Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Negative Self Talk and How It Can Relate to Poor Self Esteem and Social Phobia

In clinical practice, one of the biggest problem I see are folks with the core belief that, "Iam not good enough".  Now, when you couple this with a bit of anxiety, then this can lead to a fear of being judged.  Taking this a little bit further, this can then lead to social phobia.

Often, people do not know where their core beliefs came from.  It maybe from their upbringing.  Partly, it maybe from their own temperament, past traumas, or from their own negative self talk. They often are very self critical, and would say horrible things to themselves like, "Iam stupid", "Why did I do that", "Why am I so useless", and so on.

When asked if they would say these to their best friend, the answer is often "no".

So my challenge to people is this.  If you don't say this to your best friend, then don't say it to yourself.

I think that during our childhood, when we were critical of others, we often get in trouble from our parents or teachers, as it was socially unacceptable.  We may get instant feedback from the person we direct our criticism towards.  However, when we did this to ourselves, no one was there to stop us, and hence, the habit is perpetuated.

So next time you catch yourself being very self critical, stop, think before you do.  Be kind and compassionate to yourself.  You certainly do not require a permit for that!

It is also very important to be mindful of your own children's self talk, and help them to be more aware of it.  Try to help them change their own self talk into something more positive and helpful.

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