Just when you start to think about improving your life and doing new things, a voice in your head starts filling your brain with everything that can go wrong. It’s time to conquer that voice forever.
You know the voice. It is that one inside your head telling you that you can’t do this. It is the one that says the meanest things — things you would never dream of saying out loud to anyone else. And yet, there it is. Every time you start to dream big, this voice says “You won’t be successful.” “You are going to fail.” “You don’t know what you are doing.” And so on.
And the voice is you. Your own thoughts.
Those thoughts should be easy to dismiss, but they are the main reason that so many talented and inspirational quit before they actually get going.
This negative self-talk cuts to the core. It reminds you of all the things that have bothered you about yourself. It knows you better than anyone… and it knows how to cut you down and stop you in your tracks.
It’s how the brain was designed. It’s supposed to keep you from doing anything dangerous. And although improving your life isn’t exactly dangerous, your brain feels like it is, so it goes on the attack.
She tells you that you are incapable, that you are not smart enough, that your thighs are too big, your arms are too flappy and crepey, or that you are unlovable. She is ruthless. She says things to try to break your true identity down. And if you continue to let her talk to you this way, you won’t be able to live your purpose or reach those beautiful goals that you know you truly deserve.
That kind of thinking is not going to serve you.
It’s time to end that negative self-talk forever.
One reason self-talk is so powerful is that it is directed squarely at your true identity.
We all experience various negative thoughts throughout the day, but negative thoughts that produce intense feelings of anxiety, sadness, despair or incapacity are the ones that are related to the trueness of who you really are.
Self-talk is all about identity.
Negative self-talk attacks your essential self and positive self-talk uplifts and confirms your essential self.
When you realize that the negative voice is attacking your essential self and divine identity with the sole purpose of stopping you from reaching your true potential, you can finally take back your power. When you become aware of where your negative self-talk is coming from, you can easily conquer it.
There are two main triggers for negative self-talk.
The first trigger is fear of failure.
If you fail at something (or fear failing) the mean voice in your head might start telling you that you’re not good enough, or that you shouldn’t even try. When you listen to this voice, you start to doubt yourself and might actually stop trying.
When you hear these destructive thoughts over and over, you may start to believe them. You may start to identify with the thoughts that you really aren’t good enough or worthy enough to go after your dreams. The result? You stay where you are. You stay in your fear and never become who you were truly meant to be.
The second trigger is a personal attack by another person.
It might be your boss. It might be a family member. It could be some random person on the internet. Regardless, another human being attacked you in some way that challenged your true identity. Whether it was name calling, saying you’re incompetent, insensitive or conceited, these comments can really be hurtful. And even if you don’t really believe what they’ve said, for some reason, the mere fact that it’s been put on the table and the words have been put out there, you feel attacked personally, and then your own negative self-talk pipes up again.
How can you conquer this negative self-talk forever?
When the negative voice shows up in your thoughts, ask yourself what part of your identity it is attacking. When you see the connection, you can absolutely stop it in its tracks. It’s being aware and saying, ah, there you are. I see where you came from. I see what you are trying to do.
And then you remind yourself of who you are.
Yes, it really is that easy.
But you have to plan in advance, so you are ready.
It’s really important that you do this before you have any of these triggering events happen again.
You may be familiar with affirmations that help you manifest good things into your life. Those kind of affirmations are awesome — but identity affirmations are different. Identity affirmations are specifically for negative self-talk.
In order to win against such a worthy adversity, you must be prepared. Start by writing down at least 10 qualities that your true self has. They should be empowering, kind, and uplifting.
Now, make this list readily available. Keeping it as a note that you can easily open on your phone seems to work best (because you will usually have your phone with you). You can add to this list whenever you remember another good quality that you are. Ideally get up to 50 or more — but start right now with at least 10.
Here are some examples:
- I am calm.
- I am peaceful.
- I am kind.
- I am talented.
- I am good.
- I am just.
- I am confident.
- I am lovable.
- I am worthy.
- I am worth it.
This list should consist of the qualities that you know represent you in the truest sense of your soul. This is not what anybody else thinks about you. If you know that deep down you are a loving and kind person, then add those characteristics to your list.
Here’s how it works.
When you experience a trigger like fear of failure or a personal attack, immediately open up your list and read these identity affirmations to yourself out loud.
It may seem like nothing, but the calming effect that this will have on you is nothing short of miraculous. Is it going to make that triggering event go away? No, it’s not. Will it affect how that triggering event makes you feel? Absolutely.
Why does it work? Because the trigger attacked your identity. You can immediately set it right, because you know who you are.
When you have this tool at hand, you can immediately remember. And that mean voice will have no control over you anymore because when you read your identity affirmations, you immediately reset your true identity.
Use your list whenever you are feeling doubtful or confused, or even just sad. There’s something so powerful about remembering who you are, the divine and beautiful and wonderful person that you were created to be.
Gina Kershaw, JD, MBA, is a Morning Routine Expert based in Newport Beach, CA. She is an Amazon best-selling author, and the host of the top-rated podcast Your Today Story. She is a frequent motivational speaker at private retreats and workshops, and has been a featured speaker at Alt Summit and Mom 2.0. To learn more you can find her at ginakershaw.com or on Instagram @ginakershaw.