How to Overcome Negative Self-Talk

mindset resiliency stress May 10, 2022

It’s workout station number twelve: as many sandbag cleans as you can. I grab the bag, bend over, yank it up to my chest, flip it down, yank it back up, flip it down, and then it hits me… “I can’t do this. It’s too hard.” Then suddenly it mushrooms into “I CAN’T DO THIS. THIS. ALL OF THIS. LIFE.” I dropped the sandbag, darted through the rest of the class, got into the bathroom, and started to cry.


Harder than I can remember crying since my divorce twelve years prior. I sobbed for about 2 minutes (tops?), then told myself I was wasting my workout, to get back out there, and take out my feelings on the workout. There’s no crying in workouts!

I stood up, wiped my eyes, walked back out into the pulsing music, and resumed my workout.

Emotional discomfort is hard. Most of us don’t enjoy it, would prefer to skip it, or will try and rush through it as quickly as possible. If we do let ourselves experience the discomfort, we’ll often beat ourselves up about it afterward.

Research has shown that using “tough love”, criticism or shame does NOT improve outcomes. In fact, it actually makes things worse.

I’d like to suggest some helpful questions when you find yourself heaping on the negative self-talk:

  • What would I offer someone who was literally having a breakdown?
  • Would I shame them?
  • Would I tell them to hurry up and get back to whatever it was they were doing?
  • What would I offer to me if I was a friend or observer who cared about me?

Perhaps you’d offer compassion, empathy, listening, love, support and/or space.

And do you even have to wait for a breakdown to offer yourself these things?

Why not start today…

Have a great week,

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