Identify Strengths

Is Negative Self-Talk Affecting Your Self-Esteem & Self-Worth?


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Your Inner Critic is a powerful voice battling to destroy your self-worth and dignity. Throughout your life, your Inner Critic surfaces many times. It appears when you have made a mistake and feel terrible about it. It doesn’t matter how low you are, Inner Critic will show up to join your pity party. Likewise, when you realize your dreams, there’s Inner Critic again, making you doubt yourself and your accomplishments.

How often have you seen something like an opportunity, a new job, an advertisement to run a marathon, or a course you’d love to take and felt a spike of excitement? But then did you immediately squelch your enthusiasm because you thought “I’m no good at that,” “I probably wouldn’t get it,” “but I’m not that sort of person?”

I had a conversation about this with a friend the other day. She recommended me for a position and I immediately had some self-doubt. My immediate thought was I wasn’t good enough. See, even I have to fight against negative thoughts. But, that’s the key. We had to immediately dismiss those thoughts and believe in ourselves.

The torture of negative self-talk can erode your confidence and leave you with a constant dark view of your qualities and capabilities. This self-view is not just bad for your self-image – it can build up an edifice of self-doubt that can stop you rising to challenges, making the most of your talents, or just having fun. And it’s just not true. You are amazing because there could never be another you!

If you only focus on your failures, you’re giving them an importance they don’t deserve. You’ll never give yourself the chance to be your best you. If you habitually “catastrophize,” you can be unconsciously working towards creating the worst happening.

You can choose to turn this around – try these three techniques to halt your Inner Critic in its tracks.

1. Notice Your Self–talk

What is it saying, what is it focused on? Whose voice can you hear? Our subconscious messages are often formed in early childhood – when your Inner Critic’s scripts are laid down. What information were you given then? Were you told you were untidy, careless, stupid, no good at math/spelling/reading? What was your label in the family?

2. Demand Evidence

Who says you’re no good at x? No one is perfect at everything – it’s ok to have weaknesses, it’s human. But they don’t have to define you. Write down all your skills. What are your talents? Are you an exceptional planner? Do people love your thoughtfulness or your cooking? Are you good at chairing meetings or giving presentations? Are you not good at creative writing but excellent at technical writing? Focus on the things you’re good at and if your weaknesses bother you, make a plan to strengthen them. But don’t let them define you.

3. Change the Record

Close your eyes and imagine your Inner Critic yapping away as usual. Now shrink him down to size and put your hand up to stop him from talking. Hand over the list of your skills, talents and positive traits, and tell him that this is the new script. His role now is to remind you of these. Exaggerations, focusing on the negative, and down-talking will no longer be tolerated and from this moment on, will be ignored!

So stop it! Just stop it! You have the power to control your inner voice. You have the power to speak positively over your life. And, regardless of what happens to you, you make the decision on how to respond.

How do you encourage yourself when that negative inner voice creeps up in your head?

Tags : how negative talks affects usinner criticthe affects of negative self-talk
Kesha Holloway

The author Kesha Holloway

Kesha Holloway is the founder of Living in Your Sweet Spot. She is passionate about being a wife and mother and desires to align herself with women equally passionate about their families. She believes the woman is the backbone of the family unit and it's her mission to help lift women to achieve their purpose.


  1. We can be our own worst enemies!

    That being said, we have to love ourselves before we can truly love another. I hope that would be enough to stop the negative talk!

    1. Yes! We can be our own worst enemy and we can also be our best cheerleader. We definitely need to love ourselves more.

    1. Tanvi, sometimes we can be doing our best job excelling in everything and then one thing will happen that throws us off of our game. Then that negative voice creeps in and we totally forgot how wonderful we were all those times before.

  2. We are our biggest critics and how we feel about our own selves is the most influential thing of how we respond to life.

  3. So true Kesha and I really like the idea of demanding evidence. That should keep those darn negative voices inside my head quiet for a bit.

  4. When I heard negative inner voice creeps up in my head, I stayed calm and think of positive thing to combat the negative voice. I agree we have the power to control our inner voice, mingle with postive people and stay away from negative people. Stay in positive vibes.

  5. Absolutely amazing post! And I can connect to it because I do it a lot too. Self doubting is a second nature to most of us, and it shouldn’t be.

    ♡ XOXO♡ •

  6. This is such a great post and definitely one I can relate to. I think we all self doubt like its a habit when we really should love ourselves apologetically

  7. Oh that was the ruin of my life when I was a teenager! I felt awful!! but when I was about 17 I killed that voice. I never heard it again. What really helped me was a mix of self confidence boost, some sudden “click” in my mind, and my religion. I think I put on God a lot of things that were weighing loads too much load for a 17 year-old girl. I was blessed and although I went through some harsh times later, I can say the strongest column of my life has been my self-esteem. Because if I’m not indulgent with myself, if I don’t love myself unconditionally, WHO WILL?

    1. I think that it is so great you were able to do this at 17. So many teenagers struggle with this and they take these negative voices into adulthood with them. I call it arrested development. When you see a 35 year old acting like they are 15. Parents should be teaching their kids early how to deal with their mistakes and to not allow those negative voices to make them feel as if they are worthless.

  8. Such a thought-provoking post, this. I am my own worst critic, and my negative self talk has definitely affected how I live my life.

  9. I do believe negative talk is damaging to one’s health, and I applaud your approach to identifying, understanding, and correcting it.

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