A little self-criticism is a normal shared human mental pattern and can even be healthy for the most part. But we can also just as easily open the door to that overly vocal “negative nelly” voice in our head. Do you have a “Negative Nelly” living in your head?
However, if your negative voice is preventing you from doing what you want or need to do in your life, then it has to get booted out of your head. This kind of mental chatter has no right to set up a home in your mind.
Deeply held negative beliefs, especially when they’re firmly rooted in your unconscious, stress you out, damage relationships and can greatly limit your potential for health and happiness. What you tell yourself, becomes you! My mother used to call it a self-fulfilling prophesy. The term “self-fulfilling prophecy” (SFP) was coined in 1948 by Robert Merton to describe “a false definition of the situation evoking a new behavior which makes the originally false conception come true” (Merton 1968: 477). *find info here
If you’re sick of having the same old conversation with your Negative Nelly, then be sure to try some of the ideas I’ve outlined in this article on how you can shift away from this hurtful mindset, and finally release yourself of these limiting beliefs.
What are limiting beliefs?
Limiting beliefs are the little, but persistent voices that convince you that you can’t be or do or have something due to a perceived inadequacy in some area of your life or personality.
Your negative Nelly Narrative may go something like this:
- I won’t ever be [this]…
- I can’t do [that]…
- I don’t have [this]…
- I don’t deserve to be/have [this]…
- And, one really common one that comes up for many people…
- I am not good enough.
Let’s change up the narrative you may have been having with yourself for a very long time! You wouldn’t or shouldn’t say any of those things to your friends or family, right? Why is it OK to say them to yourself?
Overcoming negative self-talk and releasing limiting beliefs
Your limiting decisions have shaped everything you do, and they have likely prevented you from seeing opportunities and maybe even discouraged you from trying some things at all.
The good news is that it’s totally possible to permanently change a long-held belief — even the ones that are lifelong.
You only perceive what you believe, so your beliefs shape the very world you live in.
But, when your limiting beliefs come into question, your whole world can experience a shift for the better.
Here are a few ideas to help you silence your inner critic for good!
When you find yourself feeling “stuck”, or repeatedly spinning your wheels on the same speed bumps that life might be throwing your way, it’s always a great idea to seek out help and guidance. If they are debilitating, find a good life coach/counselor or therapist.
In addition to that, there are several things you can do on your own, in your own time and space…
>The first step to releasing limiting beliefs is to shift your thinking into AWARENESS
Time to bring those disempowering thoughts out of hiding! Once you do that, know that you have choice. However, just simply being aware or having knowledge of them is not enough, it’s just the first step. You must understand and truly believe that you have a choice about how to react to stressful situations.
> Possible thinking, not just positive thinking
Your mind is a powerful thing, and when you fill it with thoughts of what’s possible (not just positive), your mindset will start to shift.
>When you believe something IS possible, you will notice options and opportunities coming up for you that would simply not have be noticed if you did not believe it was possible.
With repetition, your positive feelings will intensify, the new neural connections will strengthen, and you’ll start to notice just how awesome this new “win” really feels! Reminding yourself often of these little wins can further shift your mindset and help you embrace the bright side of your perceived “failures” or shortcomings. It also helps to simply accept that you are perfectly imperfect, just the way you are!
> If you wouldn’t say it to your friend, don’t say it to yourself
Your limiting beliefs are assumptions you make about reality that often aren’t true. They aren’t helpful, and they certainly don’t serve you or the goals you want to achieve. Ask yourself: would I say these negative, hurtful and unsupportive words to a friend?
Adopting empowering beliefs such as:
- “It is not my job to please everyone else.”
- “Just be me. There will never be anyone else like me.”
- “I am enough!”
To swap out your limiting belief with a more empowering one, you’ll need to play a little mind game:
Convince yourself that the value you thought you were getting from the former limiting belief isn’t worthwhile, and that your new empowering belief can serve to fill this void. Take some time and make a space that’s all yours!
Ensure that you are creating space in your life for these new empowering beliefs. Take action and get into the habit of using your new beliefs as often as possible until they begin to feel comfortable, familiar and routine to you.
Just remember – you have the ability to harness the power of the possible! Overcoming negative self-talk and releasing yourself of limiting beliefs takes commitment, introspection and a good dose of self-confidence to make the necessary changes.
There’s the old saying that we view ourselves through a much harsher lens than the rest of world does. So, let’s try to bring our own lens back into focus.
Do your have a “Negative Nelly” in your head? What is it that “Nelly” tells you? How can you turn it around? Leave me a comment!
NOW let’s start with a Guilt Free Recipe!
Positively Paleo Pie (comfort food without the guilt!)
Preheat oven to 350°F
Savory bottom layer:
1.25 lbs ground meat (free range preferable)
½ medium onion, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 medium carrot, shredded
1 medium zucchini, shredded (not peeled)
1 Tb extra virgin olive oil
1 – 1½ tsp Himalayan pink salt or Celtic grey sea salt
1 tsp chilii powder
½ tsp cumin
Mashed cauliflower topping:
2 small (or 1 large) cauliflower heads
5-6 large roasted garlic cloves*
½ – 1 tsp salt
Optional top layer:
½ cup shredded or crumbled organic, whole milk cheese (your choice!)
How to prepare bottom layer:
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and sauté onion + garlic until tender. Add the carrot + zucchini, cook until they start to soften.
2. Add the ground meat, salt, and spices. Cook until the meat is browned, and very little moisture remains.
How to prepare cauliflower:
3. Chop the cauliflower heads into small chunks, and steam until they soften – when a fork can easily pierce.
Add the steamed cauliflower, roasted garlic and salt to a food processor. On low setting, puree until smooth. It may be necessary to use the tamper if you have one.
Assemble the pie:
4. To assemble your Positively Paleo Pie, distribute the meat mixture evenly in the bottom of an 8-inch baking dish. Spread cauliflower mixture over the top, and bake for 25 minutes.
If you’re adding the optional cheese top layer, sprinkle the cheese on top after you bake it, and then broil it until the cheese turns slightly brown (~3 minutes more in the oven).
*Roasted garlic cloves – done ahead of time.
Using a sharp knife, cut ¼ inch from the top of of a whole garlic bulb to expose the individual cloves. Place bulb (unpeeled) on top of a square of aluminum foil. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top of the bulb, just to moisten. Wrap the bulb with foil and bake in a preheated 400°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed. Once cooled, the whole cloves should push out easily when pressed from the bottom.
Extra roasted garlic can be used on its own as a spread on bread, crackers, sandwiches, crispbread or veggies.
(and yes, roasting the garlic really does make a difference in the flavor – magic!)
Accountabilty is always key to making lasting habit changes, even getting rid of your “Negative Nelly”. Having consistent focus and friends on the same journey -what more could you ask for? Visit Intentionally Created – Your Healthy Journey to learn more.
Health.com: 9 Ways to Silence Your Inner Critic
Thrive Global: What are Limiting Beliefs and What Causes Them?