Negative self talk in modern motherhood is so pervasive that it’s now the norm. It’s more common to be harsh and critical of ourselves than it is to be supportive and loving. This type of negative self talk is harmful to our self identity and to our families. It leads to self doubt, worry, insecurity, anxiety, loneliness, overwhelm, mom guilt, mom rage, and more.

While negative self talk is the norm, it doesn’t have to be the way you live your life. There is a better way. It’s possible to override this negative mindset and change your thinking so you feel more confident, capable, empowered, loving, connected, and joyful.

In this podcast, you’ll get specific steps to identify your negative self talk and exactly what to do to change it. Instead of feeling like you’re at the affect of your self talk, you can feel in charge of it. With more positive and deliberate self talk, you’ll have a better sense of well being and enjoy motherhood more.

If you’re a mom, you’re in the right place. This is a space designed to help you overcome challenges and live your best life. I’d love for you to join me inside Mom On Purpose Membership, my community for moms where we take this work to the next level.

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Full Episode Transcript:

Hi there. Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life podcast. My name is Natalie Bacon and I’m an Advanced Certified Mindfulness Life Coach as well as a wife and mom, if you’re here to do the inner work and grow, I can help. Let’s get started.

Hello my friend. Welcome to the podcast. Today I wanna talk with you about overcoming negative self-talk as a mom. I previously recorded a podcast in 2021 called Self-Talk for Moms, which is a different spin on this and a good addition to this topic. So if you want to learn more about this, you can head on over to that episode after this one. Today I am taking a little bit of a different angle on self-talk in a way that I think will really help you understand it and make changes that really have a huge beneficial impact on your life. Before we dive into that, could you do me a favor and leave me a review or share this podcast? I intentionally do not have sponsorships. I turn them down often. I do not have any sort of advertisements on this podcast and I wanna keep it that way. And all I ask for in return is a little bit of love so that this podcast continues to grow and it can continue to be a source of inspiration and and help for women and moms who need it. Thank you so much in advance.

Now let’s dive into what I wanna talk with you about today, which is negative self-talk. I want to read through some examples of negative self-talk and just ask yourself as you’re listening, if you can relate to any of these. As I read them, I’m not doing enough for my kids. I’m a bad mom because I yelled at my kids. Other moms are so much better at this than me. I can’t balance work and motherhood effectively. I’m failing at keeping the house organized and clean and put together. I should have breastfed longer or I should have done fill in the blank differently.

I’m terrible for doing X, Y, and z. I’m not as patient as I should be with my kids. I don’t look good compared to other moms, I can’t handle the challenges of motherhood. I’m not as involved in my kids’ activities as I should be. I’m not as fun or creative as other moms. I’m not providing my kids with enough educational stimulation. I’m too overwhelmed to enjoy motherhood. I don’t have enough energy or time for self-care. I’m not as organized as I should be. I’m not disciplining my kids effectively. I shouldn’t take time for myself because it’s selfish. I don’t have enough time. I’m not good at managing my children’s emotions and navigating tantrums. I’m failing to instill good habits and values in my kids. I can’t seem to get a handle on this parenting thing. I should be better at this. Why is this so hard?

If you can relate to any of these sentences or maybe you have your own version of them, I want you to know that it is so common and typical and it’s not your fault. You’re not doing anything wrong. In fact, I think it’s the norm in modern motherhood. It’s more common to have this type of thinking, this type of negative self-talk to be really harsh and critical more so than it is to be kind and compassionate. I think if you heard someone being really kind and compassionate to themselves all of the time, it would almost seem odd because it’s so typical for us to be really hard on ourselves. And I think that with these examples I want to bring to light and highlight how thinking this way, having this negative self-talk leads to feeling self-doubt leads to feeling insecure, leads to that comparison trap and feelings of inadequacy and failure. And it’s so important to address it because you can change it. Negative self-talk really negatively impacts so many areas of our lives, and it doesn’t have to be the way. So sometimes I think that when I’m talking about something like negative self-talk, we can all kind of get behind the idea that yes, it makes sense that talking to ourselves in this way isn’t helpful, isn’t the best way. It would be better if we were kinder to ourselves. But I also really want to highlight the specific impact that negative self-talk has on our lives.

Negative self-talk erodes self-confidence and self-esteem. It creates a constant inner dialogue of self-criticism and self-doubt, and it makes us question our own abilities and worth as a human and as a mom, negative self-talk often contributes to guilt and shame. It intensifies those feelings and I think that you can end up getting into that comparison trap of idealized standards or seemingly quote unquote perfect moms leading to a constant sense of falling short or being inadequate. And it’s just a loop. Even when you kind of clean up one area of your life, then your brain fixates on another area because it’s in this kind of negative self-talk cycle that leads to feeling bad and having a lot of mom guilt and a lot of shame. Negative self-talk often contributes to higher levels of stress and anxiety. You can end up feeling overwhelmed by self-imposed expectations leading to heightened stress and constant worry about parenting decisions and abilities and just life overall.

So if you have that negative self-talk going and going all day long, it’s going to be very hard to feel content or to feel joy or to feel happy. Negative self-talk can also take a toll on your mental health. It can contribute to feelings of sadness and hopelessness and even depression. It’s that constant inner dialogue that can exacerbate any sort of challenges that you’re already having. It just makes the challenges worse. Negative self-talk also strains your relationships. It affects your ability to connect with your kids, with your spouse, with other people in your life, family and friends or any sort of support network because you’ll have this dialogue, this, I’m not good enough or deserving of the love of the support. And that leads to disconnection and strain on the relationships. Negative self-talk leads to perfectionism and burnout. When you have a perfectionist mindset, you have these impossibly high standards that you can almost never meet and you put constant pressure on yourself, which leads to burnout and exhaustion and a sense of never being able to measure up.

And again, this isn’t coming from your neighbors, other people, other moms, what’s happening in your family or in the world or with your kids. It’s only coming from the sentences in your head. That negative self-talk mindset is so toxic. You will have a diminished sense of self-care with negative self-talk. I don’t know anyone who is really in the loop of negative self-talk who takes great care of themselves. And that’s because typically when you have that negative self-talk, you end up putting your needs last. You feel guilty for taking time for yourself or viewing it as selfish. And again, this leads to burnout, increased kind of stress and overwhelm and anxiety and just to decline in your overall wellbeing. I think that it goes without saying, but I do wanna mention it here, that when you have those thought patterns of negative self-talk and they’re unchecked and you’re not sort of managing your mind at all to fix them, it really does rob you of the joy and fulfillment that can come with motherhood.

It prevents you from fully embracing and enjoying any moments with your kids because you constantly have this negative mindset. So I think that really recognizing the harmful effects of negative self-talk is so crucial because when you see how bad it is for yourself, for your life, for your family, then you really are more motivated to change it. At least I know that’s been true for myself when I see that, oh yeah, I’m in this negative head space right now and it’s causing me to feel terrible to not problem solve effectively and to show up in my life in a way that I don’t really like and have that negative impact on my family as well. I’m much more motivated to make a change. And that’s what really this is about. It’s understanding that negative self-talk is so detrimental, but you can change it. So before I go into how you can actually change it, I want to just define what negative self-talk is.

I know that I gave you a whole bunch of examples in the beginning, but I wanna be clear that it’s not ever coming from what’s happening in your life. A lot of times we think that because something happened in our lives, like there’s a challenge with one of our kids or our spouse or our home or whatever, the challenge is we think that the thoughts that we’re thinking are just reflecting the truth. So for example, if um, you have something happen in your home and it was an unforeseen repair, let’s say, and you have the thought, I don’t have time, energy, or money to deal with this repair right now, it seems like that sentence is just a reflection of the truth. But that is actually your internal dialogue. It’s your thought about whatever happened in your home and knowing that you have control over the thoughts that you think is the most empowering tool I can ever teach you.

Because how you think creates how you feel. So you can navigate that challenge with the home repair, feeling discouraged and frustrated and overwhelmed and stressed, or you can navigate that challenge feeling confident and empowered and strong and capable. And the difference between the two is 100% dependent on the quality of your thoughts. So self-talk is the internal dialogue or the thoughts and statements that you have in your mind and your brain will always come up with default thoughts and you just wanna question those thoughts. The goal is not to to not have thoughts. We have thousands of thoughts every single day and that’s a good thing. We want to make interpretations, but when we make interpretations of the facts of what’s happening in our lives, in our families, in our homes, in the world, and those interpretations hurt us and they disempower us, that’s when mindset work comes into play.

That’s when taking a look at that negative self-talk is so important. So negative self-talk. It involves the critical self-deprecating and pessimistic thoughts that undermine self-esteem, create self-doubt and contribute to feelings of, you know, worthlessness, anxiety, overwhelm, stress, any of those types of emotions. It often involves distorted thinking patterns such as over-generalizing, catastrophizing, or personalizing situations. I continue to use this work in my own life because my default brain, that primitive part of my brain does like to generalize, does like to catastrophize. It likes to go into that black or white thinking and it really likes to take things personally. So working on my own negative self-talk has been so incredibly powerful for how I show up as a mom. Also though as a wife, as a friend, as a sister-in-law, as a daughter-in-law, and it is work, but it’s so doable. That’s why I’m so passionate about the tools that I teach and I have inside Grow You because without doing this work, I would be miserable.

And because I do this work, I get to feel so much more empowered and have a more intentional life and I get to feel more joy and have more happiness. So I want you to know that that’s what’s possible with changing your self-talk. And the first step is to become aware of your self-talk. That really is the first step. Pay attention to your inner dialogue and identify when negative thoughts arise. This is exactly what I teach you how to do inside Grow You. I have an inner work framework course as well as a mindful journaling course, both of which teach you how to bring awareness to what you are thinking.

The next step is to challenge your negative thoughts, question them, see that they are just optional sentences in your head that your brain came up with. And this allows you to kind of learn from the way that your brain is operating on default and choose intentionally.

And that’s the next step. It’s to choose those next believable thoughts. And if you’re inside Grow, You go on over to the library in the inner work framework course and use that next believable thought download because it will help you really do this process and apply it to your life so that you can create better feeling thoughts. I was just coaching someone who said, you know, I’m trying to think more positively about this and it’s not working. And I said, that’s because you’re skipping the step of bringing awareness to what you’re thinking and to question that thought. And then you create the new thoughts. So often we’re in a rush to have like a positive mindset and that’s where we can get ourselves into trouble because those negative thoughts keep popping back up. So if you have negative thoughts that keep looping, keep popping back up, I want you to know that it’s normal.

It’s so typical. There’s nothing that you’re doing wrong insofar as there’s nothing wrong with your brain, but you can learn the skill of questioning and examining the thoughts that you have so that you can create better feeling thoughts that still feel true for you. It really is a skill and this is what I’m trained in and what I love to help my clients with. So if you want more on that, join me inside Grow You over at

The next step to change your negative self-talk is have self-compassion. This is so hard, right? It really goes against what negative self-talk is. So by definition it’s going to be hard to practice self-compassion if you are someone who is really harsh with yourself. So what I like to do, cuz this is 100% me, is I like to give myself the grace and love that I would give to five year old me. The five year old little girl who is saying mean things to herself like I should have done a better job. I’m not good enough, this isn’t working. And she’s really frustrated. And I talk with myself in a kind and understanding voice, especially during those challenging moments. And I give myself that gentleness that I know five-year-old me would benefit from. It’s like giving myself a warm hug.

The next step to change your self-talk is to set realistic expectations. I was coaching one of my clients and she’s an attorney and she was talking about how she knows this, she’s learned it, she’s been in Grow You for a couple years, and yet she had a new challenge arise and she was so surprised at how it didn’t just click right away. And what I reminded her of was that you’re not ever going to get to a place of perfection. And I think that when we use the analogy of working out, this makes so much sense. If you learn a new workout routine, you can watch it on the TV or on your phone and it looks so easy, but then you go to do it and you’re like, oh, I’m gonna need to do this a few more times before it really lands for me. And that’s the way it is with mindset work. You will do it and it’s something that you can do. I, I wanna say easily, but also it takes practice just like a new workout routine. It takes repetition. This is why you really need to be in a setting that that is ongoing. This is why we go to the gym ongoing or we work out ongoing because taking care of our physical health is never done. Just like taking care of your mindset is never quote unquote done.

The next step is to give yourself time for yourself to practice self-care. This again, will be challenging if you are in that negative self-talk loop because you won’t feel deserving of it. And I want you to know that you don’t have to perform or do anything to deserve to take care of yourself. You are a human being and all human beings deserve care. I just define self-care as taking care of self. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time, it doesn’t have to be a lot of an investment. It can just be enough. It might mean going outside for a walk. It might mean doing some self-coaching. What does self-care look like? What does me time look like? And I think that it’s really important to note that oftentimes when you’re in a negative self-talk loop, it can feel like there is no time.

But then when you give yourself time, even five minutes, it’s hard to turn your brain off because your brain is used to creating that negative self-talk. So it’s not so much the time as it is what happens when you use the time. One of the practices that I love to teach is to kind of get grounded and calm the nervous system down so that you can learn to just be in time just for five minutes and take care of yourself and reconnect with yourself and feel really rejuvenated. Again, this is something that I teach inside Grow You. I would love to have you there and we can go into much more depth, much more than I have time for on this podcast. So with these steps though, you will get an amazing start at sort of um, overcoming negative self-talk, particularly in your role as mom.

When you do this work of changing your negative self-talk and you have a more intentional, positive and deliberate mindset, you will have an improved sense of emotional wellbeing. You will have an increase in your self-confidence and you will improve your overall mood. So you’ll be happie., You will be more relaxed, you will be more grounded, you will feel those feelings more often because you’re intentionally coaching yourself and changing the way that you are thinking, you will also have an increase in your resilience. I like to say that doing this work isn’t with the intent to remove all of your challenges. It’s not to prevent challenges, it’s to prepare for challenges so you will feel so much more prepared to navigate challenges when they arise, said differently. You will have an increase in your resilience. You will be better at problem solving because instead of kind of looping in that negative self-talk that keeps you stuck, you’ll be able to broaden your perspective, think more objectively, and approach challenges with a clearer and more productive mindset.

I touched on how negative self-talk can strain your relationships, and the opposite is also true. When you are in a positive mindset or an intentional mindset, that deliberate mindset, you will improve your relationships. You will be more compassionate, not just towards yourself, but towards others. You will have more patience, you will focus more on connection with your kids, with your spouse, with all of your loved ones. You won’t take things so personally. You will enhance your physical health. The bad stress that keeps you kind of stuck and overwhelmed can be reduced by working on and changing your self-talk to be more supportive. I think it’s so fascinating. The mind body connection and self-talk plays a huge role in that. When you change your self-talk, you will have an increase in your motivation to pursue goals because your mindset will be healthier. You will have more encouraging dialogue in your mind, which means that you’ll be more likely to take action that you want to take for your future.

Overall, you will have a greater life satisfaction. You won’t be thinking that you need to get to the next season when it’s not so busy or when the kids are, you know, X, Y, Z in a different phase. Instead, you will have greater life satisfaction right now, regardless of your circumstances as your coach, it is my mission and my deep desire to help you override that negative self-talk so that you can better navigate challenges and live your best life. I hope that you got a taste of that in this episode, and if you want more, join me inside, Grow You. I would love to help you take this work to the next level. Take care of my friend.

If you loved this podcast, I invite you to check out Grow You my mindfulness community for moms where we do the inner work together. Head on over to to learn more.

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