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- To Stop Negative Thoughts – How do you treat yourself?
I’m in a giving mood today so I’m going to teach you a very powerful psychological trick: How to stop negative thoughts as well as harsh and highly critical self-judgment.
This exercise takes a bit of time. But it’s REALLY worth it if you want to break your awful habit of thinking bad things about yourself and judging yourself harshly for the things you do.
Now, take a moment to really think about the following: How healthy is your self-esteem and how do you feel about yourself?
Do you hate yourself and judge yourself or do you like yourself and love yourself?
Most people judge themselves harshly. Much harsher than they do even their friends!
That’s because of poor self-esteem, which self-respect is a huge part of.
To Stop Negative Thoughts – How do you treat yourself?
Try to answer the following question truthfully:
IF YOU WOULD TREAT YOUR FRIENDS THE WAY YOU TREAT YOURSELF, WOULD YOU HAVE ANY?
If you take the time to really contemplate this question, it’ll reveal a lot of things about you to yourself.
And if you treat others with respect and kindness but treat yourself like crap and can’t extend the same kind of courtesy to yourself – Then you really have a problem.
But I’ll help you with that.
In truth, the ONLY REAL WAY to treat this problem at its CORE so it STOPS COMPLETELY is to develop a high and healthy Self-Esteem. Which isn’t a quick fix and requires a lifestyle change.
You can learn all about self-esteem and how to raise it and maintain it at high levels in my upcoming Inner Game Course called Bulletproof Self-Esteem.
But right now, I’ll show you a neat little trick to SIDESTEP this problem. Which will at least help alleviate the horrible psychological consequences of constantly thinking badly about yourself and judging yourself in a very critical way.
However, this will be like putting a bandage on a massive wound. It will alleviate the symptoms but won’t remove the root cause. So while it certainly helps, I urge you to really tackle this problem at its core to get rid of it completely.
The Practical Lesson To Re-frame Negative Thoughts And Stop Self-Judgment
I’m talking about self-compassion here.
Being compassionate towards yourself is the same as being compassionate towards others. Just much more difficult to practice and takes conscious effort to do so.
For example, can you take a compliment? Can you accept praise from others with grace and gratefulness?
If not, then you’re rejecting yourself because you judge yourself harshly.
But when self-judgment arrives, we can be curious why these feelings arrive WITHOUT TAKING THE CONTENT SERIOUSLY.
Which leads us to the trick of negating self-judgement and re-framing negative self-talk at the same time:
When you start judging yourself, instead start to wonder WHY you have these thoughts.
Put some conscious effort into it and actively CHOOSE to not take the content of your judgments seriously. By doing the following:
When the voice in your head starts with the negative thoughts and the harsh self-judgement, imagine and really visualize the voice coming from someone who you have ZERO RESPECT for.
For example, think of the negative voice that judges you in your head as some petulant little 5-year old kid who’s just a bully and intentionally wants to hurt you with mean words. Or some clown who’s jealous of you. Or some loser who likes to kick puppies and hurt cute animals. It doesn’t matter – just think of the voice as coming from someone WHO YOU HAVE NO RESPECT FOR and who’s a horrible person. And really exaggerate the voice in your head. Make it as WHINY and as CRINGY and as ANNOYING as possible!
So let’s say you have a petulant little bratty 5-year old’s voice saying all these negative things to you. But you know you’re an adult and the kid knows nothing about your life – he’s just trying to hurt your feelings, like any petulant, spoiled little brat would. Because he’s jealous of your life and your achievements, no matter what they are. So the words are ultimately and completely IRRELEVANT.
If you met this bratty 5-year old in real life, you’d pay him no mind. You’d laugh at him and brush his stupid words right off without taking them to heart at all. Because you clearly know they’re made-up, ridiculous and irrelevant bullshit since they’re coming from someone who’s deliberately trying to hurt you.
Which is exactly what you do with this exercise – but in your mind.
Remember, visualization is an extremely powerful practice and studies upon studies provide undeniable proof it works to reprogram your mind and neural connections.
I learned how to do this exercise from a psychotherapist and I like it because it actually helps many people with their constant negativity.
Put in enough conscious practice to make the habit of negative thoughts disappear
Now, this exercise takes some practice in order for it to work.
Because if you have a habit of negative self-talk and self-judgment – it’s already ingrained in you through years and years of bad practice. AND HABITS TAKE TIME TO BREAK AND REMAKE.
Usually, habits take about 8-14 weeks to break and change, according to most behavioral scientists. And depending on the strength of the habit, for some people, if they’ve had negative thoughts of critical self-judgment run through their heads constantly for many long years, it will take even longer to break.
So if you want to cure yourself of negative thoughts and bad self-talk to stop judging yourself harshly all the time, it will require a lot of conscious effort on your part to put this exercise into practice.
EVERY SINGLE TIME you have to catch yourself in the act when these negative thoughts and harsh judgments begin. Then start imagining the above. The little 5-year old petulant kid, or whoever else you don’t respect, who’s words are funny and irrelevant because of reasons. And CHOOSE to ignore the content because you know it’s just stupid and thought out to try and get an emotional rise out of you.
Really imagine this and laugh it off. Or even get angry at the imagined whiny voice in your head and tell it to fuck off with that shit. Since emotions help rewire the brain faster.
Now it’s all up to you. I know it’s difficult to break habits, but if you take the time to do it, it will work.
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