3 Steps to Change Negative Self-Talk -- By Sharon Burch, APRN

Updated: Jun 28, 2021

Inside your head, do you hear things like “That was stupid” or “I’m so fat”? This negative self-talk is not helpful. In fact, when we criticize ourselves, we pour guilt and shame into our nervous system, which promotes depression and disempowerment instead of evoking the energy to change.

When we listen to, and compassionately translate our negative self-talk to something even more accurate and also more positive, we are better able to connect to the underlying needs we are trying to meet. This practice gives us greater opportunities and energy for making change.

Instead of self-criticism, another way to look at ourselves is to notice what we are feeling and connect it with an unmet need. When we acknowledge we are not meeting our needs, it shines light on the need and our ability to choose among different ways to meet it.

The 3 steps to change your negative self talk are

  1. Notice: Notice the feelings associated with the thought.

  2. Acknowledge: Acknowledge the need that provoked an emotion.

  3. Choose: Choose how to