Self Talk: negative or positive

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    Sep 28, 2011 4:12 PM GMT
    So one thing that I am really working on nowadays is stopping the incessant negative self-talk that goes on in my brain. You know? That voice that says "Those other dudes are hot and cool and they wouldn't want to hang around you." or, "You can try that new sport/hobby/trip but you dont have what it takes so you should just quit now before your embarass yourself."

    Does anyone relate to this? If so, have you counteracted it? Do you have positive self-talk? Do you encourage yourself and if so, how did you come to be able to do that?
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    Sep 28, 2011 4:13 PM GMT
    Avoid gay bars. (I'm not joking).
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    Sep 28, 2011 4:20 PM GMT
    Alpha_Muscle saidSo one thing that I am really working on nowadays is stopping the incessant negative self-talk that goes on in my brain. You know? That voice that says "Those other dudes are hot and cool and they wouldn't want to hang around you." or, "You can try that new sport/hobby/trip but you dont have what it takes so you should just quit now before your embarass yourself."

    Does anyone relate to this? If so, have you counteracted it? Do you have positive self-talk? Do you encourage yourself and if so, how did you come to be able to do that?

    You're one of the nicest and hottest guys I know. I can't say I have much advice to offer, but you're awesome, and you should know that!
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    Sep 28, 2011 4:52 PM GMT
    Scruffypup saidAvoid gay bars. (I'm not joking).


    Do you relate to this at all? Can you explain?

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    Sep 28, 2011 5:08 PM GMT
    I do it all the time. My parents were always hypercritical of me and my brother when growing up. In many things I do, I always hear their nagging criticisms: "Your skin is too dark", "You could have done better", "Why do you want to take up that hobby? It's useless!", etc. It's damaging and prevents me from doing a lot of things. I'm learning to shut it out, and one way I do that is to mentally yell back "SHUT THE FUCK UP!" to the critical voices.
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    Sep 28, 2011 6:08 PM GMT
    "The Self Talk Solution" by Shad Helmstetter
    "What do you say when you talk to yourself" by Shad Helmstetter
    "The Power of Positive Thinking" by Norman Vincent Peale

    Start there. Put it to work moment by moment. Catch yourself when you "oops". Get right back on the horse and keep trying.
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    Sep 28, 2011 6:11 PM GMT
    GAMRican said"The Self Talk Solution" by Shad Helmstetter
    "What do you say when you talk to yourself" by Shad Helmstetter
    "The Power of Positive Thinking" by Norman Vincent Peale

    Start there. Put it to work moment by moment. Catch yourself when you "oops". Get right back on the horse and keep trying.


    This sounds like something you have faced? or someone close to you?
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    Sep 28, 2011 6:15 PM GMT
    Trollileo saidAre-You-Fucking-Kidding-Me-HD-by-Crusier


    Yes? You have something to say?
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Sep 28, 2011 6:16 PM GMT
    It can work either way.... I've done both and it's always better if you encourage proactivity than a bunch of negative bunk.
  • irishkcguy

    Posts: 780

    Sep 28, 2011 6:22 PM GMT
    Alpha_Muscle saidSo one thing that I am really working on nowadays is stopping the incessant negative self-talk that goes on in my brain. You know? That voice that says "Those other dudes are hot and cool and they wouldn't want to hang around you." or, "You can try that new sport/hobby/trip but you dont have what it takes so you should just quit now before your embarass yourself."

    Does anyone relate to this? If so, have you counteracted it? Do you have positive self-talk? Do you encourage yourself and if so, how did you come to be able to do that?


    I used to teach a high school sport psychology class and we dealt with self-talk in it. It's a matter of being aware of your own thought process and then being in control of it.

    During training when you are exerting yourself and feeling a degree of discomfort or even pain, be in control of your thoughts. Don't think about how much something hurts, instead think of how much better you're getting.

    If you're in a competitive situation and something goes wrong, don't allow yourself to think negatively. Let's say you're playing in a close football game and the QB throws an interception. If the team believes the game is lost then it most likely is.

    I think this is something people can be aware of and learn to do more of in their everyday lives. It's not an original idea, but you often can't control events in your life. You can only control how you respond to them. If you believe you will fail, you probably will. Be in control of the way you think and think positively.
  • dancedancekj

    Posts: 1761

    Sep 28, 2011 6:24 PM GMT
    I surround myself with logical, positive people who can boost me up when I get down on myself, or help me figure out a different way of thinking of the problem.

    I need the most help when it comes to problems with boys.. that takes a lot of discussion, some late night ranting. But they are able to offer me a different, external view of the situation and of myself, and I am eternally grateful for them for doing that.

    Sometimes it just takes a different or fresh take on the situation to help you get over the self doubt and overcome it.
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    Sep 28, 2011 6:29 PM GMT
    Yeah, I trained myself out of the negative thought pattern a couple years ago, but it has crept back. Need to keep it in check as a ongoing process!
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    Sep 28, 2011 6:33 PM GMT
    I think sometimes it can help be modest and humble...however when it gets to the point of self damaging then you need to stop.
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    Sep 28, 2011 6:34 PM GMT
    I think everyone can relate. Self-doubt is part of being human. I know I'm always thinking that I want to do or look better, but thinking that alone (1) won't change it and (2) does nothing for my outlook on life. I accept failure as a part of life and move on from it. I treasure both successes and failures and I use self-doubt as a motivator to work harder. What's the worst thing that can happen if you try something? You fail or get rejected. That isn't a reflection of who you are, just what you may have done wrong.
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    Sep 28, 2011 6:39 PM GMT
    kandsk saidYeah, I trained myself out of the negative thought pattern a couple years ago, but it has crept back. Need to keep it in check as a ongoing process!


    Tell me how you went about it.

    And to the other guys out there who are saying, "Eh, get over it!" On behalf of people who struggle with this the thoughts aren't rational. They are often irrational. When you walk into a situation and have a powerful thought of "Everyone is laughing at me. Everyone is looking at me and thinking 'what a loser" that thought is NOT based upon observation or facts. It is an irrational thought that is random.

    What I have discovered is that I have allowed this type of thinking to shape how I behave and I want to stop it. It sounds like some of you have been successful. That is encouraging.

    I also thank GAMrican for the book suggestions. Helpful!
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Sep 28, 2011 6:46 PM GMT
    I've always shot for the strict rational approach and strictly rationally speaking: So what? If you f' up or get rejected it's not really much of a loss, if you don't take a chance you know you're never gonna get much of a win.
    So yeah, I sometimes have to consciously remind myself to put my self-consciousness at the door, try best, learn from my mistakes, and keep at it. Besides, people aren't generally as judgmental of us as we are of ourselves I find. And, as a pseudo-aside, while tastes vary from person to person few people that you'd want to be with don't value reasonable confidence. If you don't have that, you're shot. Just take your chances and take your licks along with them. Have fun ;)

    As for how you get out of the pattern of negative and into positive: virtue is a product of habit. You just make yourself do what you think you ought to, eventually it get's easier, and when it's not, you make yourself do it anyway. ;)

    "He who asks is a fool for a moment, he who doesn't ask is a fool for a lifetime." - nominally a chinese proverb that my parents told me when I was very little and has generally influenced my aproach to sticking my neck out in life icon_cool.gif
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    Sep 28, 2011 6:54 PM GMT
    You might also want to find a psychotherapist who is a CBT specialist. CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) is based on the theory that irrational thoughts lead to problematic behaviors. It seems right up your alley. A properly trained CBT therapist will teach you to manage those thoughts.
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    Sep 28, 2011 7:21 PM GMT
    Alpha_Muscle said
    Scruffypup saidAvoid gay bars. (I'm not joking).


    Do you relate to this at all? Can you explain?




    Yes, I can absolutely relate to this. One of my first jobs was as a bartender. I was told by another bartender that I could make three times the money working in a gay bar. So I applied and got the job. I cannot describe to you how much negativity I witnesses working there. Most of it comes from seemingly innocent comments about the looks of others....who's hot and who's not and why. Your brain quickly learns what is expected of you to be considered one of the "hot" ones. Suddenly, without realizing it, your brain will begin to repeat these same patterns, even when you're not in these other people's presence. Once this negative cycle is activated, it continues until you actively put an end to it. And that's not as easy as you might think. This is why I said to avoid gay bars. A gay bar is (usually) where the most shallow gay men congregate. Even the most emotionally healthy male will not be able to withstand this environment without damage to their self esteem. It's my belief this is why there is so much rampant drug use and alcoholism in the gay community.

    How to correct it:

    Cognitive Behavior Therapy is the quickest way to change your internal dialog. Purchase this book ----> http://www.overstock.com/Books-Movies-Music-Games/The-Feeling-Good-Handbook-by-David-Burns-Paperback/66268/product.html?cid=202290&kid=9553000357392&adtype=pla&kw={keyword}

    Reading this book will do nothing to help you. You must DO the exercises listed in the book. If you do these exercises regularly, your negative internal chatter will quickly be silenced. Forget the cheesy title....this book is GOLD.
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    Sep 28, 2011 7:25 PM GMT
    Yep, I tell myself it's the guy's loss because I'm not photogenic and have a personality to get the juices flowing and make you shut me up by kissing me.

    But yeah, I have a lot of insecurities and after highschool, decided I was too awesome to hold myself back

    SO, I started telling myself that I have a boyish charm about me and that I have a ridiculously sexy personality every morning until I started to believe it.

    I have, and I'm my own mental bootcamp sergeant when I doubt myself.
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    Sep 28, 2011 7:41 PM GMT
    I read two books to understand what was happening, how the brain works and what is needed to correct it. "The Brain that Changes Itself" by Norman Doidge is about neuroplasticity and explains how such negative feedback loops are formed and can be broken. "My Stroke of Insight" relates to neuroplasticity and is very inspirational.

    I found that breaking the negative feedback loop has little to do with a positive attitude and everything to do with diligently interrupting every negative thought before it registers in your brain. If the negative self talk is a voice in your head, think of it as silencing the voice before it finishes its sentence, and throw away that negative fragment. You need to practice this for a few months before your brain will rewire and get rid of that negative pathway, if I remember correctly. You might feel like you're teaching yourself to not think at all.
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    Sep 28, 2011 8:32 PM GMT
    kandsk saidI read two books to understand what was happening, how the brain works and what is needed to correct it. "The Brain that Changes Itself" by Norman Doidge is about neuroplasticity and explains how such negative feedback loops are formed and can be broken. "My Stroke of Insight" relates to neuroplasticity and is very inspirational.

    I found that breaking the negative feedback loop has little to do with a positive attitude and everything to do with diligently interrupting every negative thought before it registers in your brain. If the negative self talk is a voice in your head, think of it as silencing the voice before it finishes its sentence, and throw away that negative fragment. You need to practice this for a few months before your brain will rewire and get rid of that negative pathway, if I remember correctly. You might feel like you're teaching yourself to not think at all.


    That actually makes a lot of sense. When you affirm or use positive self talk, or visualization in sports, it can help your behavior but it only masks the negative self talk and sometimes can reinforce it or strengthen it. This tactic, modality seems to work to stop the habit, and I do believe it is a habit.
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    Sep 28, 2011 8:59 PM GMT
    Alpha_Muscle saidSo one thing that I am really working on nowadays is stopping the incessant negative self-talk that goes on in my brain. You know? That voice that says "Those other dudes are hot and cool and they wouldn't want to hang around you." or, "You can try that new sport/hobby/trip but you dont have what it takes so you should just quit now before your embarass yourself."

    Does anyone relate to this? If so, have you counteracted it? Do you have positive self-talk? Do you encourage yourself and if so, how did you come to be able to do that?


    Positive self talk is essential for mental and physical well being - read the work of Martin Seligman from the Penn Institute for practical trips on eliminating negativevself talk - he is the world's leading applied researcher in this field of psychology

    You have a lot to be optimistic about - cheers
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    Sep 28, 2011 9:10 PM GMT
    I don't really think that there is anything I can't do, but I'm kind of the least attractive person in my family so I think I have to work on being more confident in the way that I look I guess.
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    Sep 29, 2011 2:10 AM GMT
    I will correct
    "You always fuck it up"
    with
    "now, now, you fuck it up sometimes, but there was that time when you didn't"

    I think positive self-talk is just as false as negative, and both set you up to be wrong. Neutral truth is the way!
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    Sep 29, 2011 2:13 AM GMT
    There is no way i will get rid of negative self-talk... i also do not want to use positive self-talk, as I believe it is a cause for pride and attitude, and gives you a smug sense of ego... not to mention, studies have shown that optimism usually leads to worse performance, because pessimists are more critical and will try harder...

    the best self-talk, studies have shown, is questioning self-talk:

    "can I do this? Can I improve myself here?".. etc