Negative Self-Talk and Its toll on life

We as a human love to spend time in our mind. However, many of us spend that time worrying about the future, replaying horrible past and mistakes of past years, and in general focusing on the fragments of our life which left us dissatisfied. These usual negative thoughts not only prevent a person from enjoying their daily life but also compels them to feel unwanted, anxious and depressed. Today in this blog, I am focusing on something unusual. I am going to briefly discuss Negative Self-Talk, its traces, its effects and also ways of freeing oneself from this hell-like torment.

Whenever we are told about negative self-talk we think about self-blaming, lack of confidence but it can take many forms. Negative self-talk can sound like preventive or it can sound totally mean like “I can never finish anything perfectly.” Sometimes it can even feel like realistic self-realization like “I couldn’t complete this task of coding so I guess I suck at coding”. This sort of realization only leads to fear-based fantasies like “I will fail this course of coding and I will never be able to shine in this field.

The deep reflection of one’s negative self-talk may sound like an authoritative parent or a judgmental friend from their past. In general, negative self-talk points to an inner feeling or dialogue that a person shares with himself/herself which might end up limiting his/her ability to believe in themselves, reach their own potential and even trust their own abilities. Ultimately, compelling them to fail in pursuing any dream that they wanted in life. Any thought that creates barriers for one to bring positive changes in his/her life can be described as negative self-talk. It destroys one’s confidence, one’s a strong will, which is why it can not only be stressful but also can really stunt one’s success.

“He told me to leave it, maybe he is right.”, “I know I can’t do it”, “Why she is not replying my texts, maybe she doesn’t enjoy my company”, “How come that I couldn’t finish that code, I am so stupid.” These scenarios are some examples of negative thoughts which keeps popping in our head and keep repeating in our mind during our daily tasks without even knowing. Each time we fail to achieve our goals, our inner-self keeps murmuring particular demeaning phrases which step by step destroys our self-confidence.

The above picture shows some examples of Negative thoughts which we run in our mind without even knowing that we are making ourselves to believe in something so much negative and harming. We accept these thoughts as normal because we never questioned our thoughts and never judged, how positive or negative these thoughts are.

Tolls of Negative Self-Talk:

Generally, the source of Negative self-talk is the irrational and demeaning beliefs that you have about yourself.  The real issue with repeating the negative phrases is that after each repetition this negative thought gets reinforced and we make our inner-self to believe in those irrational beliefs.

Negative self-talk has some serious and harmful consequences. It affects badly and takes a massive toll on one’s life. For example,

Higher Stress level.

If a person frequently engages in negative self-talk, he/she might face some difficulties to maintain their stress. As they tend to keep demeaning themselves and thus destroying their confidence to reach their goals on their own ability, which at the end of the day leads to a failure induced stress.

Lower self-esteem.  

After each failure, if a person constantly criticizes and blames himself, it will surely diminish his/her confidence and ultimately will result in a case of low self-esteem.


As a result of the negative self-talk, a person starts to question every work he does or every task he performs. To him, perfection seems to be achieve able. As a result, he keeps stressing out even after a job well-done to find out what could have been better.

Limited thinking.

When a person is used to negative self-talk, he/ she keeps repeating that he can’t do something he needs to do. The more he repeats it the more he believes it, as a result, he limits his thinking and abilities to actually complete that particular task.

Feelings of depression.

There are many types of research that show that Negative Self-talk can lead to some serious and quite damaging depression.

The Sources of Negative Thoughts:

  • Demeaning made-up thoughts about oneself or the world.
  • Being overly critical about everything which he/ she has learned from childhood activities.
  • Pessimism can force you to expect the worst.
  • Poor past experiences and the belief that the past repeats itself.
  • Fear, anxiety, worries, depression and the different kinds of psychological problems that promote negative thinking

In most of the cases the “mentioned areas” are the sources of Negative Self-talk.

These sources remain unknown until the victim tries to go in the depth of the past. Most of the time, our subconscious mind picks up some negative thoughts from some negative experiences without our notice and when something bad happens, that particular memory gets triggered and we get a rush of negative thoughts. For example, it might happen that you didn’t do anything wrong, despite you get scolded by your parents. This experience can get triggered after many years if someone neglects you. As a result of that incident, your mind will keep murmuring in your head that “no one loves you”.

Here in the graph, we can see how a negative thought is created, how it affects our emotions and mentality and afterward behavior.

A simple event can reduce our motivation for a long time. We might not take the result of an event seriously, however, later, while doing the same task we will definitely be able to notice a significant difference in motivation.

Steps for Freedom from this hell like torment!

Showing empathy to yourself:

If you fail in any task, rather than blaming yourself, be empathetic to yourself. Calm yourself down, try to gather up courage, explore the issues and then convince yourself to start over.

Trying to understand the issues:

Try to find out is the reason behind you blaming yourself. Find out why that problem occurred. It might be hard to identify, then share it with someone who understands you. Try to express, even if it’s difficult to express verbally.

Turning negative phrases into positive: 

Once you’ve explored, you can create some new phrases to try. Instead of “Writing is hard. I’m stupid,” you could say, “I’m working hard on writing” or “Making mistakes is part of learning.”

Try to challenge thoughts and feelings. Feelings do not define one. A person may FEEL unlovable, but feeling something doesn’t mean it’s true. Someone can struggle and not be stupid. So, its better not believe in every negative feeling you about yourself

Managing the inner critic:

It’s never late to get out of harmful negative thoughts. If a person feels tangled in their negative self-talk, they can manage to get rid of it in my following mentioned methods or ways.

Catch Your Critic: A person should Learn to notice when he or she being self-critical so that he can begin to stop. Try to notice when you judge yourself in a way in which you won’t judge others.

Contain Your Negativity If a person finds himself engaging in negative self-talk, it helps to contain the damage that a critical inner voice can cause by only allowing it to criticize certain things in his life, or be negative for only an hour in your day. By doing this you can control your negative criticism to a certain level which will not harm your confidence.

Think Like a Friend

When we start to overly criticize our own doings, it becomes our own enemy. As a result, we might tell ourselves something which we will not even express before our friend. So, Why not reverse this and–when a person catches himself speaking negatively in his head– he should make it a point to imagine himself saying this to a treasured friend. If he knows he wouldn’t say it this way, he should reconsider, how he would share his thoughts with a good friend or what he’d like a good friend to say to him. This is a great way to shift one’s self-talk in general.

Replace the Bad with Some Good

This is the best way to fight your way out of it. This step is simple and effective. Find out a negative thought, replace it with something meaningful encouraging and accurate. A person should repeat this habit until he finds himself needing to do it less and less often.  Replacing bad with something a great way to develop a more positive way of thinking about yourself and about life.

By following the above-mentioned way, we can easily get out of the negative Self-talk. And start thinking positively about ourselves.

There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”

-William Shakespeare

Always remember this quote. it clarifies the simple fact that negative thoughts are our creation. If our mind can create these negative self-talks, then it has the power to turn those into something positive also.

Written By

Samiur Rahman

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