Create a Kinder Mind: How to Stop Your Mean, Hurtful Self-Talk

Posted by on October 25, 2015 in Conscious Living, Happiness & Humor, Thrive with 4 Comments

Vanessa Heuser | Tiny Buddha

Self Love Mirror Image

“You have been criticising yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens!” ~Louise Hay


In my quest to learn to love myself I did therapy, read plenty of self-help books, and took personal development courses, hoping I could learn to love myself like I could learn accounting.

This was all helpful; however, when I reached the self-talk stage my progress came to a standstill.

Before then, I hadn’t consciously realized that I used powerfully negative words when speaking to or about myself. I was the first to put myself down, the first to criticize and chastise myself, and my own harshest critic.

Related Article: Stop Negative Self-Talk – Guided Meditation


While this helped me push through some physical and mental barriers and, therefore, achieve things that I never thought possible—such as completing an Ironman triathlon and running ultramarathons—these moments were the exception, not the rule.

I hid behind the excuse that it motivated me in order to justify being mean to myself, perpetuating the cycle. My so-called valid reasons were holding me back from changing my life and loving myself so that I could be happier and more fulfilled.

I recognized that I spoke so terribly to and about myself because I suffered from incredibly low self-esteem.

I was trying to measure up to my own high, unrealistic standards of who I thought I needed to be in order to be loved, approved, and accepted. But these destructive and critical habits were actually in conflict with what I really needed, as they didn’t allow me to give myself love.

I needed to change the way I spoke about myself, and I needed to do it quickly!

I realized I’d formed these habits as a result of both conscious and unconscious decisions I’d made in the past. And if my thoughts about myself came from decisions I had made in the past, I had the same power today to make different decisions to shape the person that I would be in the future.

Related Article: 7 Signs of Good Self-Esteem (and How to Improve It!)

These are some of the tricks and tools that I’ve used to overcome my self-esteem issues and begin speaking to myself more kindly:

1. Journaling.

Before I began changing my self-talk, I had used my diary to vent what I was feeling. It was painful to read what I had written. Among the negative thoughts and feelings were momentous and joyous events, but the painful memories and thoughts overshadowed them.

When I purchased a new journal I decided to focus instead on what I did or said for and about myself that demonstrated love and kindness.

So for instance, if I felt fat and was beating myself up about my thighs being too big, I would write that I was grateful that my big thighs were strong enough to help me run marathons.

You too will find that after a few days of consistently doing this you will be able to catch mean thoughts before they spiral into something bigger.

Related Article: 53 Inspiring Self-Esteem and Self-Love Quotes

2. Eliminating the words should/must do/have to.

I have stopped using these words and replaced them with kinder words such as “I choose to,” as I found that “should,” “must do,” and “have to” were causing me to feel unnecessary guilt.

As an example, when I set my alarm clock at night instead of saying that “I should wake up early and exercise,” I now say to myself, “I choose to wake up early and exercise.”

Stop ‘shoulding’ all over yourself and you too will feel much better about yourself.

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  1. 846414435380494@facebook.com' Revolution de Mind says:

    Thanks 🙂

  2. 1497406627253735@facebook.com' Summer Smiley says:

    I started crying one time because I knew I hurt Holy Spirit…when I talked down about myself. It was the beginning of feeling self worth.

  3. 1497406627253735@facebook.com' Summer Smiley says:

    In other words to Love yourself is loving the Holy Spirit. I don’t word things right sometimes to people. I’m great at explaining myself in a song though.Lol

  4. 1009903442374344@facebook.com' Jon Andre says:

    But in order to rebuild oneself, we have to be torn down first..got slapped and yelled at back in the day, all the while told I had to be torn down in order to be built back up again….
    Hmm..interesting… don’t know if this is doable for me, once I start seeing a therapist again, I’ll try to remember to ask

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