Let’s talk about something we all experience but might not always recognize: negative self-talk. You know, those little whispers in our minds that can chip away at our confidence and leave us feeling less than amazing.

Negative self-talk in motherhood can sound like a constant loop of doubts and criticisms. It’s the voice that tells you you’re not doing enough, that you’re failing in some way, or that you’re not measuring up to some unrealistic standard.

None of it is true, and even if it was, it’s certainly not helpful to focus on! So, let’s dive in to exactly how you can overcome your negative self-talk.

What Is Negative Self-Talk?

Negative self-talk refers to the habit of engaging in critical or self-deprecating thoughts about oneself. It involves the internal dialogue or voice that often focuses on weaknesses, shortcomings, or perceived failures. This type of self-talk can be damaging to self-esteem, confidence, and overall well-being.

Negative self-talk can take various forms, such as:

  1. Self-criticism: Constantly berating oneself for perceived mistakes or flaws.
  2. Catastrophizing: Assuming the worst-case scenario in situations and expecting failure.
  3. Comparisons: Continuously comparing oneself unfavorably to others, leading to feelings of inadequacy.
  4. Overgeneralization: Drawing broad, negative conclusions about oneself based on specific instances or experiences.
  5. Labeling: Assigning negative labels or identities to oneself based on past behaviors or experiences.
  6. Mind-reading: Assuming what others are thinking about oneself, usually in a negative light.

Negative self-talk can significantly impact mental health, leading to increased stress, anxiety, and depression. Recognizing and challenging negative self-talk is an important step in cultivating self-compassion, improving self-esteem, and promoting a more positive mindset.

What Negative Self-Talk Sounds Like In Motherhood

Picture this: You’re sitting there, surrounded by toys scattered across the floor, maybe a sink full of dishes, and a never-ending to-do list running through your mind. Suddenly, that voice creeps in, saying things like, “You should have done more today,” or “Why can’t you keep it together like other moms?”

It’s those moments when you catch yourself comparing your journey to someone else’s highlight reel on social media. You start questioning your choices, your abilities, and sometimes even your worth as a mom.

But here’s the thing: those whispers are just that—whispers. They’re not truths. They’re not reflections of your worth or your capabilities. They’re simply the product of a tired mind and a society that loves to make us feel inadequate.

So, let’s shine a light on those whispers, shall we? Let’s bring them out into the open and show them for what they really are: lies. Because you, my dear, are doing an incredible job. You’re juggling a million things at once, and you’re doing it with love, grace, and strength.

Understanding the Impact of Negative Self-Talk On Mom’s Mental Health

All that negative self-talk isn’t just harmless chatter. It can actually take a toll on our mental health. When we constantly criticize ourselves or doubt our abilities, it can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and even depression.

You’ll feel worse about yourself and your life which will have a negative impact not just on you but also on your family, your work, your goals, and every other aspect of your life.

Think about it like this: every time you engage in negative self-talk, it’s like you’re adding another brick to the wall of self-doubt and insecurity. And the higher that wall gets, the harder it becomes to see our own worth and value.

But there’s good news. Awareness is the first step to change. By recognizing the impact of negative self-talk on your life, your can start to break down those walls and build a healthier, more positive mindset (and all the benefits that come with it).

How To Recognize Negative Self-Talk Patterns

Recognizing negative self-talk patterns is like shining a light on the shadows—you might not always like what you see, but it’s the first step to making a change.

So, how do you know when you’re stuck in a loop of negative self-talk? Well, here are a few signs to watch out for:

  1. The Should Trap: Do you often catch yourself saying things like “I should have done this” or “I should be more like that”? Shoulda, coulda, woulda—it’s like a never-ending game of comparison and self-criticism.
  2. All or Nothing Thinking: Do you tend to see things in black and white, with no room for gray? It’s either perfect or a total disaster, right? But life is messy, mama, and that’s okay. Embracing the imperfections is where the magic happens.
  3. The Comparison Game: Ah, the classic comparison trap. It’s so easy to scroll through social media and feel like everyone else has it all together while you’re just barely keeping your head above water. But here’s the thing: those perfect pictures and curated captions don’t tell the whole story. You’re doing the best you can with what you’ve got.
  4. Catastrophizing: Ever find yourself jumping to the worst-case scenario at the drop of a hat? It’s like your mind is wired to expect the worst, even when there’s no real threat. But guess what? Most of the time, those worst-case scenarios never actually happen. So why waste your precious energy worrying about them?
  5. The Inner Critic: Ah, yes, the relentless voice of your inner critic. It’s like having a not-so-friendly roommate who never shuts up. But here’s the thing: you wouldn’t let someone else talk to you the way you talk to yourself, would you? So why do you let that inner critic run the show?

Recognizing these patterns might feel uncomfortable at first, but trust me, mama, it’s worth it. Because once you shine a light on those shadows, they start to lose their power over you. And before you know it, you’ll be rewriting those negative scripts into something a whole lot more empowering. You’ve got this.

Strategies To Overcome Negative Self-Talk

Let’s dive into some tried-and-true strategies to help you reclaim your inner cheerleader and silence that pesky inner critic once and for all.

  1. Practice Self-Compassion: First things first—you’ve gotta treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer to your best friend. When those negative thoughts start creeping in, take a moment to pause and ask yourself: “What would I say to a friend in this situation?” Then, turn those words of encouragement inward and give yourself some much-needed love and support.
  2. Challenge Your Inner Critic: That inner critic loves to play dirty, but you’re not going to let it get the best of you. Whenever you catch yourself engaging in negative self-talk, challenge those thoughts head-on. Ask yourself: “Is this thought helpful?” Often, you’ll find that those negative thoughts are unhelpful and you can find a better-feeling thought to think.
  3. Flip The Script: Instead of letting those negative thoughts run wild, take control of the narrative and rewrite the script. Turn those “I can’t” statements into “I can” affirmations. Replace “I’m not good enough” with “I’m doing the best I can, and that’s more than enough.” It might feel a bit cheesy at first, but trust me, repetition is key.
  4. Focus On Gratitude: Gratitude is like a magic potion for banishing negative self-talk. Whenever you find yourself slipping into that downward spiral, take a moment to pause and reflect on all the things you’re grateful for. It could be something as simple as a warm cup of coffee in the morning or a hug from your little one. Shifting your focus from what’s going wrong to what’s going right can work wonders for your mindset.
  5. Use A Physical Object: A physical object can be a great reminder to focus on the positive. Get yourself a cute new bracelet and wear it as a reminder to practice positive self-talk every time you look at it.
  6. Surround Yourself With Positivity: They say you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, so choose wisely, mama. Surround yourself with people who lift you up and celebrate your wins, big and small. And don’t forget to curate your social media feed—unfollow anyone who makes you feel less than amazing and fill your feed with positivity instead. You can follow me on IG here: @mom.onpurpose.
  7. Join The Mom On Purpose Membership: This is where you can get tools, classes, resources, coaching, and so much more. It’s all designed to help you overcome your negative self-talk and live into the mom you genuinely want to be.

Remember, mama: you are strong, you are capable, and you are worthy of all the love and happiness in the world. So, go ahead and show that negative self-talk who’s boss. You’ve got this!

A Final Note

As you embark on this journey to cultivate more positive self-talk, remember that it’s not about perfection—it’s about progress. Be patient with yourself, celebrate your victories, and embrace the beautiful, messy journey of motherhood with all its ups and downs. By incorporating these strategies into your daily routine, you’re not just changing the way you talk to yourself—you’re transforming the way you see yourself and the world around you.

So keep shining bright, mama, because the world needs your light. You are worthy, you are capable, and you are deserving of all the love and happiness in the world. Keep rocking that positive self-talk, and watch as your inner glow illuminates everything you touch. You’ve got this!