The way we talk about ourselves matters. The average person has 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts a day. These are the things our mind is telling us. These are the words we speak to ourselves. Do you know how many of those thoughts are negative?
According to a Psychology Today article, how we talk and think is not positive. They are overwhelmingly negative. The average person’s thought life is 80% negative. How many thoughts is that? If you only have 12,000 thoughts, you would think 9,600 negative things daily. If you’re on the high end, 48,000 negative thoughts would have passed through your mind.
Over and over again, we repeat these negative thoughts about ourselves. We believe we’re not doing good work, leaving a positive legacy, or are of value.
We tell ourselves this 12,000-48,000 times a day.
Think about this: How many friends would you have left if you talked to your friends the way you talked to yourself?
Overcoming Negative Self-Talk And Building Self-Confidence
Now that you know how many negative thoughts you think in a day, do you want to change? I’m raising my hand right there with you!
I don’t want to continue thinking negative thoughts about myself or others. This line of thinking doesn’t bring me or those around me up.
In fact, these negative thoughts are bringing people down. We’re not to do that. We’re to lift people up.
So, how do you do that?
Identify Negative Self-Talk Patterns
The first thing we need to do is recognize our negative self-talk patterns. These are the patterns that will bring us down. To identify your negative self-talk patterns, do the following:
- Manage your thoughts: Our thoughts control a lot of our actions. If we’re aware of our thoughts, we can reign them back in. Notice when you’re talking down to yourself or when you see yourself engaging in negative self-talk.
- Question your thoughts: Okay, so you’ve had a thought pop into your mind. Do you instantly believe what the thought is? Or do you question the thought? Consider where your thoughts come from. Are they factual or assumptions? When you question your thoughts, you can control them.
- Identify negative self-talk triggers: We all have triggers. Someone’s tone of voice may trigger you to re-experience the times your dad talked down to you. You may go past a place you experienced trauma, and it brings you right back. These triggers can happen regularly. When you know what triggers you, you can begin to prepare yourself to counteract the trigger.
How To Reframe Negative Thoughts
Great, you’ve taken the first steps to control your negative thoughts and build your confidence. But now that you are recognizing the negative thoughts, you need to know how to reframe these thoughts. You can reframe your thoughts by doing the following:
- Challenge the negative thought: You cannot simply believe the negative thoughts that you think or feel. You have to be willing to challenge the thought. This means examining it and figuring out why you think this way. Don’t let the negative self-talk win. Challenge it with facts.
- Look for evidence: Scientists look for evidence as to whether or not something is factual. You can look for evidence of whether or not your negative self-talk is true. Look for examples where you know you did what was good, right, or true. You’ll soon find there’s more evidence for positive thoughts than negative thoughts.
- Be mindful or pray: Mindfulness means you’re there, in the moment. You’re experiencing what is happening, not what has happened. If that doesn’t work, pray. Ask God to take away your negative thoughts. Ask Him to fill you with His spirit. Request that He shows you what He thinks of you. Your mind will begin to change.
4 Proven Ways To Build Confidence
You feel it. You’re cresting the mountain of self-doubt and negative self-talk. There’s sunshine breaking through on the other side of the despair that you’ve felt for so long. This is the time to build confidence. What can you do to build confidence? Try these 4 proven ways to build your confidence.
- Set goals that stretch you but can be accomplished: If you want to build confidence quickly, find things that challenge you but that you can accomplish. I’ve done this in minor home repairs, car repairs, and networking. These are things that stretch me but give me a great feeling when I accomplish them. What goals can you set to build your confidence?
- Discover your strengths: We get so caught up in what we can’t do that we forget what we CAN do. Seek to learn about your strengths. Then work in them. The more you work in your strengths area, the more confidence you will build.
- Find supportive people: You can’t thrive and be confident when you have Debbie Downers and Negative Nancys surrounding you. Find people who will encourage your pursuit of personal growth as you get away from the negative self-talk. These people will hold you accountable but also do it gently.
- Seek professional help: Don’t let this one throw you off. Professional help isn’t a sign of weakness, negativity, or defeat. Instead, this is a way of saying, “I need help and I need to go to someone who can give me professional help.” There are professional counselors who will guide you through your challenges and help you build the confidence you desire.
When you begin to combine all of these things, you will find your negative self-talk diminishes. You no longer have the desire to keep yourself down. Instead, you see a way up and out of the struggles you’ve faced for so many years.
You don’t have to be negative about yourself. You can speak positively and with confidence about who you are. Try these things today and be a more confident person.