Somewhere along the way, I developed this nasty habit of negative self-talk. I don’t mean stuff like “You suck at life” or “You’re never gonna achieve your dreams” or “You’re so homely that you should just stay home.” It’s usually me at the mirror washing my face or shaving and thinking about all the things that could go wrong with something I’m working on or someone I’m working with.
And when I say talk, I don’t just mean in my head. Often times words are coming out of my mouth and I can see my facial expressions as if I’m in the heat of the moment. It’s then that I catch myself and wonder what the hell I’m doing, and where is the negative burst coming from?
A few examples of random negative thoughts:
- Getting a negative review in iTunes on my podcast. This is funny because on just about every episode, I suggest people leave us a five-star review if they’re enjoying the show. Yet my brain has decided to imagine the exact review I don’t wanna get: the dreaded one-star. Part of this is because I’m super [particular] about my projects. In the podcast example, I notice little things during episodes that 99.936% of people would miss. Yet I agonize over not catching them the first time and imagine someone putting these things in a review. Asinine. I know.
- Things people may think about my appearance and how I’ll tell them the [hell] off if they ever do comment. I’d go into more detail, but if you ever meet me, I don’t want you looking at these things like “He’s right. His face is highly asymmetrical.”
- Stuff at work. And since someone from work may see this, I’ll leave it at that. Oddly enough, anticipating bad outcomes at work has helped me prevent them. It’s also caused me unnecessary heartburn and strife. #RolaidsOverEverythang I guess. One time I imagined getting negative feedback on something and how I’d rebut it with the utmost facts. Man, I was ready! And…that feedback never came. Yep, I’m definitely on #TeamTums.
I’ve learned not to beat myself up over these moments. The fact that I’m even aware is a win. It’s allowed me to combat the negative self-talk with more positive and sometimes silly responses. For example, “Why are you standing in a towel arguing with the air about something that didn’t happen yet?” Making it ridiculous gets me back to reality quickfast.
And I don’t expect these negative moments to disappear. Everyone has them in their own way. The key is to stay woke about my thoughts and the stories I tell myself throughout the day. Right now I’m winning and I’d like to keep it that way.
Have you ever struggled with negative self-talk? What tools or tricks did you use to overcome?
Writing while washed,