How to get rid of negative self talk with two words

Everyone from royalty to your hairdresser has negative self talk. Here's how to reduce and release it with two words and three steps.

Here’s how to get rid of negative self talk.

But before we banish those critical voices in your head, let yourself off the hook. Negative self talk is part of how we think. It’s common. It’s normal. Everyone from royalty to Hollywood stars to your hairdresser and your kid’s teacher experiences it sometimes.

So don’t ever think it’s just a problem for you. You’re not alone!

The reason? Psychology explains a thing called a negative bias, where we are predisposed to seeing what’s wrong rather than what’s right.

But we can manage our negative self talk to reduce it, remove it, and replace it with peace, with space and then start to add in some encouragements, positivity and validation.

If you're interested, I'll be talking about this and a ton of other great strategies to create a life of fulfilment and meaning at The Coaching Institute's free virtual coaching summit 'Unleash Your Coaching Potential' on August 15.

The first part of managing negative self talk is to understand you are not your self talk.

You just have it. It’s a weird concept to get your head around but getting that idea of separation is a major part of starting to choose the type of relationship we have with it.

Think, “I have a notepad. I am not a notepad. I have thoughts. I am not my thoughts.  Same with self talk.

The second part is accepting your self talk the way it is. I know what you’re thinking: “Why would I accept it? I don’t like it. I want to change it.”

Sure. But remember the old truth: whatever we resist, persists.

If you have negative self talk and that voice in your head pushing your buttons, telling you that you suck at something, know that there’s no way out of an argument like that.

You will always lose. No matter how good you think you are fighting with yourself, do not engage

So, here’s the third part you need to reduce then release the negative self talk.

You have to develop a space of gratitude. There are only two major experiences we can have in life. One is love. The other is fear. And we can’t be in a space of love and fear at the same time.

So we want to create as much love space as we possibly can and one of the subsets of that is gratitude and acceptance. Then when our thoughts come up and they say you’re not good enough, you hit them gently with two words.

Thank you.

They say you can’t sign that client. Say ‘thank you’ and let it slide.

They say you can’t run five kms, will stuff up the public speaking gig, won’t be able to help your kids with their homework.

Just accept it. Then ‘thank you’. That’s it.

The power of thank you is huge.

Because when we don’t give energy to the negative self talk it goes away and dies out. We use gratitude and acceptance to starve that little crackling fire of oxygen before it can spread.

It’s a basic tool and technique and it takes a bit of practise, but once you get the hang of not arguing, just feeling gratitude and thanking, it goes away.

Once it does you’ll have room to replace the negative self talk with something more helpful, like “I can pull this off, I got this.”

You have got it. And if you want even more certainty, jump on and grab a spot for the free 'Unleash Your Coaching Potential' summit on August 15. See you there.

Matt Lavars is one of Australia's leading coaches, trainers and speakers, and head facilitator at The Coaching Institute. In between mentoring thousands of coaches and leaders all around Australasia and helping others build incredible culture, Matt is passionate about fitness and music. His healthy office lunches whipped up in five minutes are the stuff of legend.

Matt Lavars
Matt LavarsThe Coaching Institute