Simple steps to overcome negative self-talk for good
This blog post will talk about how to get out of a bad headspace once and for all. If you’re interested, keep reading!
Have you ever felt like a squirrel on a wheel, trying furiously to push yourself through life but still not getting anywhere? You’re constantly occupied by your inner voice and judgments—an inner critic in your head that says you’re lazy or stupid or that you’re just not good.
Every day, people communicate in two different ways: they either talk to others or they talk to themselves. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, you spend most of the day talking to YOURSELF!
The good thing is that you always have the opportunity to choose which thoughts you consider important. You have the opportunity to overcome negative self-talk.
The style of language you use to describe things determines how you see experiences and how you participate in them. It strongly influences how you cope with life’s difficulties and deal with problems in a difficult situation.
The good news, however, is that research shows that a positive internal monologue can significantly improve a bad mood, boost confidence, and increase productivity. In fact, it’s one of the cornerstones of a happy and successful life.
The bad news is that the opposite is also true. A negative internal monologue not only makes you feel bad, but it can also make you feel helpless. As a result, small problems can seem big, and they even create problems in places where they didn’t exist before.
Scientists have discovered that thoughts can really change the physical structure of the brain. Just like you repeat an activity until it becomes automatic, a strong and confident inner dialogue will change your life in the long run. You’re starting to influence the biology of your brain.
You can shape your thoughts and change negative self-talk if you’re attentive and consistent with your words and speech. Using the right way of speaking and looking at your problems from a different angle can literally change the way you see and react to the world.
Take a few deep breaths, and let’s try to discover the secret to being in the right headspace when you’re having a bad day.
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Let’s change your negative headspace toward a more positive one
1. Affirmative internal monologue
Practice affirmative internal speech. With affirmative internal monologue, you use expressions like “I am…” or “I accept…” or “I agree…” These are all powerful and commanding forms, not narratives like “I’m going to…” or “I’m probably…”
If you live in the moment and use the affirmative internal monologue, it doesn’t only have a powerful physiological and psychological effect on your mental state, but it also starts working immediately. There is a big difference between “I’m relentless” and “I will be relentless”.
One statement interferes with your life right away, while the other describes what may be coming rather than confirming what’s already in hand.
That’s why you should try to use affirmative monologue in everyday life and notice these times when you use more generalizing and narrative monologue.
2. What are you willing to endure?
You have the kind of life you are willing to endure. Think about it.
What are these problems that ruin the warmth and joy of your otherwise blissful life? Do you hate your job? Are you in a bad relationship? Do you have physical health concerns? Are you struggling with mental health problems?
Okay, find yourself a new job. End the relationship. Change your diet and exercise, or seek help. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Even when it appears that you have no say, such as when a business closes, you actually have a LOT of say in how you decide to move on with your life afterwards.
If you really want to learn how to get out of a bad headspace, you can’t afford any “buts”. You can’t afford them. “But”s are like excess luggage on a trip where you don’t really need a lot of things. There must be no blaming in your life. Even blaming yourself is completely useless.
You must first accept that even though things happen in life without our consent, we’re still 100% responsible for what we decide to do with our lives after these events.
You either control your own destiny or destiny controls you. Life won’t stop when YOU stop and postpone things. It won’t stop because of your confusion or fear. Life goes on without you. The show continues regardless of whether you decide to play an active part in it or not.
3. Are you ready?
To overcome your negative inner monologue, you need to take control of your life. That’s why the first personal principle you should live by is, “I’m ready.” Before you’re ready to say it honestly, you need to ask yourself, “Am I ready?”
In short, are you ready to leave your current life and start the life you want? EVERYTHING starts with readiness. Maybe you’re really not ready. Sometimes, admitting your unwillingness can be as powerful as declaring your readiness.
Are you ready to live with an unhealthy body? No. Are you ready to live from payday to payday? No. Are you ready to endure a relationship that doesn’t work and has no future? No. Are you ready to keep having low self-esteem? No.
This leads to solutions and ignites self-confidence. Only when you’re not ready to simply exist in some way and feel dissatisfied and unfeasible will you make the necessary efforts to change your life and state of mind.
Only when you’re no longer ready to endure all this stuff will you grab a shovel and start digging. Sometimes there’s no better motivation for change than the unwillingness to continue living the old way.
What option would work in your life right now? Are you ready, or are you not ready? Do you understand how non-readiness can be as powerful as readiness? Depending on the situation, both can be equally motivating.
For example, are you ready to find a new job? “Yes. I’m ready.” Are you ready to stay in the job you hate? “No. I’m not ready.” Both statements can be equally effective. It’s your job to determine which approach is right for your personality and situation.
4. You just need to start
Instead of wasting time on what other people have in the present moment, start focusing on what’s important for you and your life. If you replace jealousy with a willingness to change your life for the better, good things begin to take place.
When you finally understand what you’re really ready to do to gain a sense of control, you automatically take control of your subconscious mind and negative feelings that have previously controlled your behavior and led you away from where you wanted to go.
You’ll eventually be ready to change your negative inner voice.
You realize that when you’re ready to do everything you need, nothing else matters. Ask yourself over and over again: “Am I ready?”. Just keep asking, asking, asking until “YES” remains in your subconscious mind.
5. What would you like to change?
So, you’re wondering how to get out of a bad headspace. Think about the things you would like to change in your life. Where would you like to see progress? What do you really want to achieve? Take this goal and divide it into small steps.
What specific things do you need to do to achieve this? What milestones do you need to set to see progress? To lose weight, think about how you should change your eating habits, exercise more, and so on. Think about the daily necessary activities. Turn them into reality.
Don’t stop here yet. Think about how you should think on your path to better physical fitness and also after achieving it. You must relentlessly pursue your goal, especially as these automatic internal dialogues from the past become louder and louder in your head.
Subconscious thoughts are deeply rooted in your mind, so it takes a lot of time, a lot of thought work, imagination, and commitment to turn those invisible but very influential thoughts into ones that are more aligned with your goals.
The better you understand your negative thought patterns, the greater your chance of changing them. Once you have set goals that you consider your own and, more importantly, if you act relentlessly to achieve them, it’s only a matter of time before they become a reality.
6. Scale your problems to change negative self-talk to positive
My negative life experiences don’t aid in my recovery. They also don’t help me enjoy my life. One of the best ways to deal with problems is to change your perspective on problems and the world and adopt a much more optimistic and sensible approach.
Therefore, you should live by another personal principle: “I can do it.” Everyone has their problems, and life isn’t always perfect. But if you’re completely honest with yourself, you’ll realize that your problems are quite insignificant compared to the rest of the world.
Really. Think about it. If you’re reading this, your life will probably not be as difficult as it is for some children in Somalia. Your problems are probably quite small compared to those of your family member who lived before modern medicine, electricity, cars, or laws that would ensure public safety.
You don’t even have to travel to another world or go back in time to make such comparisons. Drive to another city, look around your office or neighborhood, and you’ll certainly find a lot of people whose problems are bigger than yours.
You may not notice it, but it’s the same for everyone. We only see highlights from the lives of others, but we remember and see absolutely everything that’s going on in our lives.
If you roll your eyes and think, “How should this help solve my problems and teach me how to not be negative?” then I answer: it won’t help. It won’t change the tire for you or add another thousand dollars to your bank account.
If everyone around you is dealing with problems even worse than yours, then you can do it as well. I understand. I can say all this stuff, but we know that when an accident happens or you’re just having a bad headspace day, it’s difficult to maintain common sense.
However, everyone’s problems are real; they still hurt, and in the end, negative emotions can suffocate a person. If you feel unwell, take a step back. See if you can see your life as it really is. You have to use your imagination here.
Think about the problems that have happened in the past. Many of them can be very similar to the problems you’re currently experiencing.
You probably felt a lot of the same emotions then. You thought you would never get over your former loved one, that you would never find a better job, and that you would never get over a bad past experience with a good friend. But you survived these things.
You stood up and fought. Looking back, some of these problems may seem silly. All those serious problems probably seem quite different now. In spite of everything, you escaped that dark place, and these problems ultimately helped you become the person you are now.
Deal with the problems one by one, pay as much attention to them as necessary, and move on. You need precision, patience, and discipline.
Work through each problem and come up with a solution. Remember, everything is solvable, and if you don’t see a solution, it means you just haven’t figured it out yet.
7. You can do it
It’s the nature of the human brain to mislead, twist, and distort thoughts in a way that’s not always the most practical. Although people like to think that they are always sensible, this isn’t the case.
Sometimes we’re too close to the subject; we’re too involved in the problems to notice anything. In such situations, you have to slow down, take a step back, and try to understand what’s really going on.
When you finally put things in perspective, you can start living by the following statement: “I can do it.” It doesn’t mean that you have the perfect solution; it just means that you’re in charge of the situation and willing to be in a good headspace.
8. Stop looking for certainty
You’re constantly looking ahead and trying to understand what’s going to happen before things actually happen. Why? Certainty.
People want certainty and want to avoid uncertainty. They want to know what to expect, where to go, and what to wear. They want to be prepared for what’s going to happen. They want security.
If you stick to what’s comfortable for you and always do the same things, you are actually living in the past. You’re not moving on. You repeat things and behaviors that were once risky in your life because you didn’t know where they were taking you, but now they’ve turned into a routine.
Think about it: How can you visit new places if you never leave home? How can you make new friends or build new relationships when you don’t meet new people? How can you do something new if you only do what you’ve always done? You can’t.
Failure is not the worst thing that can happen. The worst thing is not trying at all. Successful and positive people didn’t succeed because they were confident in their success; they succeeded because they didn’t allow insecurity to hold them back.
They ignored their hesitations and worked hard. They worked outside their comfort zone to succeed.
The facts we believed five, ten, or twenty years ago have been disproven. Everything that’s known today may one day be archaic and outdated. If people can’t even be sure of what they know today, how can they know what’s going to happen tomorrow?
You may have noticed that if you try to stay in your comfort zone, you won’t really feel comfortable. There is always this nagging feeling that you could do much more.
There is always a desire to achieve a better life than you currently have. The more comfortable you try to be today, the more uncomfortable you will be tomorrow.
To finally learn how to get out of a bad headspace, embrace uncertainty. Start living by the following personal principle: “I accept uncertainty.”
Remember: all your successes and experiences, all the things you dream of, await you in the face of uncertainty. If you finally accept it, it won’t be so scary anymore.
Although the unknown can do a lot of bad, it also comes with all the good things. It’s full of personal growth opportunities and development. Go out today and grab the bull by the horns; embrace your insecurities. Do things you wouldn’t normally do. Dare to dream; dare to take risks.
When you stop striving for certainty and no longer try to understand everything, a lot of your stress will disappear. You’ll realize that the source of your problems is your endless effort to predict the future and your refusal to accept things if they don’t go the way you want.
9. Stop caring about other people’s opinions
People are very afraid of what their community thinks. The prospect of a mysterious and uncertain wild world is frightening. You will never reach your true potential if you depend on other people’s opinions.
In fact, you could change your life overnight if you just realized that other people’s opinions don’t matter. Life goes on with and without these opinions. This doesn’t mean that you should now become a shameless sociopath and completely ignore other people’s opinions.
If you want to win in life, you have to let others criticize you, but you can’t be affected by that. If you want to achieve something truly great, you have to be fine with the fact that some people may think you are lost or even a complete fool.
Every time you try to achieve something, the opinions of those around you can steer you away from your goal. They say you can’t do it or you’re making a mistake; it’s impossible, and you will fail. The more unique and unusual your goal, the stronger the resistance.
Why? Mostly because people in your life are used to one particular version of you. Resistance comes not only from other people but also from your own thoughts. Both conscious and subconscious thoughts can work against your dreams.
10. Get out of your comfort zone
Look for new ways to step out of your comfort zone. Start with simple things. Go to work taking another route. Instead of taking lunch with you or going to the same cafe again, try a place you’ve never been to.
Start a conversation with a waitress or cashier. Smile and greet people you meet on the street, or just kindly nod to them. Talk to the girl or boy who caught your eye.
Maybe you’re a natural extrovert who does it all anyway. Then think about the things that make you uncomfortable. What things would you like to do but have avoided so far because of your insecurities?
Do these things. Get started now. There is no better time than now. Develop and grow the ability to cope with insecurity. It allows you to enjoy life without the limitations and opinions you usually set.
Don’t stop there. Not only should you expand your comfort zone, you should also destroy it completely. Try to act as you’ve never thought possible before. To get started, do something that’s not like you at all.
Think of the greatest successes of your life. How did you achieve them? Well, you probably didn’t lay on your couch all day. So what did you do?
I may not guess exactly what you did, but I can be sure of one thing: you felt uncomfortable. In other words, you were probably operating outside your comfort zone.
There’s a good reason for that.
The more uncomfortable the situation and the greater the difficulty, the greater the personal achievement afterward. And that’s why great achievements and extraordinary success are so rare. Because most people don’t like discomfort.
Life is an adventure. It’s full of possibilities. Focus on things you can control and don’t worry about things you can’t change.
11. You are not your thoughts
Successful people understand one simple thing: their thoughts and actions don’t always have to be compatible. Your thoughts don’t define you. You aren’t determined by what happens in your head.
If you want to learn all about how to get out of a bad headspace, you have to understand that you are what you do. You are defined by your actions. You don’t have to feel like today is your day; you just have to act like it is. If we stand still and wait for the perfect mood, we’ll never start things.
Taking action is the fastest way to change your toxic thoughts. There are several reasons for this. We know that thoughts can become reality. And if your reality is to act in your best interests, then your thoughts will move in that direction.
Think about it: Your thoughts (and the feelings that come with them) aren’t always in line with your best interests, health, financial status, or potential. Often, these same thoughts and feelings pull you away from your potential.
Your day is dominated by doubt, fear, procrastination, or frustration. You’re in a negative place. You aren’t taking any positive action that will really help you forward in your daily life.
Start working on your tasks without hesitation. Over time, this behavior becomes instinctive, and you begin to take action again, regardless of negative thinking.
12. Focusing helps change negative self-talk to positive
Have you ever noticed that when you stay focused on something, all your problems and negative internal dialogue disappear? When you truly focus on an activity or project, your inner dialogue becomes quieter and quieter.
When you put your thought process to the test by taking action and dealing with situations you normally avoid, your brain begins to perceive the world more cognitively. It’s a great way to get used to living life the way it really is, not the way you think it is.
The next time you have negative thoughts that make you feel powerless and you want to learn how to not be negative, move on immediately.
Take action without thinking about this thought. Act in the way that works best for you, and don’t let yourself be controlled by the way you normally automatically think and feel.
If you want to overcome your fears, don’t sit at home thinking about them. Go out and do something. When you choose to act rather than not act, when you act outside of your automatic thoughts, interesting things happen: you forget everything that bothered you.
When you act, you just don’t have time for anything else.
13. Take action
I want you to do something you don’t usually do. I want you to act regardless of your usual negative and unproductive thoughts. Act according to the moment and situation you’re facing. ACT! Don’t wait for the right mood or a positive mindset. Just act.
Put aside your thoughts and act. There’s no need to prepare yourself mentally. There is no need to wait until everything is perfectly prepared. Just act. Do it now. Of course, your brain tries to tell you to avoid taking action. Don’t give in!
It all depends on taking action. Go out, take action, and take all your negative burdens with you. Things never get better, easier, or clearer. This moment is just here; life is happening now, and there will never be a better moment.
Surf the internet, read books, ask questions, take courses, ask for advice, do whatever it takes to get your stuff together, and start living your life. Get up and get going!
You change your true nature when you put your body and mind to the test, when you gain experience, when you face your fears, and when you work things out. Even if you fail. You may be the smartest person in the world, but it has no value if you don’t act.
Next time you are not in the “right mood,” remember this. Forget it all. You can overcome negative self-talk by just taking the first step. And then take another step. And one more. You aren’t defined by your thoughts. Take action. You are defined by your actions.
14. Be relentless
There is only one thing that will take you forward. This is relentlessness. An impulse that pushes you to keep moving forward, moving and moving and moving, no matter what happens. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the “right mood” or have doubts and worries.
You become relentless when you focus directly on the problem in front of you. Pay full attention to it. Become someone who’s evolving even when the situation seems hopeless. The answer is always there; you just have to find the problem. Then you can move on to the next obstacle.
And focus entirely on that obstacle until you finally overcome it. But then the next obstacle awaits, and then the next, and the next. By doing this, you never have to think about exactly where you’re going.
You don’t have to worry about how long you still have to go. You become a person who loves, not avoids, obstacles, because that’s the key to success and self-growth. You just work on one obstacle at a time, step by step.
Instead of worrying about whether to go forward or turn back, move on relentlessly. There is only one direction for relentlessness: forward. You can’t give up. You can’t stop. You can’t change your plans.
With each exercise, step, movement, and action, you get a little better and move closer to the goal. Even if you don’t see anything happening, something is still happening. Even if you don’t hit the mark exactly, you will still make progress and learn how to get out of a bad headspace.
15. Stop expecting and accept everything
Many difficulties and difficult situations in your life are directly related to your current or past expectations. In fact, you’re more caught up in the frustration caused by expectations than the situation itself. That’s what expectations do.
STOP IT! Leave those expectations NOW! It’s much more effective to accept the unpredictability of life and commit to real situations rather than cling to unnecessary or ineffective expectations.
The world revolves around change. The human mind would gladly predict and plan everything. But this is simply not possible. And these expectations not only negatively affect your emotional state and inner peace but also hinder your abilities.
If you don’t expect anything, you live in the moment. You don’t worry about the future or reject the past. You just accept all the situations that happen. Accepting everything doesn’t mean that you’re fine with it or that you agree with it. You just accept it, and you are the master of the situation.
Next time you feel expectations depressing you, turn things around. Instead of going crazy because things didn’t go the way you wanted and expected, just accept the situation. From that moment on, you’re finally able to deal with the situation.
Come what may. Love the life you have, not the life you expect. “I don’t expect anything, and I accept everything.” It’s a simple personal principle that helps you get out of the world of thoughts and start living your life vigorously.
Problems, obstacles, disagreements, and frustrations are a part of every person’s life. Your goal is to not get stuck, to stay away from mediocrity and drama, to strive for your best self and your greatest potential, to put yourself to the test, and to try to live such a life every day.
Your life, success, and happiness are indeed in your own hands. If you want to learn how to get out of a bad headspace, you need to realize that you have the power to change, let things go, be adventurous, and realize your potential.
Remember, no one can save you, and no one can change you. It’s all up to you, and when would be a better time to embrace these changes than now?
All of your planning, meditation, and sedatives will not help you improve your life unless YOU are willing to take action and change your life. If you want things to go according to your wishes, you can’t wait for the “right mood.” You have to go out and start taking action.
16. Stop persuading yourself and blaming the past
People are constantly persuading themselves. They have all sorts of excuses for why they can’t do anything. The only difference between successful and not-so-successful people is that successful people don’t wait.
They are not waiting for the “right” moment. They don’t expect inspiration or any cosmic force to direct them to take action. They get up and act. It’s the only way to succeed.
Stop blaming the past. Stop thinking that what has been is more important than what could be. Think about why you’re more passionate about the past than you are about the future. You and I both know that only you can set yourself free. People are trapped in their past and childhood.
That’s one of the many reasons you say to yourself: “I can’t.” It’s an easy way to free yourself from your responsibilities in the current situation. It doesn’t matter what happened yesterday or five years ago. You have to forget the past when creating the future.
17. Two steps to freedom
If you’re really ready to change your life and experience the freedom you’ve missed, you have to do two things.
1. Don’t do what you’re doing right now. Easy, isn’t it? Take a look at the things that are the source of your problems—the habits that have put you in your current situation.
If you can’t do anything because you’re glued to the couch and watch Netflix for hours, or maybe you’re too fond of local bakeries, stop it. No, seriously, STOP. Immediately.
Don’t list excuses as to why you can’t do this. If you can’t stop watching TV long enough to get your life in order, you don’t really want to change. That is obvious. To be honest, this is the least you can do.
So which one stays? Netflix or a better-paying job? Pastries or a body you can be proud of? Video games or a loving relationship?
Take a long and thorough look at your life. Be honest with yourself and identify behaviors that hold you back. You have to dedicate all your hours to achieving your goals, without any excuses.
2. Start doing things that will help you move forward. Again, pretty straightforward, isn’t it? It’s not enough to DO a few things to change your life. You also need to work and plant positive habits that will lead you in the right direction.
If you want a new job, take action and apply. Go out and communicate. Search for job postings, talk to friends, and ask for recommendations. Really do those things. Don’t say you do and then still leave everything as it is.
Think about the things you want to achieve. What do you want to do? What do you have to do to get this far? Identify the next steps and stick to these steps at all times.
Abandoning a bad habit will not help you if it’s not replaced by something else—something that works for you and is an example of the new life you really want to live. The old habit must be systematically replaced with a new one.
This is how you forge a new life—the kind of life you have always wanted. When you get rid of bad things, you create space for good things.
The summary of how to get out of a bad headspace
In the end, you still have to take action and start using your knowledge. You have to be ready to act. And accept the uncertainty that comes with it. “I’m relentless” doesn’t mean relentlessly thinking and watching TV.
It means taking action relentlessly, pursuing goals, reacting and failing, and ultimately succeeding.
You have to make a difference. Do it. You have to claim your own success. I can’t do this for you. Neither can your mother, your spouse, or your neighbor. Don’t just read this post, think about it, and then continue to do the same old things in your life. Apply what you have learned.
“I’ll do it later.” No, do it now. “I’m not smart enough.” Stop it. Stop believing this BS and take action. Don’t let your mind control you. Don’t let excuses, obstacles, or worries hold you back. Your thoughts do not define you. You are defined by your actions. You are what you do.
And your actions are the only things that separate you from where you are and where you want to go in your life. It’s not just about taking advantage of the day; you have to use every moment, hour, week, and month. It’s about taking advantage of your own life.
What tips do you use to overcome negative self-talk and get out of a bad headspace? Let me know in the comments below!
I’m a personal growth and self-care expert, as well as an avid motorcycle enthusiast and coffee and sweets lover. Through Lauraconteuse, I provide insightful and practical advice on topics such as self-care, self-love, personal growth, and productivity, drawing from my very own extensive experience and knowledge in the field. My blog has helped countless people achieve their goals and live more fulfilling lives, and my goal is to continue to inspire and empower others.