Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Retro 5: The Three Step Program: Start to Stop Negative Self-Talk

 Another adaptation of a previous early post on eliminating NST. On Friday, March 9th, I'll have info on the 3 primary categories of HELP in breaking the habit: problem-solving thinking, cognitive restructuring, and detachment/distraction. By then you'll be able to find your away around intelligentwomenonly. com and add to your skills in eliminating NST. You'll also find new and previous posts about stress reduction, psychosocial, cultural, and political trends, plus other information related to intelligent women.
 Breaking the negative self-talk habit doesn't require a 12 step program — even if you're addicted.  It starts with the three steps below. Then  you're ready to try out different techniques and discover which ones work best for you. We all need more than one technique. What works for me may not work for you. It's good to have a repertoire; different outfits to try on for different circumstances.
Here are the 3 A's — the starting point.
Acknowledge without judgment,  “Yes, I may overthink, like many other women.” The term comes from the book Women Who Think Too Much by Susan Nolen – Hoeksema Ph.D. and identifies the process of growing negative self-talk, from a simple statement to a huge tangled, intertwined bundle.

Accept as truth that negative self-talk generally does not motivate change or to improve performance. The voice of self-doubt and self-criticism isn’t a tool for increasing self-worth or confidence. If it were effective at producing positive change women wouldn’t still be putting themselves down at age 30, 40, or 50. They would have changed — to be smarter, or thinner, or prettier, or more assertive, or confident and outgoing.

Allow yourself to accept the risk of changing your thinking habits. The worst thing that can happen is that you can't find techniques that work for you right away. And there are always new ones to try out — like the rubber band technique mentioned in the October 24th 2010  post.
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