Your negative self-talk or ‘inner critic’ is mainly a result of what you’ve experienced as a child and how you were taught to view the world. If your childhood or your environment growing up was filled with criticism, chaos, emotional abuse, and negativity, then most likely you grew up in survival mode, where your dominant beliefs and self-talk were negative yet you were trying to stay positive just to get the ball rolling. This often creates inner conflict because what you want to believe and your rooted beliefs are completely different.
When you try to reprogram your negative self-talk, it will often feel like a lie or you won’t believe the positive voice in the beginning because you don’t have much evidence of it actually working. You are trying to build something from scratch without the right foundation, which is why it can be one of the hardest things to do and it requires persistence, self-discipline, and determination to flip the script.
The best and only way to reprogram your negative self-talk is to be mindful of your inner voice and flip it on the spot. As soon as these negative voices or thoughts arise, you have to counterattack them with more positive and fulfilling thoughts, and the most important thing to be mindful of is where these voices are coming from. Are these your own beliefs and thoughts or are these what you’ve been told about yourself? Are these based on personal experiences or based on what others have projected on you? Does this voice really belong to you?
When you begin focusing on shifting your own negative thoughts and speaking gently to yourself, you will be more aware of the root of each thought and why it’s still haunting you. The next step is supporting the new beliefs and thoughts by actually taking care of yourself and your mental health, whether that means staying away from negative people or setting boundaries with those who constantly bring you down or belittle you and drawing the line with the people who caused that kind of pain to begin with, even if it’s your own family.
When you put your healing and your mental health above all, you will be able to take strides in changing these old voices and beliefs, and you will eventually notice an automatic shift in how you think and feel. Your negative self-talk is not stronger than you, it’s just what you have been functioning from for the longest time to protect yourself. However, you can easily conquer it and silence your inner critic by doing the work, regulating your thoughts and emotions, changing these old/false narratives in your head, and creating more positive intentions and beliefs that actually serve you. It may take some time, but it’s worth every minute.