Recognizing negative chatter in your head
Negativity can sneak into our lives in a lot of different ways. For example, have you ever found yourself dreading a meeting that you were really excited about? Or maybe you've complained about something that you're "supposed" to do? This is negativity in our self-talk. We need to be aware of it and process it as it comes up because it can start to take over if we don't. Negativity ruins my day a lot. And I always think that if this is happening to me, it's probably happening to a lot of people I know (you), too! So let's help each other eliminate the negativity in our self-talk. It all starts by recognizing it and then processing it as it comes up.
If you're not sure how to recognize negativity in your self-talk, here are a few examples of situations in your life that are probably riddled with negative chatter in your head:
- You find yourself making excuses for why you can't do something
- You start to dread doing something that you used to enjoy
- You find yourself complaining about things more often
- You start to feel like you have no time for yourself
- You say yes but then wish you said no (even though you want to say yes)
- You raise your voice at the people you love
- You miss deadlines at work
- You commit to something and then don't follow through
Once you've recognized that the negative chatter exists, it's time to start processing it. This is kind of a multi-step process because processing your negativity means evaluating why you're feeling this way (and then changing what you can and learning to accept the things you can't change).
Negativity is a way of masking true feelings. Is there something that you're afraid of? Is there something that you don't want to do? Are you frustrated with someone or something specific in your life?
I'm gonna be honest...figuring out WHERE your negativity is truly coming from is hard. A lot of times I feel like I just can't put my finger on the source. You might feel like that, too, as you start evaluating your own negative self-talk. So I've got an exercise for you and it requires a sticky note...
Don't complain about ANYTHING for the next 24 hours. And when you do complain, put a checkmark on your sticky note.
That's right. No complaining in your head or out loud. Let your sticky note serve as a reminder of how often negativity pops up in your day-to-day.
The goal here is not to be perfect but to be AWARE of the negativity in your life so that you can start to process it and eventually eliminate it.
If you find yourself putting down a checkmark for something you were ALREADY negative about that day, jot it down on the back of your sticky note. Once you have recognized the things that repetitively bring up negativity, I promise you the source will reveal itself.
For me, the things that bring up negativity often point to a too-full schedule, lack of time with God, feeling like my kids' ball games are my only social activity, a personnel issue at work, or a big decision that I haven't had time to pray over. Guys...the amount of negativity that sneaks into my life is sometimes unfathomable. But it always points back to one of these things.
Because I've pinpointed the root feelings, I have started to build habits and boundaries in my life that...
...help me manage my "yes" so my calendar doesn't get too full
...give me more dedicated time to quiet time with God
...help me recognize the benefit of being so involved in my kids' sports
...help me lead with love
...encourage me to lean on God more for big decisions
Give this a shot. 24 hours, no complaints. I always love hearing from you guys, so if you wanna chat, I’m just a click away.. And be on the lookout for a blog later this month that will help you truly process these deep-rooted feelings.
NEW EPISODE! Owning the Wait Podcast
EP78: Meet the new fit-flavors Registered Dietitian
I am excited for you guys to meet Nikki. Nikki is our new licensed and registered dietitian at fit-flavors. Nikki has a bachelor's of science in nutrition and in kinesiology and a master's in multi-disciplinary health. She has five years of experience in the field, and her personal nutritional philosophy focuses on the balance of all foods, a lifestyle of sustainability, and supporting people to become the healthiest versions of themselves.