How to Affirm Yourself and Stop The Negative Self Talk?

Today I’ll be talking about your internal monologue and why you need to affirm yourself. I’m dr. Tracey Marks, a psychiatrist, and I  talk about mental health education and self-improvement.  If this is up to your alley, click Subscribe. In psychotherapy, the therapist should be neutral and make herself as much of a blank slate as possible.


 The reason for this is that when you’re presented with a blank slate, your reaction is based on your temperament, your personality, and your inner self-talk. Let me give you an example. Suppose you send someone an email pitching an idea that you hope they like. You’re all excited at what you put in the email, and you’re just waiting to hear back from them, but you don’t immediately hear back.


 An entire day passes, or maybe even a couple of days, and what’s your automatic thought. This is a situation where you’ve put yourself out there, you’ve made yourself vulnerable, and you’re not getting any response. In other words, the blank slate. Person A may think, hmm, I wonder if my email went to her spam folder.


 That’s giving the situation the benefit of the doubt. Person B may think, I wonder if she hates my idea and she’s just trying to figure out a way to tell me. This is a pessimistic assumption. Person C may say,  I made myself look stupid,d  in this email, and now I’ve ruined my chances to get through to this person.


 That’s an even more negative response. So where do you fall? Do you automatically think negatively or positively? We all have blind spots. In a car, the wider the blind spot, the more dangerous the vehicle. Introspection allows you to narrow your blind spot. You won’t be able to get rid of the blind spot completely, but the narrower, the better.


  Here’s another concept. Projection is a defence mechanism whereby we assume there believe the negative thoughts we have about ourselves.  This is one of the ways that you can wallow in low self-esteem. When you have a head full of negative thoughts, you don’t need other people to judge you.


 You have judged yourself and believe that the other person is the one who came up with the idea. Here’s an example: let’s say I tell Joe how busy I’ve been lately and how I’d love to take a vacation. Joe looks at me with a smirk and says yeah, that’d be nice. I think what was that smirk all about?


 He must think I’m trying to get out of work and thatI’m lazy. Now the truth is Joe smirked because he could relate to my desire to go on vacation. He’s been working tons of hours, and he’d like a break. That’s what Joe’s thinking, but I projected my thoughts on to Joe. Now let’s look at my reviews.


 I know how hard Joe’s been working, and I also know that I haven’t done as hard. I just give enough to get through the day, and then I’m ready to go home, and now here I am prepared to go on vacation. I don’t deserve a break, so in reality, I’m the one who believes that  I’ve been lazy at work, but I think that Joe is the one who thinks I’,m lazy, and what’s the evidence for this? His smirk.


 So what’s the problem with this?  Well, it’s problematic on a couple of levels.  One, I’ve assigned negative thoughts to Joe that he doesn’t have and I can build up negative feelings about him and resentments that he doesn’t deserve because they’re based on false information. The second problem ties directly into the issue of affirming yourself.


 So it’s time to lean in here.  When you project negative feelings onto others, you set yourself up for needing them to affirm you and build you up. Projection reinforces your negative thoughts. How do you recognise this in yourself?  Well, let me deconstruct the thing with Joe a little bit more.


 In my interaction with Joe, the real problem is that I feel guilty for not putting in as many hours to replace them with positive ones, but you have to recognise your whole pain point.  So, in this case, I could say to myself,, oh, I’m not lazy. I’m a ha,  worker, but that’s not going to have much impact. Because it might not be correct number one and it’s too superficial.


 My real pain point is that I feel guilty for not working hard lately, and the way to affirm myself is statements like “my worth is not – my worth in my job is not defined by how much I’ve worked lately.  I contribute to the team. They still find me valuable; furthermore, Joe doesn’t have time to keep tabs on me. He’s got his own life. 


Those are the things that could help me kind of blot out the assumptions and negative thoughts that I  have that that I’m putting on to Joe. You have to be able to affirm yourself internally. Needing other people to confirm you makes you too vulnerable and dependent on others for validation.


 Other people have their own needs, and they can’t always lift you and rescue you from your negative thoughts about yourself.  This is not to say that external validation isn’t right. Compliments and recognition are great, and they feel great, but they can’t be required for you to feel whole and complete.


 What are some other ways you could recognise your negative self-talk? A more general approach is to pause whenever you have a negative emotion. Think to yourself, what’s the feeling connected to? Is it something someone said or did, or is it something that someone didn’t say or do?

 Thinking about your negative emotions can help you deconstruct what you’re saying to yourself. Being able to affirm yourself is essential for building up your self-esteem, but neediness also hurts how people interact with you. It’s exhausting to be around someone needy. 


Have you ever interacted with someone who’s easily upset, so you always have to walk on eggshells and tiptoe around what you say? You don’t want to be that person. This kind of behaviour pushes people away.  Then if your negative self-talk is that you don’t deserve to be loved anyway or you don’t deserve anything good to act you when you lose support it reinforces your core beliefs, and the cycle just repeats itself.


 But the truth is, you drove the people away with your behaviour. But if you boost yourself up from within and don’t need others to do it for you, then you attract people to you, and it becomes safe and comfortable to be around you.  This would be the person who can say almost you can say nearly anything to them and they never seem phased.


 And it feels good around a person like that, and if that’s how you are, people will want to be around you. So I’ve talked about two ways to identify your need to affirm yourself: notice when you’re projecting or mind reading and examining your negative emotions. Let me close by saying that all of what I said is not just for the person who’s depressed and has no friends.


 We all have a negative tape that runs in our heads when the time is right, and we all have soft spots that can trigger us to react negatively. So this exercise of affirming yourself can help you entirely overhaul your negative thoughts or simply tweak and refine yourself so that you can become more and more content in peace. 


Thanks for watching it. You made it all the way through. I plan to have some videos or video affirmations to give you some talking points that you can use with yourself to increase your positive self-talk. So stay tuned for that.

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