I have clients who tell me is that there are haters out there, so-called people who judge or criticize what they’re doing. And the presence of these haters causes them to quit working on their new business idea, or they get out of a relationship, or they stop engaging in a hobby. All because they “say” that the criticism from others bothers them and makes them feel self-conscious. The intense feelings of being judged and criticized leads them to doubt their own decisions.
Others have told me that they don’t start projects because they already know that some colleague, or some friend, a family member or some other “hater” is going to throw shade; which means to criticize them. Some people are so paralyzed with worry that they won’t even embark on a new journey or life path out of near certainty that others will comment, criticize or ridicule them. They fail to start or abandon projects too soon, all because they are so worried about what others will think.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, then this article is for you!
Now I realize that given the prevalence of social media in our daily lives it is quite possible that there are people out there who might be hating on you. The reality is, however, that we are normally the ones imagining all sorts of negativity being thrown our way that just isn’t real.
Quite often, the hater is you. Almost all of it is in your head.
By that I mean, the people you imagine would or could say negative things about you have been brought into your mind. In fact, their voice is so loud, you really believe that it’s real. But the truth is, the voice in your head belongs to you. And even if the words sound like something a hater would say, you can choose to listen or not. And even better, you can choose to stop the negative self-talk and release your inner cheerleader.
While you may be tempted to dismiss this as some sort of fluffy affirmation junk, take heed to your inner dialogue for it is what feeds your brain. The negative voice in the head acts like a nasty little gremlin that robs you of confidence. If you put up with negative mental chatter, and accusatory or snarky comments, then your brain is going to remain in the watchful stress-mode.
We must learn to identify, challenge and disprove these negative thoughts and replace the voice in the head with positive, supportive and compassionate thoughts.
Here are five ways to overcome the negativity of your own inner conversation to bring you more peace and set you on the road to greater success and happiness. These simple steps will put your body, brain and mind into a more empowered state.
1) Become aware of the mental script in the background of your life.
Which phrases do you hear most often rumbling through your mind?
Do you engage in any self name calling. For instance calling yourself a dummy or an idiot?
How about the tone of the voice in your head? Is the voice nasty and mean?
2) Question and challenge the voices.
Ask yourself, “Is it true?” And be honest with yourself!
3) Disprove the inner commentary and expose the lies by finding evidence to the contrary.
For example, if you hear an inner voice saying, “I always mess up!” Look for evidence in your life where you did not mess up.
4) Replace the lies with truth.
Remind yourself that you are competent, smart, helpful and worthy of success.
5) Take positive action to affirm your power.
Go out and prove your case. Use your talents and abilities in a way that is meaningful and positive.
The 10-Day Negativity Fast
This activity is kind of like a mental diet. For the next ten days I want you to be aware of your mental chatter and internal dialogue. When you catch yourself thinking a negative or self-critical, derogatory thought, write it down. Challenge, flip and dispute the negative thought. Then replace it with a positive, compassionate thought. By the end of ten days you’ll have a clear picture of the types of phrases you need to debunk and replace with a formal dialogue between your inner critic and a more compassionate part of yourself.
Some of my clients enjoy setting up a punishment for breaking the negativity fast. What could you do to ensure that you won’t let yourself get away with being self-critical or negative? Keep notes about your progress in a journal.
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This is an excerpt from The Orgasm Prescription for Women by Andrea Pennington, MD, shared with the publisher’s permission. For more tips on improving your outlook & mindset, visit AndreaPennington.com
Originally published at medium.com