Sunday, July 25, 2010

First Step in Dumping NST — Recognize that You Do It

If you've been reading this blog, you know that negative self-talk is a nasty thinking habit; a consistent pattern of frequent, often automatic, critical inner monologues. “I’m a loser.” “How stupid was that move?” “I never handle these situations the way I should.” “I look like a blimp.”

Today I'm suggesting that the first step in breaking the habit is noticing if you have it! Perhaps you don't have the NST habit. It's easy to find out. Just take a minute as you're getting ready for work in the morning, again at mid-day, and at the end of your workday or after dinner to listen to what you inner voice is saying to you.   You might hear the put down message delivered with subtle whispers, a contemptuous tone, or even intrusive inner shouts, which tell the thinker, “You’re not good enough.” Because women define themselves in terms of relationships, their negative thoughts are often about what other people think of them. “Why doesn’t my best friend/ mother/ lover/ boss/ like/ love/ respect me more? What’s wrong with me?”

We often learn the habit as children, listening to our mothers put themselves down about appearance or abilities. “I have such ugly legs.”  “I never could do math and I still can’t even balance my check book.” We also buy in to family labels: the shy bookworm, a total klutz, the airhead. Girls often adopt negative self-talk by imitating older sisters or girlfriends, thinking it’s the way to act mature.
 For many women, the gray ghoul of self-doubt and disapproval dwells within, from the age of eleven or twelve. Over time, negative thinking’s insistent presence creates submission and acquiescence “I know. I know. You’re right. I messed up again.” The misguided mental behavior is repeated. The habit is acquired.

Just notice, without reaction or evaluation. Strategic allocation of attention can focus attention on your self-talk as well as take focus away when you want to detach. Right now you want to focus on it only briefly to see what's there.Then you want to detach rather than analyze or obsess, just as you might notice that there were clouds in the sky, without further interpretation or rumination. It just is!
First Step in Dumping NST — Recognize that You Do ItSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousJuly 25, 2010

    grey ghoul of self-doubt. Great descriptive phrase!


Tell me what you think!