Most of us are insanely nice to other people in comparison to how we treat ourselves on a daily basis. We are critical, disrespectful, and doubtful of ourselves even when it's apparent that all is going well. We invest our money and time in books on communication, but rarely invest the time and money to become aware and learn to improve the way we communicate with ourselves.
The truth is, the most important person you will ever talk to is yourself.
If that is the case, then it's imperative that we find a way to recognize, stop, and correct negative self-talk.
The first thing that this requires is a serious consciousness and awareness of what you are thinking and feeling at all times. Notice that acceptance of what you are thinking is not our aim, our aim is simply to know. Also for simplicity's sake, let's agree that negative self-talk is any thing thought or spoken that make you feel undeserving and unworthy of what it is you want in life.
Once we know what it is we are thinking we can analyze it to figure out if what we are thinking is logical or illogical.
Logical negative self-talk may sound something like "I was so unproductive today". The fact is, you may have been unproductive today, but that does not make you lazy. However if you allow it, the brain will take that statement and turn it into things like:
"I am a lazy person"
"I will never accomplish anything in life"
"I'm never going to be successful"
These are illogical thoughts.
Once you recognize negative self-talk you should immediately work to get rid of it.
If the thought is logical, you complete it with a solution of how you can make it better.
"I was lazy today, but if I decide to work hard right now I can finish the day strong."
If the thought is illogical, you confront it and correct it. For example:
"When I say I will never accomplish anything in life, it is not based in fact. I cannot define my future through one moment in a day. I recognize I may have been lazy for the past few hours, but I also recognize that at any moment I can choose to work hard and finish the day strong."
Whether logical or illogical, negative self-talk is indeed a habit that must be replaced. Even if the thought is corrected, it is important to push your brain to a new way of thinking by also topping it off with positive affirmations.
Repeat after me:
"I am smart. I am strong. I am confident. Nothing can stop me. I control my strongest resource – myself. I am worthy of the success that I work for."
You can use that affirmation regularly even when there is no negative self-talk, and I encourage you to use positive affirmations morning, noon, and night to create new habits of positivity which will increase your self-confidence and help you to become more successful.
So stay positive and remember that the most important conversation you will ever have is with yourself.
Gabriella Payne is an international motivational speaker, confidence expert, and advocate for women. She works tirelessly to build confidence in girls and women by transforming their mental thought patterns and teaching new, healthier habits. She is also an advocate for domestic abuse survivors and teaches a six week course called "Escaping Abuse".