Negative Self Talk: Definition, Consequences and How to Stop It

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Everyone has an internal judge. This tiny voice can occasionally be beneficial and keep you focused on your goals, such as when it warns you that the food you’re going to eat is unhealthy or that the action you’re about to take might not be a good idea. Nevertheless, this voice can frequently do more harm than good, especially when it descends into overwhelming criticism. This is referred to as negative self-talk and may be very depressing.

Most people occasionally engage in negative self-talk, which can take many forms. If folks ‘re not cautious, it may also cause stress for yourself and those around you. What you need to identify about negative self-talk and its impacts is provided here.

Table of Contents

What is negative self-talk?

Negative Self Talk
Photo by Giulia Bertelli

Thinking or speaking to oneself when using certain words and phrases is known as self-talk. Self-talk can occasionally be beneficial for keeping you focused toward aims, such as by telling you that the food you’re going to eat is unhealthy or the action you’re about to take might not be a good idea. Positive self-talk, on the other hand, will appear more like an inner critic.

There are several ways to engage in negative self-talk. It can seem realistic such as “I’m not that competent at this. Therefore, I shouldn’t really bother trying it,” or “I cannot do anything right!” or it can seem downright wrong.

It could appear to be a reasonable assessment of the circumstance (e.g., “I just cleared that test. It can start out as a positive statement (“I guess I’m really not smart in a subject”) and quickly turn into a negative one (“I’ll definitely fail this semester and never be accepted into college.

What causes negative self-talk?

Negative self-talk can stem from stress, low self-esteem, and anxiety can be a symptom of a more serious mental health issue. But you can also be engaging in bad self-talk because of your habits.

These practices include:

  • Not addressing issues in relationships
  • Unhealthy practices
  • Too much lonely time
  • Not getting help
  • Failing to take care of oneself
  • Ignoring the effects of your negative self-talk
  • Surrounding yourself with pessimists
  • Any methods above might lead to negative self-talk if you practice them frequently.

Also Read: Why You Should Surround Yourself With Positive People

Consequences of negative self-talk

Negative self-talk can have some terrible impacts on us. 

Negative thinking may cause a reduction in motivation and an increase in despair. It’s essential to stop having this negative inner conversation because it’s even been connected to depression.

Negative self-talk might make it harder to see opportunities and less likely that you will take advantage of them. This implies that the increased experience of stress results from both the feeling and the resulting changes in behavior. Other repercussions of negative self-talk can be as follows:


Perfectionism is one of the results of negative self-talk. It’s insufficient to qualify as terrific or good in this situation. You have to be flawless.

Your life may be significantly impacted by this demand for perfection, which can also lead to more stress. 

Limited Thinking

How frequently does that little voice in your mind tell you that you are incapable or not good at all? You’ll eventually begin to believe the relentless notions running through your head.

Also Read: 15 Tips How To Fall In Love With Yourself

Physical Symptoms

Your biochemistry and hormones can alter as a result of the ideas you have. You may start to have bodily symptoms as a result of this.

You can also encounter digestive or gastrointestinal issues as one of the physical symptoms.

Impact on Relationships

Your interactions with others might be impacted by negative self-talk. You could come out as demanding or insecure if you have these thoughts.

Additionally, having these beliefs can make you withdraw and communicate poorly. This may affect your bond with your kids if you have any.

Your child will pick up that attitude if they regularly witness you condemning yourself. Knowing how to treat yourself is necessary to assist a youngster with negative self-talk. 

Depressed Feelings

Depression symptoms may result from negative self-talk. These emotions may lead to a destructive cycle of more unfavorable self-talk. 

How to stop negative self-talk?

Here are some typical strategies for ending the cycle: 

  • Pay attention to and notice what you’re talking to yourself.
  • Consider whether that is real.
  • Tell yourself that opinions are just that—opinions! Say, “I’m thinking that…” This can help to put the thought into perspective.
  • Assign a name to your inner voice. It’s not just simpler to realize that you don’t have to accept if you think of your internal voice as an external force. Still, it can also be less intimidating and simpler to see how constricting and even absurd some of your complicated feelings can be.
  • Consider your opinions in a larger context. There is constantly room to think more deeply about this idea in a broader context.
  • Consider: “What could be a more beneficial thought?”
  • To what friend can you tell this? Would you prefer a close friend to say these things to you, or will you tell them out loud to friends?


If you discover through your own efforts that you are engaging in negative self-talk and has got the chance to fix it by applying some suggestions or methods, you might want to confront the concerns with the guidance of those who can guide you further.

Psychologists frequently assist individuals in comprehending their own ideas, teaching them, and providing them the tools they need to keep having a more optimistic internal dialogue to lead their lives and accomplish their objectives.

Reach out to a professional if you’d like to speak with a therapist more to see what you can accomplish.

Develop your confidence starting today with a FREE Discovery Call 
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Picture of Vivien Roggero - Elite Transformation and Executive Coach
Vivien Roggero - Elite Transformation and Executive Coach
Vivien Roggero, an Elite Transformation and Executive Coach, specializes in high-performance coaching and personal transformation, guiding professionals to peak success and fulfillment. With decades of experience, Vivien empowers high achievers, executives, and entrepreneurs through mindset shifts and strategic development.
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