Improve your self-talk and cultivate your inner cheerleader

Jan 27, 2021

Have you ever wondered how much added stress that tendency to be overly critical of yourself creates? Have you ever wondered if, secretly, you would stop pushing yourself to improve if that voice in your head wasn’t so demanding, but soft, kind and encouraging instead? 


If you tend to be hard on yourself and have an inner critic that likes to make itself heard often it can add undue stress. It can also make you feel small and not good enough. 

Paradoxically, instead of pushing you on to succeed, being hard on yourself actually makes it more difficult to achieve your goals and it undermines your self-confidence. 

The words you say to yourself inside your head are incredibly powerful, affecting both your emotions and every cell in your body as well as the results you achieve in your life. 

If you have ever found it hard to achieve your goals because of self-defeating behaviour or forgive yourself for something, the reason may be found in your self-talk. 

As Ghandi said your thoughts become your words and your words become your actions. 

The time has come to improve your self-talk and cultivate your inner cheerleader and here are my 6 tips to get you there faster. 

1. Use positive language when you speak to other people. Positivity breeds positivity, and negativity breeds negativity. Give genuine, spontaneous compliments to people, you will be surprised at how good it makes people feel and if someone gives you a compliment, just say thank you and accept it graciously. 

Notice the good in others and choose to focus on what you love about yourself and others, more than what annoys you. Focus on the positive and spread kindness like Nutella. Your self-talk will improve as a natural consequence. 

2. Treat yourself like you treat your best friend. Demeaning, negative self-talk is only going to increase your stress levels and make it more likely that you engage in self-defeating behaviour. Instead, speak kindly and compassionately to yourself—just as you would to your friend. Or if you prefer, you can speak to your inner child, that lost, frightened little kid that is still inside you. 

Start to adopt a voice that is more compassionate, and understanding, a kind voice that champions your successes and shows self-compassion when you mess up: be your own best friend. You will be surprised at how much difference it makes. 

3. Surround yourself with positive people who support your goals and don’t hang out with naysayers and negative people who put you down. Anybody who makes you feel small should not have the privilege of being around you. 

For the same reason, limit the amount of time you spend watching the news. Better still don’t watch it at all. Remember my motto, stand guard at the gate of your mind and be careful what you let in. 

4. Make time for self-care. Make sure you make time for those little moments of self-care and rituals that make you feel good. The more you treat yourself well and look after your physical body the more you will be inclined to be kind to yourself in your head. 

Choose the self-care rituals that make you feel special, valued and loved. It doesn’t matter what it is as much as the spirit with which you do it. Your body will thank you for the attention and care and it will have a knock-on effect on how you treat yourself inside your head. 

5. Use little motivational sentences and be your own coach. You know, things like, “you got this”, “well done”, “you managed that situation well, I’m so proud of you”, “hey, well done for finishing that”, or “you’re doing great, keep going”.

Say to yourself often, “you can handle this.” Put post-its up around the house or on the inside of cupboard doors, by your mirror, in your car, by the kettle, in the bathroom, anywhere that you will see them often. Look at yourself in the mirror, and say, “hey girl, well done!” Most of all, start focusing on the things you love about yourself, the things you are good at and that make you unique. 

6. Stand up to your inner critic. You wouldn’t rent out a room in your house to a critical, nasty individual who puts you down, points out your mistakes and makes you feel bad. so why would you put up with that sort of treatment in your precious headspace? 

So, stand up to your inner critic and say, “Ok, thank you for sharing that, but I choose to think differently.” And if it continues, just be ready for it and deflect it with “Thank you for sharing that.” Refuse to let it in and you will silence even the harshest inner critic.  

The time has come to stand up to the barrage of self-criticism, send your inner critic on an extended holiday with a one-way ticket and move boldly in the direction of your dreams.