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10 Powerful Steps to Stop Negative Self-Talk and Reduce Stress

Even the most successful people have to deal with negative self-talk and anxiety. It’s crucial to overcome negative self-talk and use our time and energy effectively to do what makes us happy.


Do you often hear that critical inner voice that conveys messages of doubt, fear, blame, or judgement? This constant negative chatter can have a detrimental impact on your mental health. You might start believing whatever it is telling you, even if it’s not true. Negative self-talk can fuel challenges like bad habits, addictions and lower self-esteem.

Refrain the mind to stop believing every negative thought we think. Although, there’s no switch to completely turn off our negative self-talk as we can’t stop our thoughts. Our mind is always going to think. But it is possible to control and change that mean and ridiculing voice in your head by treating yourself with appropriate care and tactics.

Identify Negative Self-Talk

To combat negative self-talk, you must be able to identify it. You might be engaging in certain forms of negative self-talk that are more subtle. Negative thoughts and anxiety can be considered cognitive distortions that may manifest in the following ways:

● Minimising

● Magnifying

● Overgeneralizing

● Personalizing

● Filtering

● Polarising

● Perfectionism

● Catastrophizing

● Self-blaming and shaming

Do you recognise them? If you find yourself engaging in this kind of inner conversation, you need to overcome negative self-talk before it impacts your mental well-being.

10 Powerful Tips to Overcome Negative Self-Talk

When you get caught up in negative self-talk, take a pause and treat yourselves gently and sympathetically. Seek comfort, and a healthy sense of perspective instead of getting spiralled down with self-limiting thoughts. Implement the following steps in your daily behaviour to overcome negative self-talk.

1. Acknowledge Negative Self-Talk

You can’t stop negative thoughts by denying them. Become aware of negative self-talk; identify your limiting beliefs. Acknowledge your thoughts and identify their origin. That approach will help you determine the fallacy of such thoughts. If they are not false, you will be getting something actionable to rectify your thoughts.

2. Challenge Negative Self-Talk

Once you identify and acknowledge the negative self-talk, dive deeper to determine the irrational beliefs causing them. Catch yourself and challenge these thoughts instead of further spiralling into them. Stop and ask yourself whether those thoughts are even worth your time and energy. Use concrete, relevant and positive thoughts to counter them.

3. Replace the Bad with Some Good

One of the best ways to combat negative self-talk is to replace it with something better. Shift your attention to the positive in your life, no matter how small it is and make a conscious effort to replace those negative words with positive ones. Practise positive self-talk and repeat until you develop a long-lasting and more positive way of thinking about yourself.

4. Shift Your Focus

Whenever you find you are caught in negative self-talk and anxiety, shift your focus. Take some moments, and seek ways to change your focus to get out of the downward spiral of negative thoughts. Shift your focus to joyful and more meaningful things by incorporating effective strategies.

5. Treat Yourself like a Friend

When you’re stuck in a negative thought cycle, shift perspectives to turn your inner critic into a friend. Ask yourself, “What would I suggest to my friend in such situations?” or “What would my best friend say?” Treating yourself with love, empathy and encouragement is a powerful way to break the cycle of negative thoughts.

6. Understand and Learn the Lesson

When you start to watch obstacles as opportunities, you prepare yourself for success. Whenever you get caught in negative self-talk and anxiety, don’t beat yourself up and take yourself as a failure. Learn to take an objective stance and develop a solution-oriented mindset. Instead of dwelling on failure, accept it and seek what can be done better next time.

7. Focus on the Present Moment

Mindfulness is a brilliant tool to combat negative thinking as it gives you the ability to stay grounded in the present and refocus. Wherever your mind wanders, bring it back to the current moment. Gain focus on the present to break free from the grip of negative thoughts.

8. Create a Positive Self Image

How you look at yourself ultimately dictates how you feel and think about yourself that day. Instead of putting pressure on yourself to appear perfect, you need to clear your mind from critical judgement since it perpetuates self-hate and negativity. Change the way of seeing the person you see in the mirror.

9. Practice Gratitude

Gratitude has a powerful ability to impact your life in positive ways. Frequent use of gratitude improves well-being, reduces stress, develops resilience and even makes you more patient. Use gratitude as a self-empowerment tool. It offers a path to improve your mood and shift your focus from the negative to appreciating what is positive.

10. Share Your Thoughts

Sharing your self-limiting thoughts by talking to someone in your family, a loved one, a friend, a colleague or even a professional life coach can help you overcome your negative thinking about yourself. Listening to another person’s view on your thoughts can help you find some clarity, eliminate confusion and boost your confidence.

Stop being hard on yourself while thinking about yourself. Use the above-mentioned steps to tackle negative self-talk effectively. Live in the moment, experience how amazing you are becoming with each passing day, and never let yourself tell you otherwise.

Do you communicate smartly or need help to enhance your communication skills? Take the Free Communication Skills Assessment to take the first step to speak with confidence.

Smita D Jain is a Certified Life Coach, Executive Coach and NLP Practitioner. Smita’s ‘Empower Yourself’ Performance Enhancement Coaching Programs enable introverted executives to speak with confidence and communicate with impact so that they emerge leaders sooner than envisaged.

Prior to her journey as a coach, Smita had extensive experience of 14 years as a corporate and business strategy professional with Fortune 500 companies. She is also a TEDx speaker, a panellist cum speaker at various public forums, a published writer, and an Amazon bestselling author.

You can learn more about Personal Empowerment Life Coach and Executive Coach Smita D Jain’s ‘Empower Yourself’ Coaching Programs by visiting and book a strategy session at

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