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. 😛
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…
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. 🙂
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. 🙂
By the way I’m listed on Amazon now. 🙂
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.