As such, you are unable to perceive things with better perspective and greater clarity.
“Blame is just a lazy person’s way of making sense of chaos.”
- Doug Coupland
Final Thoughts With Negative Self Talk
Roman rhetorican and writer, Marcus Annaeus Senaca, said, “what you think about yourself is much more important than what others think of you”.
It is true.
If you think poorly of yourself, how can you expect others to treat you better than what you would give the self?
Your Self Talk
Notice any speech patterns that are similar to your inner dialogue?
Which negative self talk pattern do you most identify with?
Any other words, thoughts or feelings that you would like to add?
Self Love Stories
Got a story to share about self love? What has helped turn your negative self talk around?
I am calling for contributions by personal development bloggers to share their inspirational self love stories. The articles will be compiled into a downloadable report. More instructions are available in my previous two posts…