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Katherine Moon
Katherine Isabella Moon
Meow, hello there, my name is Katherine, but you can call me Kat; because I basically am a cat. Anyways, I am a 26-year-old, lifestyle blogger, with an INFP-T personality type, from the United States. I love fashion, the color pink, cats, dogs, and spending all my time on my computer. I'm often seen wearing cat ears headbands.
The Kat Life
The Kat Life

how I'm choosing to live my best life

Monday, February 10, 2020

8 Examples Of Negative Self-Talk + How To Combat Them

Woman looking in the mirror
Photo courtesy of Daria Rem on Pexels

As a young child, you would have thought I was one of the most positive and happy people in the world. But then, I entered the fifth grade, and life changed that for me real quick. Fifth grade was when it was determined that I would be an outcast, or at least this was when I started noticing it, as this was when the bullying began to really take off. Then came the sixth grade, and the bullying continued. Sixth grade also brought my first experience with mean teachers, teachers that were quick to crush your dreams. I went from bringing home report cards with all As and Bs, to practically straight Fs. Thus repeating the sixth grade. The second year of sixth grade was about the same, although the bullying seemed to be intensifying. Then seventh grade was hell. In eighth grade, I decided to stop giving a shit what other people thought and stop failing all my classes, and this was where things started to improve substantially for me.

But the damage had been done from the previous years. And even though I was back to primarily earning As and Bs, with a few Cs here and there, by 8th grade, I still felt like a failure. The bullying started to lessen as I stopped reacting to it, but the feeling that nobody liked me was still there. I had nothing but negative things to say about myself. My general outlook on life was negative. Woe is me, was my whole attitude up until my early 20s. But even as I started to take the necessary steps to change my life, I still struggled with negative self-talk. To be honest, I never actually paid attention to how I was speaking to myself until I was watching an episode of The Beautiful Life Of Jeffree Star, and Shane Dawson brought it up as a bad habit he has. At that point, I was so used to speaking negatively to myself that I never picked up on the issue. Or I didn't think it was an issue. Nor did I realize that, at that point, I was the only one holding myself back. I knew this was something I needed to work on correcting. Just because negative self-talk is extremely common, it doesn't mean that it should go unchecked.

But let me be very real with you. Correcting your thoughts is significantly harder than correcting an outward behavior. I don't think I need to explain why. My brain seems to have a mind of its own, and my thoughts sometimes seem to come out of nowhere. It honestly feels like I have no control over my thoughts, and maybe I don't. But I do have control over the direction that I take them in, and I do have the power to correct the negative ones.

Negative Self-Talk

I just can't do it.

Let's kick off with this one, because if you're anything like me, you may be having the thought that you can't change your whole mindset. This is also one of the most limiting negative things that we say to ourselves without realizing just how limiting it is because we're giving up before we even try; if we try at all. Either that, or we allow discouragement or fear to take over, and we mentally give up after the first try if we fail or it doesn't go as we thought it should. But the thing is, you're most likely not going to master something instantly. It's also to remember that failure is a part of life, and it is our failures that we learn from.

The idea that we can't do something may also come from fear, whether the fear of failure, the fear of rejection, or the fear of stepping outside of our comfort zone. But fear is also a part of life, and we grow by facing our fears.

Now let's divert from the idea that we can't, and say this instead...

It may not be an easy thing to do, I may struggle a little bit or even a lot, it may take me some time to figure it out, but I can do this.

I'm not [something] enough.

Whatever you may fill the blank in with, the general feeling that we aren't good enough usually comes from a place of comparison, either to others or to what we think we should be. This may also be an idea that's been planted in our head by somebody else, whether it's something we've been told directly or something that society tells us. But I don't think I even need to remind you that society's standards for everything are ridiculously high, and those standards are nearly impossible, if not entirely impossible, to meet. Although personally, I feel that more often than not, these expectations come more from within. I often find myself criticizing myself harder than even the people who bullied me in middle school did, which leads me to feel like I'm not pretty, smart, funny, creative, skilled, or whatever enough. This isn't to say that we shouldn't work to better ourselves, but we should realize that we are worthy and that we are already enough.

So now, let's try saying something like this instead...

I am working to be the best that I can be. I may not be perfect, but nobody is perfect. The only person I need to compete against is the person I was yesterday. I am enough already. I am worthy of living my best life.

I should be doing more. I should be doing better than this. 

This one actually started striking me the hardest when I changed my lifestyle for the better, and when I realized what I was capable of. Now, don't get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be the best that you can be, and working to be even better. I encourage that! But the thing is no one, absolutely no one, is going to be functioning at 100% all the time. Not every day is going to be a kick-ass day. Some days will kick your ass, it's a fact of life, and it happens to all of us. Some days I'm able to check everything off my to-do list, and then some. Some days I don't even want to get out of bed. Some days I crush my workout. Some days I struggle on the warm-up. Some days I'm feeling super inspired. Some days I'm at a loss for ideas. You get the idea.

The idea that we should be doing more, and that we should be doing better, also tends to stem from comparison to others. So it's important to remember that everyone's journey is different, and we all progress at different rates. It's also important to note that what you may have nailed right away, someone else may still be working on. To give an example, I have been on my fitness journey since 2017, and I still struggle with anything upper body. I still have yet to get my first pushup. My first knee pushup at that. But I was able to pick up on a lot of ab moves, squats, and leg exercises almost instantly. Some people that pick up on upper body exercises right away may struggle with abs and lower body exercises. We are all on our own path, and the journey usually is not linear.

So when you find yourself being a little too hard on yourself, try to look at it this way...

I may not be where I want to be today, but I am doing the best that I can at this moment in time. 

I'm a failure if I don't do well. 

I said it before, and I will say it once more, failure is a part of life. You can not be afraid to fail or make mistakes. You are not a failure because you failed, or didn't do well at something, you are human. Take a moment to figure out why you didn't do so well, and use it as a learning experience. Perhaps you need to study more or practice a little more. Maybe you need to adapt your action plan because something wasn't working for you. It may also be possible that your expectations were too high. There may also have been some external factors that were beyond your control! Seriously, there is no need to beat yourself up just because you didn't do as well as you had hoped.

So try to look at failure this way...

Even if I fail, that doesn't make me a failure. It's is better that I try and fail than if I don't try at all. If I fail, I will allow myself to learn from it. I can always try again. 

Straighten your crown
Photo courtesy of Sincerely Media on Unsplash

I've fallen too far behind. It's too late.

Although I did encounter this thought a few times in my teen years, this one has really taken off for me in the last few years. I'm still in my 20s, but I already feel like I've fallen behind my peers. Although let's be honest, how many people actually meet their own expectations for their 20s? Probably not many. But I can't help but see people my age or younger seemingly moving on up in the world, getting big promotions, buying their first or second home, getting married, and starting families and feel a little bit of FOMO. Why is my life not the way I had planned it out and played it out in The Sims? Well, for one thing, unfortunately, real life isn't like The Sims. And let's be real, life never plays out exactly as we think it will. Sometimes, we may not even want things to turn out exactly as we planned, as our interests and dreams may change as we get older.

That being said, everyone moves through life at their own pace, and you shouldn't feel like you have to do something right now or achieve anything by a certain age. Not everything in life needs a deadline, and there is no deadline on when you can start. It doesn't matter if you're in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, whatever. If you want something, start working for it.

So say this to yourself if you feel like you've fallen behind...

I am moving through life at my own pace. I may not be where I thought I was going to be yet, but not everything requires a deadline. As long as I am still breathing, it's not too late for me to work towards the life that I want to have. 

I will never...

I don't even know how many times I've found myself saying I will never be able to do something, or I will never have something out of discouragement. I still find myself saying this at times. Typically, for me, the thought of "I will never" either goes hand-in-hand with the idea that "I just can't" or the feeling that it's too late. When this thought manifests in my mind, it typically comes from a place of self-pity. Whether because I'm struggling with something, I'm not where I want to be, or because of something someone else said. Whatever the case may be, by telling myself that I'll never be able to do something, I'm mentally throwing in the towel. By saying that something will never happen, I am blocking the possibility of it from happening, whether consciously or unconsciously. How am I going to be able to do a pushup if I keep telling myself that I just can't do one? If my mind isn't in it, my body certainly won't be either. If I tell myself that I will never be able to stop speaking negatively to myself, I most certainly won't be able to. Not with that attitude!

But by opening myself up to the possibility that something can happen, it just might actually happen. As a matter of fact, there is a good chance that it will happen, as long as you believe it!

So never say never! Instead, say...

Anything can happen if I open myself up to the possibility. I may need to put a lot of work in, but I will get there. 

Nobody cares about me.

Back in middle school, at the height of the bullying, a part of me thought that this was a fact. I felt alone. I felt like everybody hated me. I assumed anyone who tried to be nice to be had bad intentions, and they were just trying to work their way in so they could make a joke out of it later. As I got older, I realized that the perception that everyone hated me was 100% false. Not everyone hated me, not even everyone in my middle school hated me. But the idea that nobody actually cares about me continued to follow me into adulthood. This is also false. Even when depression, anxiety, or PMS tells me that it's true. You may also feel this way if your social circle is toxic, and you have so-called friends or family that make you feel this way. If that is the case, I suggest trying to get away from the people who are making you feel this way, but I know that isn't always an easy task. Also, just because a couple of people in your life don't seem to care about you, it doesn't mean that others don't.

An important thing to remember though is that, just because someone may not have answered your call, or didn't respond to your text right away, it doesn't mean that they don't care. Have you never been unable to answer the phone right away to answer a phone call or respond to a text message for any reason? Have you ever decided to take care of a few things before replying to someone's message or calling them back? Have you ever had to cancel or postpone plans with someone because life happened? Did any of that mean you didn't care? I didn't think so.

So try to look at if this way if you're feeling lonely, or you feel like nobody cares...

My friends and family are just a little busy right now, but I know that they still care about me. I know that life happens sometimes.

I'm such a [insult]!

Back in middle school, I tried using this as a defense mechanism. If I said it first, the bullies wouldn't have to say it, right? I thought that if I stated that I already "knew" that I was whatever it was they thought, they would move right along and keep their mouths shut. Well, spoiler alert, that didn't work for me. Then I started actually believing those things, because not only did I have other people telling me these things five days a week. But then I was saying them to myself seven days a week, both out loud and in my own head. Over time, I became my own biggest bully, and it carried on into adulthood.

Also, to make things clear, I'm not against self-deprecating humor, some of the funniest comedians tell self-deprecating jokes. I also think it's necessary to laugh at ourselves from time to time, it can be a great way to divert embarrassment. But the thing was, I wasn't joking when I was saying these things about myself. I wasn't trying to be funny. A lot of the time, I was straight up bullying myself, not poking fun at myself. It was as if I actually felt that way, and eventually, I did. So my point is, don't be afraid to laugh at yourself a little bit, but watch the tone of how you're speaking to yourself. And don't forget to say positive things about yourself as well.

So if you find yourself bullying yourself, or if others bully you, try saying something like this...

I am not what other people say about me. I am not what my insecurities have me telling myself. I'm not perfect, but that doesn't mean that I am broken. I am more than my mistakes. I am more than my flaws.

I am sure that we all have negative thoughts about ourselves from time to time. Negative self-talk is so common, we probably don't even realize just how toxic and how limiting it can be. But just because we all have negative thoughts, that doesn't mean that we should allow these thoughts to go unchecked. We should not allow ourselves to allow negativity to consume us and put those limitations on ourselves. It may not be easy to change our mindset, but at the very least, we can try. And remember, the first step is to tell yourself that you can and you will.

Do you struggle with negative self-talk? What are some of your most common negative thoughts, and how to you divert them into a more positive direction? 

8 Examples Of Negative Self-Talk
Thank you for reading, and I hope the rest of your day is wonderful!
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  1. Good post. We have this negative voice in our head that tells us bad things about ourselves. But we also have positive voice in us that tells us good things and motivates us. That’s why we must make our positive voice stronger and firm than our negative voice. I am grateful that my positive voice is now stronger than my negative voice. Plus, I am also grateful that I have true friends who are nicer to me than I was to myself. They motivate me.

    1. This is so true! Even at my most negative, that positive voice was still there, even the negative voice was stronger and louder than the positive voice. It's truly important we make our positive voice stronger. I am glad to hear that your positive voice is strong! Having good friends and good people around you certainly help too. The people you choose to spend your time with can certainly have an impact on which inner voice is louder.


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