‘Your best is good enough’: How to stop negative self-talk and quiet your inner critic

·3-min read

The Yahoo Life Challenge: Stop Doing It! is about helping you stop unhealthy behaviors and start prioritizing your own self-care. Follow along with us as Danielle LaPorte shares how to change your outlook for the better and work on forming healthy habits every day this week. This is Day 3 of the 5-day Stop Doing It! Challenge.

We all have that harsh inner critic in our heads — the one that doubts our abilities, judges our bodies and accomplishments, or questions whether we’re good enough. Social media has only added fuel to this fire, making it even easier to compare yourself to others and feel like you’re somehow falling short when you judge your real life against someone else's highlight reels.

If you have a habit of saying negative things to and about yourself, you’re not alone. It’s called negative self-talk — and it can take a toll on your mental health and outlook. But there's a way to turn that into positive thinking instead.

“I have some great ideas about some specific things that you can stop doing right away so that more ease and wellness and happiness can come into your life,” author and inspirational speaker Danielle LaPorte, who is a member of Oprah's Super Soul 100 and offers meditations on everything from love to healing and spirituality on Sounds True, tells Yahoo Life.

On Day 1 of the 5-day Yahoo Life Challenge: Stop Doing It! LaPorte gave tips on how to gracefully say no rather than overcommitting yourself in an effort to please others. Day 2 tackled how to stop complaining and focus on gratitude instead.

On Day 3 of the Yahoo Life Challenge: Stop Doing It! Danielle LaPorte offers tips on how to stop negative self-talk. (Photo: Tom Casey)
On Day 3 of the Yahoo Life Challenge: Stop Doing It! Danielle LaPorte offers tips on how to stop negative self-talk. (Photo: Tom Casey)

For Day 3 of the Yahoo Life Challenge: Stop Doing It! it’s all about quieting that harsh inner critic. “We are talking about how you talk to yourself,” LaPorte says. “More specifically, we're going to stop with [the] critical self-talk.”

LaPorte explains that self-talk is that negative voice in your head that says, “‘I should be farther ahead.’ ‘I can't get it right.’ ‘I'm not where I'm supposed to be in life.’ You know this inner dialogue. And sometimes we've got this inner motivational coach that's just yelling at us. And really what would be more ideal is to speak to ourselves like we would to a friend that we love.”

So how can you stop negative self-talk in its tracks? “When you catch yourself in that critical thought, you have to immediately replace it with an encouraging thought. I might be in my kitchen. I might hear myself saying, ‘I'm not good enough at this. I'm far behind.’ And what I need to do is race right in with an encouraging thought, something like, ‘I'm doing my best and my best is good enough.’"

LaPorte continues: "You are doing your best and your best is good enough. You got to catch it and you got to replace it. What we're doing here is we're building a new muscle. It's called the muscle of self-respect.”

Here’s the call to action for today: LaPorte suggests asking yourself, “What's the opposite of criticism? Encouragement. So you're going to create three loving thoughts for yourself.” To do that, LaPorte recommends following some quick guidelines: “You have to feel it in your heart when you say it,” LaPorte says. “It has to be encouraging and you have to believe it when you say it to yourself. You've got this.”

For more great advice, check out Danielle LaPorte on Sounds True.

Video produced by Stacy Jackman.

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