- Notice it, acknowledge it, and replace it with positive self talk. Example: If your brain is saying ‘You’re not good enough’, cutting it off to tell yourself, ‘Actually, I am good enough.’
- Challenge it head-on. Example: If your brain is saying ‘You’re not good enough’, respond by saying, ‘Why don’t you think I’m good enough?’
- Figure out where that negativity actually comes from. Example: If your brain is saying ‘You’re not good enough’, recognize why you don’t feel like you’re good enough. Did a person/people in your life make you feel that way? Is it societies standards as a whole? Or are you being unfairly cruel to yourself?
- Be harsh. Example; If your brain is saying ‘You’re not good enough’, tell it to shut the feck up, because you want to be happy, darnnit, and it’s interrupting that.
- Transform the self-deprecation into self-critique. Example: If your brain is saying ‘You’re not good enough’, ask it ‘What will make me good enough, then?’ Critique isn’t a bad thing, although it may feel like it. In all actuality, it’s a chance to challenge what you’re already doing to find out if something else will work better.
- Bring it along for the ride. Example: If your brain is saying ‘You’re not good enough’, tell it, ‘Alright, then you’re going to help me find a way to fix that.’
- Do not expect immediate change. Example: If your brain is saying ‘You’re not good enough’ and you can’t fight it, that’s alright. That doesn’t mean you wont have the strength to fight it next time. It takes a lot of time and practice to develop any skill – and these ones are no exception.
Now, you might be sitting there, reading this, thinking ‘Yeah, but N… all of the things my brain tells me aren’t wrong.’ Guess what? They are. Because your brain is being a bully – a bully that stems from a place of illness and a reflection of your insecurities. A bully with nothing better to do than harm you.
And, while in real life one of the best things to do with a bully is cut them off and ignore them, do not ignore negative self-talk. Do not brush it off. Do not tell yourself if you don’t think about it, it will go away. It is inside of your mind, it isn’t going to give up. So, in order to help curb negative self-talk, you have to first accept that it’s there. Only then can you find a way to challenge it.
Note: These techniques are definitely not all of the ones out there, nor will they work for everyone. If they don’t, don’t give up. You can find another way. You’re strong enough to fight and I believe in you all.