5 Ways to Tame Your Self-Talk

You have self-talk going on in your head all the time. It’s normal.

While some self-talk can help, negative self-talk can make your life miserable. That’s why it’s so important to know how to tame your self-talk.

Where Does Negative Self-Talk Come From?

Negative self-talk is often a product of things you heard from your parents or other authority figures when you were growing up. It’s that constantly critical voice that is always telling you about your faults and failures.

Left unchecked, this self-criticism can discourage you from even trying. Ultimately it can suck all the joy from your life.

Making Friends with Your Inner Critic

Your inner critic will sound a lot less scary if you remember that it comes from a good place. Your self-talk wants to protect you from failure and other possible dangers. That’s why it is so important to, instead of ignoring it, pay attention to it.

You Can Learn to Tame Your Self-Talk

The following techniques can help you break free from the voices in your head. Use them to guide that voice and make peace with it.

Here’s how you can learn to tame your self-talk:


1. Pay attention.

If you’re like most people, your inner critic is telling you things without you even paying attention to what it’s saying. Start changing your relationship by listening to it and then trying to understand what it wants to tell you.

2.  Look back.

When is the first time that you can remember your inner critic talking to you? Does what you are hearing sound like somebody from your past? Your mother, father a teacher? You may have family issues or other personal matters that you need to heal before you can move on.

3.  Embrace the growth mindset.

Professor Carol Dweck tells us we can choose from two mindsets, the first being a fixed mindset the other being a growth mindset.  

A fixed mindset is one that believes you are born with a “fixed” amount of an ability like in basketball or math. A growth mindset is one that believes you can get better with practice. I write about this in my book, “Secrets of the Black belt Mindset”. 

A fixed mindset can result in negative self-talk. For example, maybe you hear your inner voice saying you’re bad at math. For proof, you point to a math test you failed in the third grade. This mindset will keep you from moving forward.

Instead, you can use the growth mindset to tell yourself, “With practice and, maybe some tutoring, I can get better at math.” This will keep you from being stuck with the idea you aren’t good at math and take action to better yourself.

Adopting a growth mindset can enable you to become whatever you want if you’re willing to put in the work to get there.

4.  Create a bigger purpose.

An inner critic can be easier to deal with if you have a bigger purpose. This could be to get an advanced degree. It could be to build a business. It could be to become all you can be as a person to be an example for your children.

When you’re working for something bigger than yourself, you can accept your self-doubts without being overcome by them.

5 Ways to Silence Your Inner Critic

Left unchecked, negative self-talk can take over your life and leave you anxious and depressed. But you can quiet this chatter. Here are 5 things you can do to find relief from your negative self-talk:

1.  Create distractions.

When your self-talk is trying to keep your attention, shift it somewhere else. Take a walk in the park. Read your favorite fiction book. Play with your dog. Spend some time doing anything that you enjoy.

2.  Make space between you and the voice.

You can turn down the volume by imagining that your inner critic is speaking to someone else instead of you. You can have it talk to you from a different perspective like from your elbow instead of your head. Take that negative voice and turn it into a cartoon character’s voice. Do something that helps you make space between you and your inner critic.

3.  Disarm the triggers.

Triggers are those events or people that set you off. Don’t let these triggers bushwhack you. Figure out the situations where your inner critic is most likely to appear. It may be a certain word or a tone of voice or how your boss looks at you. Note the situation or person so you can be prepared the next time the trigger comes up.

4.  List your strengths.

Your inner critic likes to point out your weaknesses. To counter this, write down a list of your strengths and pull it out and read it whenever your inner critic starts talking. This can be anything from” I’m a great baker” to “I’m very organized”. Use this list to throw ice-cold water on the hot flames of your inner critic.

5.  Try mindfulness meditation.

Instead of dwelling on past faults and failures, mindfulness meditation helps you focus on the here and now.  In fact, practicing mindfulness can help you get rid of negative self-talk as soon as it comes up.

If you would like to learn more about mindfulness meditation you can pick up a copy of Modern Mindfulness on Amazon.

You Can Tame Your Inner Critic

By learning to take control of your self-talk you are taking control of your future. Use these techniques to help you create the space you need to prevent your inner critic from taking over your life. You can learn to tame your self-talk! 

Mindful Mastery

Ready to take charge and create a positive dialogue with yourself? Then grab a copy of Mindful Mastery on Amazon today! Take the journey to become more  mindful and develop mastery over your inner thoughts. 

Scroll to Top