Dipo Adebayo
6 min readMay 5, 2022

How To Overcome Self-Defeating Thoughts.

woman with voices in her head pointing accusing fingers at her
self-talk- what is rumination self talk- betterup.com

You have a dream to do something of value, to be somebody who makes a mark in the world.

Maybe your dream is to learn a skill, get a degree, or start a business. Perhaps it is to write a book, start a family, or apply for that opportunity.

But as soon as you set out to achieve that brilliant dream, critical thoughts like these race into your mind:

What makes you think you can do that? Really? Are you qualified?

What will people say? What if you are rejected, why bother trying? Save yourself the shame

You failed the last time, you'll fail again. You are a loser, you will lose again.

Sometimes these discouraging thoughts are echoes of words people you respected or loved have said to you, maybe your family, friends, or a teacher. Sometimes, they are echoes of a voice of doubt that came from past failures or painful experiences.

Definition of Self Talk
what is self talk- betterup.com

What do you do when these critical thoughts come like a flood and demotivate you?

1- Change your self-talk

Tell yourself something else that empowers you.

If you often tell yourself that you can’t achieve your dreams because you are a failure, then over time you will believe you are indeed a failure and begin to act like a failure, and that becomes your identity.

What we regularly say we are becomes how we define ourselves (or our identity), and that's because we believe the things we consistently tell ourselves.

Now here's the thing with identity: it's hard to move beyond the level of your identity.

you’ll never rise higher than the way you see yourself

Even if you dream lofty goals, if you see yourself as a loser, your inner critic will drag you down by telling you, "Hey Loser, you have no business thinking you can ever achieve that, you don’t belong up there in the skies with other achievers, you belong down here"

Now when your inner critic says this, you have to silence it with an empowering confession; you can try this or whatever works for you:

"Hey Achiever, you have every right to think you can achieve this goal. You have no business playing small because you are afraid, aim high and soar to the stars, you belong in the skies. You are an eagle, not a chicken!

And it doesn’t matter if you have failed before, failure is sometimes a necessary stepping stone to success, because you get to try again, but this time wiser and more prepared.”

Say this empowering confession until it makes you see yourself differently and makes you feel better about yourself.

effects of positive self talk- betterup.com

It’s important you speak it out with your mouth, rather than just thinking it; its key to fight negative thoughts, not only with positive thoughts, but also with positive words.

If you keep telling yourself empowering and motivating confessions that speak to your identity and tell you the truth about who you are, you will eventually believe them, and once you have the right identity or view of yourself then you are on your way to achieving your goals.

Sometimes, achieving your dreams begins by silencing the inner critic that talks down at you and replacing it with affirmations that empower you and build faith in you.

If you need the greatest archive of Life-Giving & empowering affirmations and promises that speak to your identity and situation, Click this: https://j794q.app.goo.gl/xtVq2CF5tu7wv2S4A

Nur Azura- how to stop negative self talk

For more on changing your self talk, click the links at the end of this article.

2- Change how you see yourself.

Woman by a window looking into a reflection of herself
image by Gerd Altmann

Have you ever looked at the mirror and all you saw was a not-good-enough?

You go through life seeing yourself as never good enough.

Sure, people sometimes say you rock, but you don’t believe them, afterall they don’t really know you; you alone see the real you and all you see is a broken record; life lost its melody a long time ago.

And you lost hope on you.

But I dare you, I dare you to pick yourself up from the floor and give yourself a second chance. Give yourself as many chances as it takes. Don’t believe the lie that you aren’t worth the try.

Don’t give up on yourself.

Yes, you’ve failed a dozen times, but you aren’t a failure. Yes, you’ve been rejected but you aren’t a reject.

You may be covered in dirt but you’re still golden.

Your failures do not define you. Your bad experiences don't have to be the lens through which you view yourself and the world

Change your perspective
change your perspective- paulekman.com

Your life shrinks or expands in proportion to the image you have of yourself and your future.

Don’t expect to succeed if you see yourself as a failure, don’t expect acceptance if you think yourself a misfit

Create an image of yourself and your future from the Bible and make it an anchor you hold on to.

Lift up your eyes from the dark depths of how you see yourself to the glorious hills of how God sees you.

don’t let ants steal happiness

Get excited about who you are and where you're headed.

It just might change your life.

For more on changing your self image, read this: Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right: https://www.leadingteams.net.au/self-talk/amp/

3- Talk to a Therapist: If you consistently talk down on yourself and see yourself in a horrible light, despite your efforts to change this, please see a mental health therapist or a counselor and visit the links below.

For more insight on identity, self-worth, seeing the truth of who you are, and rising above the inner critic, check out these amazing articles & videos and remember to share with others:

12 Videos on Identity that can greatly boost your Self-esteem: https://link.medium.com/cT6eOXlVqmb

How to transcend your Inner Critic: https://link.medium.com/muNP9LdJcnb

The power of positive self talk: https://www.betterup.com/blog/self-talk

Positive self talk: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.calmsage.com/positive-self-talk/amp/

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Dipo Adebayo

I am a water engineer, softskills coach, writer & teen counselor. I write on hope and rising above shame, rejection, fear & failure. Follow on IG @dipoadebayo