Most people have dealt with some sort of negativity their entire lives. Negative experiences start during childhood and continue throughout our adult lives. This is a normal part of life that we all deal with. Too often though, our thoughts become negative as well. Even more troubling is when we start talking to ourselves in a negative manner. This negative self-talk is one of the most limiting behaviors one can deal with.

Use these tips to help overcome it:

1. Distinguish between negative thoughts and critical thinking. We need to have a certain amount of self-critique, otherwise we will never believe that we are doing something wrong. However, you need to recognize when that critiquing becomes negative self-talk. When you can distinguish between these, it will lead to a better situation.

2. Accept failure. If you like to beat yourself up whenever you fail, you are in for a steep road ahead. You will fail, and you will do it many times in your life. Embrace this as a gift rather than a burden. Try to view failure as more of a lesson learned. Tell yourself that you just learned what doesn’t work.

3. Repeat daily affirmations. Look for affirmations that fit your current life situation. Use these as often as you can. Try repeating these affirmations every day. You could write them out on a piece of paper and keep them close. The idea here is to program your mind for positive thinking. The more you keep at it, the more natural it will become. Ideally, those negative things you tell yourself, will eventually be taken over by your positive affirmations.

4. Limit your exposure to people who are negative. These people thrive on negativity and enjoy dragging others down with them. If you cannot avoid them altogether, spend as little time with them as possible. You already struggle with negative self-talk, so you don’t need them adding more negativity. If you spend more time with positive people that build you up, your negative self-talk will naturally reduce.

5. Learn to see the good in people. If you are always thinking negatively of others, it makes sense that you will more naturally think negatively about yourself. Being more open minded towards others will help you be more accepting of your own flaws as well. Be mindful of your judgements.

6. Strengthen your self-belief. Negative thinking often occurs due to a lack of belief in yourself. When you strengthen your confidence and self-compassion, it will help you get through those times that bring you down.

7. Negative thinking is a choice.

Even though you have been bombarded with it since you were a child, thinking negatively is something you often choose to do. Conversely, positive thinking is just as much a choice as negative thinking. Choose positive thinking. This isn’t an easy quick fix, it takes a lot of work and practice.…so start now with these action steps below.


1. What to Say When You Talk to Your Self

2. Talk to Yourself Like a Buddhist

3. Enough: Silencing the Lies That Steal Your Confidence

4. 365 Days of Positive Self-Talk

5. Me, Myself, and Lies: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself

Liz Fuhro, LPC, LPCC

Licensed Professional Counselor - MO Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor - CA 314.529.0010 |

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