By Maria Reyes
Our thoughts are very powerful. “Thoughts become things,” according to Mike Dooley, New York Times Bestselling author, speaker and entrepreneur in the philosophical New Thought movement. What we believe, we conceive. Negative self-talk come from scripts or beliefs that we heard when we were growing up from teachers, parents, peers and society in general. Not only that, but is the number one factor that undermines the process of manifestation and makes bringing the peace, ease and adventure we seek so difficult.
Mistaken beliefs and negative self talk
Mistaken beliefs are the root of anxiety and keep us from reaching our goals in life. We need to let go of these false beliefs, and by practicing the exercises below, we can battle anxiety and have less stress in our lives.
Being more aware and mindful of your thoughts
- Challenging your thoughts – when a negative thought starts to creep in, become aware of it and take a breath, and change the thought immediately or bring yourself to the present moment
- Saying “mantras” – when self doubt starts to creep in, tell yourself that you are doing your best and you are an expert of you life. Martha Beck has a mantra that is so beautiful: ” You are safe. You are infinitely loved. There is no way you can make a mistake”
- Say a prayer – we cannot control everything, sometimes we just need to let go and let God.
- Listen or read positive things – There are so many podcasts that can be downloaded for listening in the car, while on the train, anywhere you have a few minutes, or anytime you feel self-talk creeping in. I personally enjoy Brene Brown.
- Breathe – take a moment and breathe. Breathe when anxiety creeps in. Focus on your breathing while you run or do yoga. Your breath is one of the most powerful forms of healing available to you at all times.
Which of the following are you?
Recognizing where you stand can help you catch negative self talk before it even starts.
- Are you a worrier? – The worrier creates anxiety by imagining the worst-case scenario, scaring the worrier with fantasies of disaster or catastrophe when you imagine confronting something you fear.
- Are you a critic? – The critic promotes low self-esteem. The critic is judgmental and points out your flaws and limitations whenever she gets a chance. It thrives on every mistake you do and waits for you to fail all the time. It creates anxiety and by putting you down.
- Are you a victim? – The victim mentality promotes depression. A victim is someone who feels helpless or hopeless. It generates anxiety by telling you that you’re not making any progress. The victim thinks that there is something wrong with you—deprived, defective or unworthy. The victim tells you that you cannot achieve your goals.
- Are you a perfectionist? – The perfectionist generates anxiety by constantly telling you that your efforts aren’t good enough, that you should be working harder, that you should always have everything under control, you should alway be competent, you should always be pleasing, you should always be XYZ.
*From Anxiety & Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne, PH.D.
How to Counter Negative Self Talk
- Counteract the prototype – Beat the above-mentioned self talk prototypes through positive and supportive statements. Write down and rehearsing saying positive statements that invalidate the self talk. How? By keeping it present and positive. Use “I” statements. You have to believe in it and practice it. (you’re retraining your brain, and so practice makes it easier to create a new positive habit in the future)
- Don’t use negative self statements such as “what if” or “I can’t.”
- Use or say positive statements such as “I can handle this,” “I can be anxious and still do this,” “I know this anxiety will pass,” “I am okay the way I am,” “I deserve the good things in life as much as anyone else,” “I accept and believe in myself,” “I don’t have to be all better tomorrow,” “I can make progress one step at a time,” “I am willing to see the glass half full,” “It’s never too late to change,” “It’s okay to make mistakes,” “I’m doing my best,” “My needs and feelings are as important as anyone else’s,” “I don’t have to always be,” and “Setbacks are part of the process and a learning experience.”
They may sound hokey, or you may think it may not work but you are re-training your brain.
Ask yourself these questions and write them down.
- What is it that I really want out of life?
- What would I attempt to do if I knew I could not fail?
Having a better understanding of yourself and your dreams can help you manifest a more positive experience, and in return bring more of what you desire through manifestation.
If you’d like more advice, or a one-on-one, for battling anxiety, reach out to Maria Reyes if you’re ready to face anxiety and negative self-talk head-on.