Buffer Negative Thoughts with Positive Self Talk and Improve Your Self Confidence

Negative thoughts impede self confidence and progress but by developing consistent positive self talk practices, you can easily minimize their effects and make great headway in all you strive to achieve.

You can recognize situations that create undesired responses and even predict their future presence when you begin to understand yourself better. Arm yourself with preparedness. Examine who you are including your personal tendencies, both good and bad, and work to improve upon what will help you become the strong, confident, capable person you desire and achieve success with greater ease.

Nothing has any meaning in life; only the meaning you give to it.

It’s obvious that everyone has negative thoughts but your power lies in what you do with them that affects your self esteem and general outlook on the big and small challenges that cross your path in daily life.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt

If you allow negative thoughts to harm you; They will.
If you allow negative thoughts to help you; They will.

You choose.

Negative thoughts do not harm you but what you say to yourself after the thought enters your head can. Therefore, embrace the power of positive self talk and give greater meaning to your life in response.

The following is a list and brief descriptions of some of the most common categories of Negative Thoughts and Distortions.

1. Assuming: Assumptions are made when you think, often the worst, without asking for and researching the complete picture or even testing the evidence. Like when you ‘assume’ your boss mistrusts you, or has little faith in your capabilities because he didn’t assign you to a specific job that you thought was ideal for you. Without knowing for certain that your assumption is the fact and not a plethora of other possible options. For e.g. You were to be available for a higher priority job in the very near future.

Other assuming self-talk examples:
‘I could never live up to their standards.’
'My boss will hate my report.'
'I won’t be included in the committee because of my education background.'

Be very careful what you believe to be reality when you haven’t included all the information or even attempted the task you are making an assumption about. This behaviour is extremely limiting and truly not effective. Instead, try to recognize your limiting response as it occurs and work to replace those statements with more influential and affirmative ones, as well as more realistic assumptions, if you must make them.

2. Over Generalizing: This is done by over generalizing your thoughts and increasing the intensity with your word choices.

Negative Thought Examples:
'I’m not good at anything.’
'Why play, I always lose anyway.’
'I’ll never do this without making mistakes.’

These kinds of statements are clearly incapable of motivating and supporting self confidence in anyone. It’s easier to note that when we see it written rather than in the throws of the thought process itself. Look for the good in the situation and allow the statement to change to something more positive and supportive.

3. Binning the Positives: When you overlook the compliments that people say to you or counteract a positive comment/ statement with a “but” or another negative and limiting statement about yourself, then you are successfully ‘binning the positives’. Acknowledgement of your good character traits and successes are not conditional. Don’t make them such by continuously counteracting them with your perceived personal limitations.

The next time you find this occurring, even in your head, stop and acknowledge instead. Try saying, “Thank you”. Feel how great it is to have success and personal value, then move on. You don’t need to dwell on either (good or bad).

4. Shoulds: A mentor of mine loved to say, ‘Some people SHOULD all over themselves.’ It is so very true sometimes and often easier to recognize in others than ourselves.


‘I should exercise.’

'I should spend less money.’

'I should have chosen a more appropriate career that pays more money.’

A ‘should’ is an announcement of your inactions as a negative, not in a form that enables support and inspiration but continues to smother your potential. The resulting feelings of inadequacy, hopelessness and frustration become the norm when you practice saying ‘should’ all the time.

Change the ‘should’ to a ‘want’ or a ‘could’ at the very least, to improve your internal dialogue and boost your self esteem to eliminate the drain of the limiting thought process and feelings associated with a ‘should’.

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