What Is Negative Self-Talk?

Almost everything you need to know about Negative Self-Talk with examples.

What Is Negative Self-Talk?

15th April 2024


While positive self-talk can be a powerful for building confidence & achieving goals, we still struggle with negative self-talk – the critical inner voice that can undermine our efforts & our well-being.

Negative self-talk involves harsh, self-defeating thoughts and internal dialogue that can hold us back from reaching our full potential.

What is Negative Self-Talk?

Negative self-talk refers to the internal dialogue characterized by pessimistic, self-critical, and negative statements or beliefs about ourselves, our abilities, or our circumstances.

It often stems from deeply ingrained thought patterns or limiting beliefs that we've developed over time.It can take many forms, such as self-doubt, catastrophizing, or harsh self-criticism.

When you engage in such form of self-talk, you start to focus on the perceived flaws, mistakes, or shortcomings, rather than strengths and achievements. This can foster feelings of anxiety, low self-esteem, and a lack of motivation, ultimately hindering our progress and well-being.

Examples of Negative Self-Talk

Here's a detailed example of negative self-talk:

I'm such a failure. No matter how hard I try, I always mess things up. 
Why did I even bother preparing for this presentation? I'll probably just embarrass myself in front of everyone. 
I should have known better than to take on this project; I'm not cut out for it.

Another example of Negative Self-Talk would be: "I'll never be good enough. It's pointless to even try."

Moreover, you can notice such examples of negative self-talk in your daily life or in lives of people around you:

  1. "I can't do anything right. I'm just a disappointment."
  2. "If I make a mistake, everyone will think I'm incompetent."
  3. "Things never work out for me. I'm just unlucky."

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What is Positive Self-Talk?

In contrast, positive self-talk involves intentionally engaging in encouraging, uplifting, and affirming internal dialogue.

It's the practice of consciously reframing negative thoughts and replacing them with more constructive and empowering ones.

Positive self-talk can boost our confidence, increase motivation, and help us cultivate a more optimistic and resilient mindset.

By focusing on our strengths and abilities, we can overcome challenges, control the stress, and win our goals more effectively!