Controlling the Negative Self-Talk

Negative self-talk can be very difficult to manage especially when taking on new challenges.

Do you have a negative and self-doubting internal voice that seems to want to take control at times?

My negative and doubting self-talk (Ms. Negative) can be so loud at times when I am stepping outside of my normal character.

I recently accepted my husband’s challenge to attend a two-day motorcycle safety course to obtain a motorcycle operator’s license. Of course, my husband was so excited and thrilled. I, on the other hand, was hesitant, fearful, and nervous. I never operated a motorcycle. So, this was definitely a challenge for me.

Immediately, my negative and self-doubting internal person began to talk randomly leading up to and during the class. I became extremely aware of the negative talk and counter-reacted with positive and confident thoughts as much as possible. Honestly, it was hard to do at times. I would tell myself it would be fun riding a motorcycle. Ms. Negative would laugh and say, “Remember you must learn to shift the gears without stalling. The bike could fall on you as you go around curves and you could get a broken leg, a bad burn, and/or hit your head…”. Ms. Negative was doing her best to get me to quit.

As a certified coach, I put my “coaching hat” on throughout the weekend class to control Ms. Negative. Truthfully, there were times after I unsuccessfully completed an exercise on the bike and the instructor displayed dissatisfaction, I wanted to quit! “My internal coach” stepped up and asked questioned such as, What is your purpose for attending the class? What would happen if you did not pass the class? What would you say to your son if you quit? What if you passed? My answers to these questions helped me to focus, relax, and enjoy the moment. My husband and my “internal coach” encouraged and praised me. Ms Negative continued to speak throughout the course, but was not as loud. I let her know I was in control and determined!

We all have a little Mr. or Ms. Negative that comes out of the closet at times. The key to controlling the negative, self-doubting talk is to recognize it for what it is and control it so it is not dictating your behavior. It can be used to solidify the reasons for your actions and stretch you to a higher level. The journey may not be fun, relaxing, and peaceful every second, which is OK. It is about learning and accomplishing personal and professional goals.

By the way, my husband and I both passed the motorcycle class and now have our license!!

6 thoughts on “Controlling the Negative Self-Talk

  1. It’s Incredible how persistent Ms.Negative can be! That is some really good questions you share to keep the focus, thank you! I also get caught up with the Ms’s way to often… The pity is if we need to waste all that energy in trying to ‘control’ the annoying Ms.Negative.

    One ways to view Ms. Negative that I have found helpful and less energy stealing, is to actually ignore her and go about your business. It works pretty well in the pub when that ‘Mr.Alittletoomuchtodrink’ tries to strike up a conversation, right? :)

    The good thing about thoughts is that they are actually not solid things. They are more like… smoke… or, like a cloud! A good collegue of mine told mentioned this metaphor; you know when you look out at the clouds from the seat in an aeroplane and the clouds really do _look_ like you could jump of the plane and actually _bounce_ on them! The look solid!
    But they are not.
    It’s the same way with thoughts, really. They are not Solid. They are like clouds, they look solid, we believe they are hard to “move” or get rid of…
    But why not just try not to take Ms.Negative so serious – she is just ‘a thought’, she looks solid, but she is Not. When re-directing your focus to the actual task at hand (instead on Ms.Negativ) she will actually move on and new thoughts will take her place… that is my experience at least – and it’s much less work!

  2. Pingback: Challenging Negative Thoughts - The Real Supermum

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