Resisting negative self-talk

I have a superb skill.

Let it be known that I am the Queen of Negative Self-Talk. 😳

Look. I’m trying not to be this way. And, compared to my 30s and 40s when my self-image and self-esteem plunged, I have come a loooooong way. I am nowhere near what I was then… but I am not (yet) where I want to be, either. So, in the interest of accountability I will hurl my thoughts on this topic into the social internet. Because this is what I do. πŸ˜›

What led to this revelation today, you ask?

Oh, let me count the ways… (Ugh – maybe not.)

Instead, why don’t I write about how to overcome this stupid thing? Perhaps others feel the same way, and since we’re all here reading blogs, we can help each other.

Let’s start with a definition.

What is negative self-talk?

Negative self-talk is:

  • a type of inner dialogue which limits your ability to believe in yourself thereby preventing you from reaching your full potential
  • any thought that diminishes your ability to make a negative thought into a positive one
  • an inner critic which impacts your self-confidence or self-worth negatively

I suspect many people do this at least some of the time. But if this sort of behaviour becomes your default, well then I think it’s time to attempt some rewiring.

Hi, I’m Writer of Words and I’m a chronic negative self-talker.

You may wonder what happened recently for me to be blabbing about this topic today.

Well, I signed up for some jobs. That’s what started this whole mess.

When I updated my LinkedIn profile, I didn’t actually feel all that… un-hireable? I was career woman once, and I have many skills and work-related experiences. But, I’ve been out of the full-time workforce for a long while (I’m not counting the part-time or contract work I’ve done while in the parenting trenches). When I consult the job descriptions nowadays, I feel overwhelmed and, well, incapable, ill-equipped and unskilled in terms of matching my abilities to the job postings. (I am none of those things; I don’t know why I automatically default to thinking this way…)

So that’s when the negative self-talk happened.

To counter this unhelpful attitude, I signed up for fiverr, saved some potential jobs of interest on LinkedIn to apply for, and consulted a few other job boards. Then I opened an old resume in Word and modified some of its content by targeting it directly to the job postings which interest me.

Again, a feeling of overwhelm and under-qualification suddenly hit me. I mean, I’m a mom who spent the past ten-ish years schlepping kids to the rink or baseball diamond, not develop marketable skills. (I realize this isn’t really true now as I type these words, but let me follow my train of thought here…)

My real problem here is not my lack of skills (I have plenty), but rather my inability to properly market, or sell myself.

I am not a salesperson.

I sat here typing words into my various job profile thingies and wondered, why am I so afraid to take the plunge? What in the world could be the worst thing that happens?

It’s almost rude that I completely dismiss all the work I have done here on this blog.

See? I knew typing this out would help guide me away from the negativity…

Mind-boggling… πŸ˜€

But the job boards still scared me to death. I would work on some application and suddenly feel anxiety that I wasn’t good enough to consider myself qualified for this particular posting.

So, instead of giving up, I walked away from my laptop with my phone and sat outside in mom’s front yard.

But I didn’t come here to wallow and bury my head in the sand. I came here to find a coping mechanisms to counter the negative self-talk. Type something helpful for both me and you (if you need it) so we can get on with it. Right? So let’s do this.

Tips on how to stop your inner critic

There are multiple ways to approach positive thinking, and I won’t outline them all here. Instead, I will show you something I plan on practicing myself more regularly (starting right now).

For instance, when I see a gigantic list of qualifications required for some entry- or intermediary level position, instead of closing the app and crying in the corner that I don’t meet all their expectations, I could pick out the two or three skills I know I’m good at and highlight those in my cover letter.

No one has time to read a multi-page document about your skills; just highlight what appears most pertinent to the job and get on with it. For a negative self-talker, this means ignoring my lack of SEO qualifications and focus on other aspects of my abilities:

  • I write compelling content
  • I have an excellent command of the English language
  • I attract followers who like and comment on my content
  • I provide a safe space for anyone to comment their views
  • I nurture my online community with proactive engagement

It makes me feel validated by degrees that my words have affected my readers and followers of this blog. If even just a third of you like my content enough to read it regularly, it means something. Some of you even like and comment. That’s a perk for me and very much appreciated; I am not shy in letting people know I like their content either. πŸ™‚

So what if I only have a minimally passing knowledge about SEO (or a hundred other skills)? If this is a requirement that I need to brush up on, I can do a quick google or youtube search and take a little tutorial.

That’s how to combat the negative self-talk. That, and focus on the skills I do have.

I have to keep reminding myself:

Everything I have learned about the internet I have learned with the internet (by myself). Essentially, I’m a self-taught WordPress blogger, social media creator, author, ebook self-publisher and a bunch of other titles.

I am a self-starter and self-motivated – everything I know about my activities on the internet I learned myself. And I’m still learning; this is ongoing. Just look at my newest adventures in youtube.

If I can do this here, I can do this elsewhere.

See? This is a good way to eliminate the “but I don’t know how to apply SEO approved terms into my blog posts wah wah wah”. (All this means is I won’t be marketing myself as an SEO expert. So there.)

Ultimately it’s about forming new habits which should, theoretically, rewire our negative brainwaves. If I keep telling myself that I can’t do it, that I’m not good enough, I’m bound to believe it. Instead I should tell myself that I can do it, and I’ve done it before. My book is testament to this – two and a half years ago the idea of becoming an erotic writer wasn’t even a twinkle in my eye. Today, I have sold copies of my ebook. πŸ™‚

By the way I’m listed on Amazon now. πŸ™‚

Perhaps now is a very good time to publish this post, and return to my various online profiles and finish them. And, when I get tired of doing that, I could bring up my latest manuscript I’m working on, continue editing it, and move ahead with self-publishing my second book.

Thank you, as always, for reading my post. Please fee free to share your own tips and ideas on how you deal with low self-esteem, fear of the unknown and bouts of negative thinking.

See you in the comments.

38 thoughts on “Resisting negative self-talk

      1. It definitely does! I had low self esteem for a long time that stemmed from childhood, so it’s taken a lot for me to get to where I am now mentally. Rooting for the both of us to own our uniqueness and value! πŸ‘πŸΎ

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Hey, I thought I was Queen of Negative Self Talk! You tryin to steal my title?!
    lol, but also not really laughing. I had the opposite problems with the jobs. I had no problem making my skills seem fairly attractive to recruiters, but I still feel like an incompetent failure and I find it very very easy to get stuck in a negative self-talk feedback loop. Appreciate you sharing your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this. It just goes to tell us all that the negative self-talk takes on many shapes and sizes… I guess we’ll see how the story ends. The search continues!

      Thank you kindly for taking the time to read and comment. And perhaps we can share the title… Lol. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this post and your self reflection on negative self talk. I am just as guilty over it and struggle. That’s a post for me sometime. I think being a parent gives just as valuable skills as working for somebody, just we seem to live in a world that over values working for someone else/being active economically whilst under playing being a SAHM or following other dreams in life. I hear you though over job hunting being hard when you are looking. And yes, you create content beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for this comment. I don’t know what came over me when I wrote this post because I don’t always feel this way but I do feel like this often enough that it warranted a blog post. I appreciate the feedback. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I suppose when I do finally get a job I will post another one and let everyone know. πŸ˜‰

      Like

  3. Even as a dog I suffer from “what if people don’t like what I write?” and “I don’t think this is going to be interesting but I will put it out there anyway”. I forget sometimes that I write my blog as a release, to try and show people what my life is like and how far I have come in my life since being adopted at Christmas 2013. If people don’t read it, then I don’t know (apart from looking at the number of views).

    Also I think I suffer from Imposter Syndrome. Others are more qualified than me to speak on subjects affecting dogs rescue and adoption, their daily lives, the terrible conditions that some dogs find themselves in before being saved. The list is long of things that I think about and then wonder if I am “qualified”. It is difficult there to self promote myself as I fear that I will be thought of as a failure, unworthy even. I am pretty good at chatting with my buddies on Twitter but on here, sometimes, I have quite a few negative emotions.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do see you on twitter! I love the pics…

      I must get back to blog reading, I’ve been so preoccupied with writing and looking for work and family dis-harmony that I sometimes lose track of all the blogs I enjoy.

      If you enjoy writing your stories, you should. They will be there to read whenever someone finds them, right!!

      Oh, and Tucker says hi. ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. I am sorry it has taken me so long to respond to your kind words. It is no excuse however I have been busy lately and not had the time and yet again the fortitude to write something for the blog. I try to get over the fear of “why happens if people dont like it, or dont read it” but it remains stubbornly in the back of my mind.

        And hello to Tucker. Keep digging those holes and eating the wrong stuff little pal.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My advice about the blog is, write when you feel like it. Most importantly, write because you want to, not because others may or may not read you. See it as a little journal… It’s fun to process the joyful memories on the internet for some lucky hooman to discover one day, no?

        And kindly stop giving Tucker advice. Especially about digging. !!! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I shall try to take your advice on board. I fear my “imposter syndrome” will be with me for a while. I try to find exciting or different subjects to blog on. In the current pandemic state these are somewhat harder to come by. Maybe I am aiming too high or too exciting in my own perception of what I would like to write.

        As for Tucker, he is a beagle so needs no introduction to digging, eating the wrong stuff or generally being a little cute lad who can melt hearts with one look.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Maybe go to your local employment agency and get a recruiter. If you can do that in Canada, I think you can. They can help with your resume, tell you about the job market for your skills, and even direct you to more training available depending on income. You may qualify for things you don’t know about. Go for it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Employment offices-is this where you go in Canada? I guess and they are paid to be helpful. Some are. It is often not the most inspiring place-the state employment office but it will get you started. Out of curiosity, in Canada is it the provinces employment office?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are talking big bucks with the recruiter. My stepson has a recruiter and he also gets six figures plus…most of us just chose a profession or a job and do the best we can. That is US Dollars.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. “I see a gigantic list of qualifications required…” – Think of this as a serving suggestion on a food package.
    “I could pick out the two or three skills I know I’m good at and highlight those in my cover letter.” Well put. This is what they are looking for.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What a good analogy. Yes, I think you’re right. If I can just hang on to this piece of advice and not get overwhelmed when they ask for the world when all I can give them is a district.. πŸ™‚

      Thank you so much for contributing to this conversation.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think most people have the same trouble you do. It’s hard to be a shameless self promoter and resume writing is always a nightmare. Too much info, not enough, targeted phrases. Ugh. It’s enough to make you want to stay unemployed. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “my inability to properly market, or sell myself.” A challenge that is always a roadblock for me in looking for a new job and or being $uce$$ful at my craft. But this post has nailed how to redirect. Bravo

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope you are able to regroup as well, I wouldn’t be be surprised if more people are dealing with the same shit as you. At the very least you have an escape. πŸ™β€

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I still get cringey when I talk or write about my strengths. I am proud of what I can do, and who I’ve become, but self promotion just feels… wrong.

    The thing I use to correct unwanted thoughts or behaviors in myself is “shaming” myself. Like when I set unrealistic expectations, I say to myself “why do you think you’re so special, that you can do more than everyone else?”
    Or like with job application, I would say to myself “yeah, they’re gonna single you out, hold a zoom meeting just to tell you what an idiot you are. The person in charge of hiring will contact you JUST to tell you how unqualified you are, and yell at you for wasting their time.”

    Taking a fear, or challenge and making it absurd helps me realize I’m being absurd.

    Don’t forget to talk to the birds when you’re outside🐦 I’m telling you, they are excellent listeners!πŸ˜˜πŸ’ŒπŸ€—πŸ˜πŸ₯°

    Like

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