Roy and Amy | Clark Coaching and Counseling

5 Methods for Stopping Negative Self-Talk in Its Tracks

woman looking through window

Imagine this: you’re on your way. You’re about to make some serious progress in something which matters deeply to you when suddenly, there it is. A nasty little inner voice telling you all the ways you’re going to fail.

The brakes slam on. Wherever you were on this particular road to realizing your goals, you’re parked now and going nowhere fast. All because of some negative self-talk.

Nope. You can’t let it end that way. It’s time to re-write the script and get moving again. It’s the negative self-talk that needs to stop in its tracks, not you.

How? Try these methods for some quick and easy success:

1. Take a Reality Check

When you hear the negative thoughts, ask yourself if this is really what the truth of the matter is. Are you ‘always’ late or just ‘sometimes’? Negative self-talk tends to exaggerate.

2. Soften the Blow

Try rewording something negative into something a little more passable if you can’t figure out the positive counterpart. Even taking the sting out of the words will help you to feel more motivated. For example, thinking, “I cannot possibly finish on time” might become, “I will finish this project, and even if it’s late, it will be okay because I talked to my boss about it.”

3. Think Like a Friend

When you hear negative self-talk, ask yourself if you would talk to someone else in the same way. If not, ask yourself what you would say instead to your friend about the same topic. Practice talking to yourself the way you would to them.

4. Look into the Future

Will this really matter tomorrow? Or next week? Or next year? A lot of negative self-talk is focused so much on the here and now. We tend to forget how little these words will matter outside of today. Brush off the things which have no bearing on your future.

5. Stop the Thought

Even interrupting your negative self-talk will change the script and force another ending to the story. With this in mind, simply tell yourself to stop when you hear negative thoughts. Force yourself to think about something different. If the negative thinking comes up again, tell it quite firmly to disappear again. Keep doing this until it goes away and stays away.

Feeling better now? Hopefully, you’re back up and running. The sky’s the limit! Now get moving, and don’t look back.