Tips to overcome negative self talk


Tips to overcome Negative Self Talk

“72% of workers are feeling exhausted and suffering from burnout. But only 15% of leaders feel confident dealing with employees who experience burnout”. DDI Global 2023

The rise of psychologically unsafe workplaces results in a higher rate of burnout- during this time our negative self-talk is at its highest and really packs a punch. Carolyn Grant, Founder.

In the People Plus Science  “Science of Me” series we talk about how our internal thoughts are often the enemy of self realisation, trust, growth and happiness.

Athletes in training know firsthand the struggle against the enemy within, and many athletes speak of their own worst enemy being themselves. To be a successful athlete, one must overcome mental obstacles, self-doubt, and the simple desire to take the easy way.

The same is true of the founders and business owners we work with who often are “going it alone”. Entrepreneurship is often referred to as a “roller coaster” ride and this is often the reason why. The internal struggles are real.

And with the large number of people reporting that they are suffering from burnout (2 out of 3 Australian employees) we are seeing more and more negative self talk as a symptom of burnout, depression and post traumatic stress. Often a factor of burnout is “self efficacy” – a person’s belief that they can successfully accomplish tasks, overcome challenges and achieve goals. When this is compromised self care, consumer care starts to decrease and negative self talk or cognitive distortions starts to increase.

Unfortunately with a new pandemic called “burnout” talking over our workplaces, especially those in health, aged care and education (where services are critical) we also have a low percentage of managers (15%) who feel confident to manage staff suffering from burnout. 

Cognitive Distortions: Cognitive distortions are irrational and biased thought patterns that distort one’s perception of reality. They involve interpreting situations in exaggerated, negative, or unrealistic ways. Cognitive distortions can contribute to negative self-talk by influencing the way individuals interpret their own abilities, experiences, and achievements. For example, someone engaging in “all-or-nothing” thinking (a cognitive distortion) might view a minor setback as a complete failure, leading to negative self-talk and diminished self-efficacy.

Self-Efficacy: Self-efficacy refers to an individual’s belief in their ability to successfully accomplish tasks, overcome challenges, and achieve desired outcomes. It plays a crucial role in motivation, goal-setting, and resilience. When individuals have high self-efficacy, they tend to approach difficult situations with confidence and are more likely to persist in the face of obstacles.

Negative Self-Talk: Negative self-talk involves the internal dialogue or thoughts characterised by self-criticism, self-doubt, and self-defeating statements. It often stems from cognitive distortions, such as overgeneralisation, personalisation, or catastrophising. Negative self-talk can erode self-confidence and reinforce feelings of inadequacy, leading to a cycle of self-sabotage and reduced motivation.

Positive Psychology Approaches to Mitigating Negative Self Talk (Cognitive Distortions) 🌟

When it comes to combating cognitive distortions, positive psychology offers empowering strategies. Here are some techniques to consider:

1️⃣ Cognitive Restructuring: Identify and challenge cognitive distortions by replacing them with balanced and accurate thoughts. 🧠💭

2️⃣ Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT): Cultivate present-moment awareness and reduce the impact of cognitive distortions through mindfulness practices combined with cognitive therapy techniques. 🧘‍♀️🌼

3️⃣ Gratitude Practice: Shift focus from negative distortions to the positive aspects of life by regularly acknowledging and appreciating the good things. 🙏😊

4️⃣ Positive Reframing: Consciously reframe negative situations in a more positive light by seeking silver linings and growth opportunities. 🌈✨

5️⃣ Strengths-Based Approach: Focus on personal strengths and positive qualities to counteract negative self-perceptions and cognitive distortions. 💪🌟

6️⃣ Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with kindness, understanding, and acceptance, replacing negative self-judgment with self-care and self-encouragement. 🤗❤️

7️⃣ Social Support and Connection: Build and maintain strong social connections to receive emotional support and gain perspective. Interacting with supportive individuals who challenge distorted thinking patterns can be highly beneficial. 🤝🌍


Remember, these strategies  can help reshape your thinking patterns and foster a healthier mindset. It’s always beneficial to seek guidance from a mental health professional who can tailor these approaches to your specific needs. 💙

“The Science of Me series is a component of all of our mentoring and training programs. We can only foster the right environment if we have a deep understanding of ourselves”.  Carolyn Grant

Interested in Learning More?

Book a briefing on psychological safety today. Mitigate your greatest risk and drive high performing, thriving teams.