5 Steps to Let Go of Your Negative Self-Talk
I’m not good enough.”
“I could never do that. I am not smart enough, clever enough, confident enough, skinny enough…”
“What would other people think or say?”
Have you ever caught yourself saying these things to yourself?
Maybe you wanted to try something new, sign up for a course, apply to a job, ask that person out, lose that extra weight or start a new business only to get super excited about it and then that annoying internal chatter gets in the way.
And before you know it you are feeling down on yourself, uncertain, and have talked yourself out of doing what you really want to do.
If you can relate to this, you are not alone.
It is said over 95% of people struggle with feelings of unworthiness, not feeling good enough or fearing other people’s judgements.
Neuroscience has shown the significant impact these internal thoughts and beliefs have on our external health and wellness.
The good news is, Neuroscience has also shown, we have the power and ability to reprogram these beliefs to live a more aligned, happier and fulfilling life.
If you are ready to go that layer deeper and dive into some self-care for the soul, tackle your inner chatter and challenge your self limiting beliefs this post is for you.
What are beliefs?
In order to understand where your self limiting beliefs come from you must first understand what beliefs are.
Beliefs are thought patterns that are unique to each one of us which we created from our life experiences - mostly stemming from our younger years.
Beliefs are simply mind habits. They are thoughts and stories we continue to have and think over and over and over again until they are so ingrained in our subconscious mind that we are often unaware of them.
Beliefs form the way we view the world. The way we show up each day and the way we view ourselves and others.
Beliefs are the lens in which we see the world through.
Where Do Self Limiting Beliefs Come From?
Most of the beliefs you hold today came from your parents, your siblings, your schools, your religions, your communities, TV, Social Media, and the positive or negative experiences you had in your life. These experiences, and your perceptions of these experiences, shaped how you view the world and how you view yourself in the world.
Neuroscience tells us that up until about the age of 8 children are constantly ‘downloading’ information into their brains. Each of us ‘downloaded’ different narratives based on our individual experiences, traumas and joys.
Essentially ‘programming’ our beliefs about health, relationships, love, money, education and self image.
Some of these beliefs empower us and make us who we are, while others hold us back.
Are you ready to start letting go of the beliefs that are holding you back?
Neuroscience continues to show with awareness, re-framing and conscious repetition we can literally reprogram our beliefs and begin to silence that inner critic and break free from the beliefs that are holding you back.
5 Steps to Stop Negative Self-Talk
STEP ONE: Become Aware of Your Self Limiting Beliefs
EVERYTHING to do with CHANGE starts with AWARENESS. It seems simple, yet so many people never do it.
By first acknowledging what thoughts you continue to play on repeat in your head and bringing a conscious awareness to them - you are putting a ’glitch; in your programming.
Instead of that thought constantly firing without any sort of resistance… you are sayinging - ‘wait a second…. this thought seems to be on replay in my mind and I am getting sick of watching the re-run. I’m going to choose to change the channel.’
Don’t know what your self limiting beliefs are? Look at your environment. Are you in an unhealthy relationship? Are you overweight or a yo-yo dieter? Are you always broke? Can you never seem to make a decision? Our internal beliefs create our external world. Begin to look at patterns in your life and often you will find some beliefs that are no longer serving you.
STEP TWO: Be the Scientist of Your Life
Look at your life through a lens of curiosity versus judgement.
Once you are aware of your self limiting beliefs and you have ‘called them out’ the next step is to be the scientist of your own life. Digging a little deeper and understanding where these beliefs may have stemmed from allows you to put them in context as an adult and start to reframe your beliefs.
Was there a particular experience you had that made you feel a certain way and believe a certain thing? Was it cumulative events of being raised in a toxic environment? Was it something someone said to you once that you have never been able to let go of? Start being curious. By acknowledging where these beliefs may have stemmed from you can decide to let go of the power they have over you. The key is to not get stuck here… it is simply to acknowledge where the thoughts manifested from.
STEP THREE: Consciously Choose to Stop Buying into the Beliefs
You can consciously decide you are no longer going to believe these thoughts. Give yourself permission to let go of the stuff that is no longer serving you and commit to your self awareness and self development.
You can choose to change your beliefs.
You are no longer that child who needs other people to tell you what to believe. Choose for yourself.
Recognize these are beliefs unique to you based on your experiences. Just because you have 'bought into them' your whole life, does not mean you have to keep buying into them. Make the conscious decision to say no more and start being intentional about working on changing them.
STEP FOUR - Be Intentional about Building New Beliefs
Now comes the part that you have to start flexing that brain muscle of yours. This is where you have to do the work. You have to commit to your self-development and own the power you have within to start changing your beliefs and your life.
When those pesky thoughts pop up you have to catch yourself and begin to stop them.
There are many ways to do this, you can:
Take time to journal around the thought and belief - self-reflection is one of the most powerful tools in your self development toolkit.
Find evidence against your belief - has there been a time in your life where this belief was not true? Is there someone you look up to who does not hold this belief?
Invest in therapy if it is bringing up a lot for you and you need professional help to sort through it.
Incorporate practical strategies like affirmations, mantras, visualizations, manifesting.
Learn how to Re-Frame your Beliefs. This helps you to shift into a growth-mindset, challenge your beliefs and go that layer deeper.
Remember, this may look different for everyone. Find something that resonates with you and then….
STEP FIVE: Keep at it.
It took years to build these beliefs and it is going to take some time to break them down. Each time you catch yourself in a negative spiral, each time you re-frame a negative thought, each time you courageously call yourself out; you are breaking down old beliefs and building up new ones. You are literally rewiring your brain through conscious repetition. Don't give up. Show yourself grace on those days when the thoughts win and just keep at it. This is a marathon not a sprint. Learning about the power of your internal world - your beliefs - is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. Invest in yourself and self awareness.
If you have read this far, you are probably recognizing that your negative self talk and self limiting beliefs are holding you back from doing something you really want to do.
Ask yourself - Where will I be in a year, 5 or 10 years from now if I do not start tackling these beliefs? Often people will say ‘the same place’ when in reality you will most likely be in a worse place.
Changing your beliefs is the fastest way to create lasting change in your life. Doing the INTERNAL work will get you the EXTERNAL results.
Remember, you are so much more powerful than you know.
What beliefs are holding you back? Leave a comment below.
If you want to dive deeper into how to stop your negative self talk and learn more about how to reprogram your beliefs, click the link for a free guided worksheet to help you get started.
Meet the author
Lora Devries, Social Worker + Holistic Mental Health Blogger