How to stop your inner “negative-talk”

Receiving critical feedback from someone is never easy. But also giving critical feedback to someone is something that might feel very awkward and difficult.

But why is it then so easy to be critical of ourselves? If you haven’t experienced this then that is amazing, but if you have, we wanted to share 5 techniques on how you can fight that inner critique of yours.

The first thing of course is to become aware of it. When we start doubting ourselves, or we start punishing ourselves in our heads or telling ourselves we can’t do something, then we need to take a minute. Literally, try to pause yourself.

Once you did that, you can follow these 5 techniques:

Technique 1: Look for evidence

To give good feedback you need to provide examples where you observed that behavior. The same here. Look out for possible evidence that could back up the negative talk you are giving yourself. Is there actual evidence about it? If not, you know this type of feedback/talk won’t be helpful for you.

Technique 2: What would your best friend say?

Now it is time to jump into our best friend’s position. What would he/she be saying to you in this situation? Would your best friend be telling you the same things you are telling yourself or would he/she use different words? What advice would you receive from that person? Be kind to yourself, just as your best friend would be. 

Technique 3: Let’s turn it around

We tend to be our harshest critics. What if another person was in that situation? What would we suggest to that person? How would we try to support them? Many times when we turn around the situation and we are not the main character of it but rather an external person, we realize that the situation is not as bad as it felt when we were in the middle of it.

Technique 4: Freeze your thought

This technique is really fun. So what happens is that you will acknowledge the feeling you have, but you will deal with it at a later point. Sometimes cooling down from a situation and then reevaluating it will bring better insights and help you make better decisions. So take that thought and put it in a mental “freezer” where you let that thought cool down a bit. When you feel ready for it, take it out again but now you can deal with it in a completely new manner with new perspectives.

Technique 5: Change the focus and celebrate all wins

We have become used to only celebrating our big wins. But there are so many small wins at every step we take that we forget to be proud of. And all those small victories, if we sum them up, will always be prove that even if we made a mistake or even if we feel insecure at times, we will manage it! Because looking back, we have managed so much already! 

We hope these techniques help in calming down our inner negative talk and re-focus on what we can actually achieve.