Overcoming Negative Self-Talk: 7 Habits to Stop Now

overcoming negative self-talk

This is a guest post by Alan Marsden. He presents simple and effective advice to help you achieve confidence, health, and happiness. Join Alan on the journey of discovery at MindBodyAndTech.

We all have our inner voice and use it daily, whether we realize it or not. But it’s not always the best advisor.
Luckily, overcoming negative self-talk is possible by breaking a few bad habits we have.

Who needs enemies?
After all, we do a pretty good job undermining ourselves.

When I look back over the years I’m unable to point to anyone who has held me back. Not one soul.

No one has stopped me applying for a new job, learning a new skill or getting to know someone. The only stumbling block has been me.

My trusted source for advice has been the voice of my mind . If I need advice I would chat to close friends or family but my thoughts are the final arbiter.

This special “advisor” is my constant companion. I don’t need to go anywhere, meditate or do any special preparation. Everyone has this mental narrative. It’s always there, good or bad. This voice is known as self-talk and it’s often negative.

Trouble is, being generally negative, self-talk can instil poor habits. Habits that hold us back from growing in confidence.

The Voice That Instills Habits

Self-talk can create and perpetuate a fear of failure, a fear of not being good enough or of looking stupid.

But why listen to this mental chatter? It’s rarely right. It’s just one big fiction in an over busy mind.

Self-talk will always exist but we can learn to observe it rather than react to it. You can stop it from directing your path and your outlook on life.

Memories Can Perpetuate Habits

I can think of two years in my childhood when I was happy amongst my peers. Much of the remaining time I was at the receiving end of constant bullying.
For example, some children would invite me out to play, then around the corner a larger group would be waiting to taunt me and push me around. I chose friendships cautiously ever since.

I formed a habit of mistrust. Just obeying that voice, that exclaims “They don’t really like me”.

Through its influence on behaviors, the negative self-talk can set you on a path that holds back your development instead of encouraging you to better things.

As intelligent people however, we can learn to form new habits and change the nature of self-talk. The first step is to look out for the habits driven by this negative inner voice so we can start to change our response.

Overcoming Negative Self-Talk: 7 Habits to Stop Doing

1. Believing yourself.

Do not trust the stories you tell yourself. It is fear of the unknown disguised as logical reasoning.

You should still think issues through or weigh up the pros and cons of a decision. I often don’t make an effort to get to know people because I tell myself they’re not interested. This just makes me harder to get to know and I create the disinterest.

2. Day dreaming about the past.

Like the young boy who was asked out to play, don’t dwell on hurtful memories. Occasionally I still visit places of my childhood. (I’m a sentimental guy). But there’s nothing better than sentimental journeys for keeping you locked in feelings from the past. Be filled with gratitude for the present and sense of being alive today.

3. Keeping secrets.

Don’t keep views and opinions to yourself. Don’t be timid about sharing your thoughts on a topic. As long as you’re not deliberately offensive, your views are valuable. You might help others to think of something they’d not considered before.

Your views are as valid as anyone’s so don’t fear rejection. I’ve often held views back in meetings only to see someone else proffer something similar. Why didn’t I speak up?!

4. Resting in your comfort zone.

For confidence to flourish you need challenges. It might be a difficult project at work, a level of fitness to achieve or a new hobby.

Without challenges there is no growth and without growth confidence fades.

If you feel nervous about doing something, do it anyway. Challenge yourself or offer some voluntary work in your community. Helping others will help to grow confidence and open new opportunities.

5. Mind reading.

T.V.’s Patrick Jane (aka The Mentalist), said there is no such thing as psychics. No matter how certain you feel, when you try to imagine what someone is thinking, you’ll be wrong. You’ll feel the emotions generated, e.g. anger, and all for nothing. Everyone endures their own self-talk so try to see past their ego to the real person.

6. Burning the candle at both ends.

An old saying to describe someone pushing themselves too much into work.

Lack of planning or prioritising can lead to a loss of quality time at home and poor sleep. If you’re tired you’ll feel vulnerable. Tiredness drains confidence because you don’t have the energy to succeed. Give your mind and body sufficient rest. A clear mind is more receptive to positive thoughts.

7. Procrastination.

The enemy of progress.

If we keep putting off important things in life, we avoid a sense of achievement.

Not contacting a long time friend, letting our health deteriorate or staying in an unhappy job are examples of “not” doing something. Achieving goals on the other hand, nourishes our confidence. So by avoiding success, we avoid some of the opportunities to feel good about ourselves. We all need to feel we make a difference.

Everyone experiences these issues from time to time, at different stages in life. From the high powered executive to the young student.

Start today and believe more in yourself. Have faith in your own opinions and follow your gut instincts. Remember, there is no one right answer to most things.

Ignore your own negative self-talk and act with confidence. These 7 habits are all things we do to ourselves and that means we also have the power to change. All we need to do is decide, right now, to change the way we think.

You could wake up tomorrow knowing yourself a bit better, expecting the usual thoughts but now you’re ready. You’re ready to smile when you think something negative, but it won’t get you down, you’ll just move on.

Are you ready to start overcoming negative self-talk? What other bad habits do you have that create a negative inner voice?

See also:

9 ways to silence your inner critic
4 ways to stop negative self-talk
How to deal with self-doubt and trust yourself again
6 tips to tame negative thoughts for a less limited life

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How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money - Interview with R.J. Weiss from TheWaystoWealth.com

This is an interview-style post with R.J. Weiss from The Ways to Wealth.

Hey R.J. What’s your background and what do you do?

I blog about all things personal finance at The Ways to Wealth.

Before I went full-time into blogging, I spent ten years in the financial services industry. Specifically, helping families buy the right type of life insurance.

During my time with a full-time job, I’ve always had different side hustles going on. From freelance writing, Amazon FBA, conversion rate optimization, to website design — there were many projects I pursued outside of work.

How did you start your career in finance?

I got started in finance straight out of college working for my the family insurance business. As I love the financial planning side of things, I choose to specialize in life insurance planning. This led me down the path to obtaining the CFP® Certification.

What made you start blogging?

The Ways to Wealth, which I started in 2016, has been my 5th blog.

The others mostly fizzled out most due to a lack of interest. But, in 2009 I started a personal finance blog called GenYWealth.com (no longer around) that had some success.

The idea GenYwealth.com was to write about what I was learning about studying to take the CFP®. The blog was, by all means, a success. I was able to gain valuable knowledge, pass the CFP® exam, earn some extra money and build up a good community.

I then took this knowledge and started a business blog, which allowed the insurance agency I was working for to generate leads.

I started The Ways to Wealth because my passion is personal finance–from investing to travel hacking, I love the challenge of optimizing my finances.

How was The Ways to Wealth born?

I didn’t have much of a plan for starting The Ways to Wealth when I purchased the domain name.

I was actually thinking it would be a niche site, which was inspired by Pat Flynn’s niche site duel. Then, I came across the income reports of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and wisely changed direction to a more traditional blog.

This change came about 6-months after starting to blog.  I did a timeline of the site in one of my income reports.

What worked best when trying to grow the site?

I had a decent knowledge of SEO. So at first, I started growing the site with email outreach. One of the first posts I had about best investing books of all time, had about 15 links to it.

This was nice to start with but was quite slow to build up, as it can take a while to earn Google’s trust.

The big turning point came when I started to understand Pinterest. I spent a few frustrating weeks on the platform, then it finally started paying dividends.

I went from about 100 sessions a day to 1,000, which was huge for me at the time.

How did you get to 3 million monthly viewers on Pinterest?

the ways to wealth pinterest 3 million monthly views

I lay out my Pinterest strategy here. But at the core the idea is to:

1) Write high-quality content that Pinners want to click through, read, and share.

2) Pin to my own and high-quality group boards, with a keyword-rich description.

3) Continue to Pin my best pins across my own boards/group boards, ruthlessly eliminating Pins that don’t perform well.

One thing to keep in mind is impressions don’t mean much on Pinterest. What counts are clicks to your website. So, you want to design not for impressions but clicks.

What aspects of the online business are you outsourcing or automating and how?

The first thing I outsourced was Pinterest design. I’ll design about 30-40 pins a month, so this was big time saver for me.

Of course, it took some work to get going. At first, I hired 5 or so people on Fiverr. I found one decent designer but the work quality deteriorated over time.

I then went to Upwork and posted a job for a  graphic designer. I found a great team down in Argentina, who I’m very happy with.

I’m currently experimenting with working with a ghostwriter. A few of my latest posts have been transcribed from my recording, with the ghostwriter making sense of it all.

I can compile about 3 posts in 90 minutes, then take another 90 or so minutes to prepare them. Saving me around 3-4 hours per post this way.

What’s your main income stream and why do you think it works for you?

My main source of income for the blog is affiliate revenue. It works because the partners I do have are high-quality businesses, who deliver value and solve real problems. This makes it easy to naturally link to such a partner.

When did you start making more than $10K/month and what was the turning point?

My first month over $10K was in January of 2018. In December of 2017, income was around $3,000 and in July of 2017 around $500. So, it was definitely a jump.

What happened then in January?

First, personal finance is at its peak interest in January.

Second, I had multiple Pins go viral.

Third, in November I started driving traffic via Facebook to the site. So, in January I could take campaigns I’d been fine-tuning for a few weeks and scale them.

How do you balance work and family life?

I have a routine I stick to Monday through Friday.

When inside of my designated working hours, I work. When outside of these hours, I’m not.

This is a lot easier said than done. But the thing important for me is not to take work everywhere I go. This means I don’t have any apps on my phone that are work-related (email, analytics, etc..)

What are you 3 best finance tips for newbies?

  • Focus on your savings rate. How much you save is the most important decision you’ll make.
  • Small incremental improvements add up over time. My favorite example is increasing your savings rate 1% every quarter, means you’ll be saving 20% of your income in just 5 years.
  • Study happiness. Become a student on how to increase your level of happiness. The natural result is you’ll want less overtime, making the game of personal finance a lot easier to win.

What books, blogs or podcasts help you stay motivated along the way of growing an online business?

I read a fair amount to keep fresh ideas in my head.

My favorite podcast is The Tim Ferriss Show.

Two blogs I enjoy reading are:

Farnam Street
Barking up the Wrong Tree

And as far as books. I try to read one a week. A few books I would recommend to online entrepreneurs would be:

Deep Work by Cal Newport
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Pin this post if you enjoyed the interview.

Check out my interview with R.J. from TheWaystoWealth to see how he entered the finance niche, started making money blogging, began bringing traffic from Pinterest and monetizing it with affiliate marketing, and is now making $10,000/month from his online business. #blogger #interview #blogtraffic #incomeideas #income