Do you feel frustrated with your negative self-talk? Then read this blog post to know how I deal with it.
I used to frequently demean myself for doing stupid things. And although it’s considered normal and almost everybody does it, I think it’s important to reduce these self-demeaning thoughts.
It’s OK to sometimes think that you are weird or stupid. But sometimes these thoughts feel overwhelming and too much to handle.
In those situations, we need to calm our minds and relax a bit. And seek to become more self-aware.
A few weeks ago, I was reading a book called “How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety” by Ellen Hendriksen (Affiliate link: I get a commission if you purchase the book through this link) and I read a part where the author makes the readers ask three easy questions.
These three questions from the book helped me deal with negative self-talk and reduce my anxiety-
- What’s the worst that can happen?
- What are the odds of that happening?
- How would you cope?
And I noticed that whenever I get anxious or do any negative self-talk, I ask myself these questions and I can become aware of why I felt negative or got a strong urge to call myself “stupid” or “loser”.
When I do this, I can reduce my negative feelings to something manageable.
For example, if I feel like a loser because I lied to someone about something unimportant because it would be very embarrassing to accept that I had lied. So I say to myself in negative self-talk,” You are just a loser”.
If I immediately counter that by saying,” No, I am not a loser, I am a winner.”, I continue feeling bad for some reason.
But if I ask myself the above three questions one by one, this is what happens-
Me – “What’s the worst that could happen in this situation?”
My answer- “Oh well, the person would call me a ‘liar’ out loudly and kick me out of the institute forever and people would know I am a ‘liar’.”
Me- “What are the odds of that happening?”
My answer- “Well, the person may ask why I lied. And I would say I was nervous. And he would probably trust me less.”
Me- “How would I cope?”
My answer- “I would probably listen to some sad songs and write a sad poem to myself and read spiritual stories and forgive myself through writing in my journal. It’s just one time I lied a silly lie, to one person. No big deal. I won’t repeat it and now past is past.”
This process makes me feel so much better. And I don’t feel like I am fighting an uphill battle against my mind.
This process also reduces my anxiety a lot and I feel like I can reduce these big and scary thoughts to something more manageable with just the second question,” What are the odds of that happening?”
And I also noticed that I can overcome more of my social anxiety with these questions in real life. I went to 3 big social events this month and I think those are big wins for me. I believe that’s because of the above book.
For all this, I want to thank Ellen Hendriksen, the author of the above-mentioned book “How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety”.
I haven’t finished listening to the whole audiobook on audible.in but I will do it soon.
You can also use these questions to deal with your inner critic and negative self-talk and reduce your anxiety one question at a time.
Although I didn’t overcome my anxieties this month overnight. It took time.
Also, the book’s original questions are phrased like this-
- How bad would that really be?
- What are the odds?
- How could I cope?
Also in the book originally the questions are only one part of the whole process. So don’t completely depend on me or think that this is the complete process. Please get the book and read it.
Thank you for reading this blog post. Do read the book and please comment on what you think about this blog post.
Disclaimer- I am not a psychologist or a doctor. If you have a mental illness, please seek the help of a professional. The advice in this blog post is just from my personal experience. For the full scientific process, read the mentioned book.