Updated: Nov 14, 2020
The negative mental chatter is exhausting to live with. But the worst part, is that because it's inside of you, there's nowhere you can hide to get rid of it. No matter where you go or what you do, it's still there.
You can numb it for a little while with ice-cream, drinks, chilli con carne or Netflix, but at the end of the day, when you're sitting in silence by yourself, trying to overcome that challenge, it will still be there.
Don't try to shut it down
Trying to shut down negative mind chatter is very frustrating because it just doesn't work that way. You can't just ask your mind to shut down from one second to the other. The more you do it, the more annoying it gets. However, this doesn't mean that you are doomed to live with a crappy voice living in your head. There's a solution to it, but it's just not what you think.
The way to treat negative mental narrative is through compassion, kindness and patience. Negative self narrative is simply fear speaking through perfectionism. Sometimes we aim too high, and at the same time, we're too afraid of not meeting our own expectations.
Our mind starts bombarding us with all the possible horrible scenarios that we might end up in. All of a sudden, everything seems extremely hard. Every little idea is accompanied by a reason why it might not work. And there we stay, frozen by our own mind.
This is how you do it
The best way to deal with negative mental narrative is to hear the negative thoughts and see them as simple sentences that are popping out of our thinking brain. There are many analogies that you can use to understand this better. One of them, is to treat them as you would treat a person that is claiming to be true something that you know is not. If you're confident that it's not true, you'll just consider that person a crazy being, and move on with your life. Same goes for negative mental chatter: those thoughts are not true.
Don't believe everything you think
One of the hardest parts of conquering your mind is to learn that all the limiting thoughts are not true. This is the hardest step, yet the most important one. Otherwise, you'll hear the negative chatter and you'll continue to believe that it's true. However, if you, at your very core, know that they're not true, then you can master the art of hearing those thoughts without letting them eat you alive.
So how do you know that they're not true? Because those thoughts are based on the past. They're based on previous failures either of your own or that you've seen in other people. They're based on uncertainty of the future, because maybe you're trying something for the first time, and you feel inadequate.
You future does not depend on your past
But truth is that the only moment that there exists, is this one, and it truly is independent on the past. Your actions are biased by the past as much as you allow them too. But you are for sure not destined to repeat past mistakes just because. You're a person that has accumulated knowledge, skills and experience. You're a person that has sometimes failed, but who has also succeeded many other times.
When negative self narrative is killing you, remind yourself of all the challenges that you have overcome in the past. Think about all those times when you felt tiny and unable to move forward, but you managed to do so. Use those experiences to root yourself and grow over a strong foundation.
Where did your successes end up?
Instead of dueling on your past failures, reflect on your past successes to realise that they were not easy, yet you made it. It's never been easy, but you've still managed to move forward. Now, use that knowledge to build up your sense of security and self esteem. Be kind and patient with yourself. Life is a journey and it's not over until it's over. There will always be more, so practice cultivating your self-love so that little by little, that enemy that's sitting inside of your head, is slowly silenced by the good loving relationship that you start to build with yourself, today.