Why Self-talk Matters

More than any other critic, your inner critic is often the harshest. And while that little voice in your head can be motivational and push you towards your goals, it can also be harmful, especially when perpetuating negative thoughts. According to Alois Köhle and Kevin Beutler, everyone needs to learn the importance of positive self-talk to fight Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs).

Why Self-talk Matters

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ANTs can bring you down, and they take many forms. What may sound like grounded advice plants a seed of negativity in you that shackles you to challenges and stalls your progress? Alois Köhle explains that negative self-talk can take even the simplest forms, like thinking you’re shielding yourself from harm by avoiding something you believe you are not good at. It eventually progresses to “I can never do anything right” and other fear-based fantasy scenarios. 

Kevin Beutler explains that it sometimes gets so bad that you don’t even realize you are doing it. This is the prime reason why Alois Köhle and Kevin Beutler strongly recommend killing ANTs to achieve your goals. Your inner critic might sound like a friend trying to help you or a parent coaching you to get better, but when it takes a turn for the negative, it is time to kill those thoughts before they derail your process.

Some of the consequences of ANTs that Alois Köhle and Kevin Beutler highlight include a lowered ability to identify opportunity, close-mindedness, and limited thinking, as well as a quest for perfectionism. These lead to stress and unnecessary pressure that shift your focus from your goal to your worries. Alois Köhle notes that the more you tell yourself that you can’t achieve something, the more you start to believe it, and it is extremely difficult to dissuade yourself once that belief has laid claim. Another pressing concern that Kevin Beutler points out is that ANTs are simply not positive and should therefore be killed. Negative thoughts should never be allowed in your space! 

Medicine and band-aids can treat external wounds, but your internal thought process can be more challenging to treat. However, recognizing your negative thought patterns and changing them into positive thoughts will help you kill ANTs and stay on track to achieve your goals.

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