Eliminate Negative Self-Talk — A Pledge

Leaving NST Behind

Here’s a reminder about how to get started getting rid of negative self-talk. The three A’s. Look them over, think them over, and make a choice about whether you want to do it or not! Then I’ll post some beginning ideas for women who want to change into realistic thinkers.

Breaking the negative self-talk habit doesn’t require a 12 step program — even if you’re addicted.  It starts with the three steps below. Then you’re ready to try out different techniques and discover which ones work best for you. We all need more than one technique. What works for me may not work for you. It’s good to have a repertoire, different outfits to try on for different situations.

Here are the 3 A’s — the starting point. • Acknowledge without judgment,  “Yes, I may over think, like many other women.” The term comes from the book Women Who Think Too Much by Susan Nolen – Hoeksema Ph.D. and identifies the process of growing negative self-talk, from a simple statement to a huge tangled, intertwined bundle of self-criticism.

    • Accept as truth that negative self-talk generally increases stress, insecurities, self-doubt, and fear. The voice of NST is never a tool for increasing confidence, productivity, or the “will to lead”, Sheryl Sandberg’s term from her book, Lean In. If negative self-talk was actually effective at producing positive change, women wouldn’t still be putting themselves down at age 30, 40, or 50. Many of us started with the NST habit as young girls and perhaps we now see it in our daughters or nieces.
    • Allow yourself to accept the risk of changing your thinking habits. The worst thing that can happen is that you find breaking the NST habit and making the new realistic thinking habit takes longer and requires more effort than you’d planned.

Next blog post will focus on cognitive restructuring and cognitive reappraisal, intricate words to describe some well-researched, solid techniques to start dumping the NST habit — if you choose to do so.

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