105 Negative Self-Talk Examples That Hold You Back

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The main thing standing between the life we have and the life we desire is the way we think and talk to ourselves. 

Isn't it interesting that we are usually quick to compliment others and lift them up when they are down?  However, we are our own worst critics when we fall short of our goals in life.

That is when we should give ourselves positive reinforcement and keep pushing.  Because negative self-talk only reinforces the negative feelings we have about our failures.  Furthermore, it holds us back from accomplishing the dreams we so desperately want to achieve in life. 

The world is so full of negativity that we must encourage ourselves if we are going to do anything meaningful and worthwhile.  Yes, the way we talk to ourselves is that powerful, and we must be conscientious of the words we rehearse in our minds about our lives. 

What is Negative Self-Talk?

Negative self-talk is the dialog we rehearse in our minds that may hinder us from reaching our full potential and believing in ourselves. It is any thought that minimizes a person and their ability to accomplish their goals positively and with confidence. 

Contrary to popular jokes of this age, you are not insane for talking to yourself.  In fact, it is encouraged.  But it is the way that you speak to yourself that is vital. 

Just as you would watch what you say to your spouse, children, co-workers, and even strangers, you want to watch how you speak to yourself. 

Because there are enormous ramifications for speaking negatively to ourselves. 

  • It can be very stressful.
  • It decreases your motivation to accomplish great things
  • Talking this way stunts your personal growth and chances for success
  • Gives you a greater sense of helplessness
  • Negative self-talk lowers your self-esteem
  • Adds fuel to depression and anxiety

Negative words often reinforce what someone has said about us in the past.  It could have been a verbally abusive parent, a grumpy teacher, not so nice coach, or hurtful things spoken to us by our peers.  Either way, what is most important is what we believe about ourselves. 

I was an overweight kid growing up and was told that I was too fat to play basketball.  However, I loved the sport and played it religiously from daylight to dark when I was not in school. 

I had more skill and ability than my classmates and even won shooting competitions for the high school when I was still in Jr. High.  In addition, I played on adult teams as a kid. 

But somehow, in an attempt to break my confidence, someone would try to point to my weight as a reason I would never excel.  So instead of allowing the negativity to discourage me, I used it as fuel to prove the naysayers wrong. 

Though I have never played professionally, many say I am the best basketball player they have ever seen in person.   I was able to inspire and teach others how to play that went further in the sport that I did.

You have great dreams and amazing life plans inside of you.  Don’t reinforce speech from the haters but turn it into fuel.  You never know who you will encourage and help fulfill their dreams.

Many of us will dismiss the positivity spoken to us, label ourselves negatively, and assume others feel negative about us too.   In addition, we take positive and helpful things and make them obligations. 

So instead of saying, “I would like to get healthier.”  Instead, we say, “I need to get healthier.”  Which adds stress and obligation to getting healthier that was not there before. 

Furthermore, negative self-talk comes from needing others' approval to validate us.  Moreover, it disqualifies our present situation and is overall pessimistic.  For instance, we never look at the glass as half-full but half-empty.

Lastly, we don't have to keep people who speak negativity in our inner circle.  Many times, to keep negative self-talk from coming in, we need to surround ourselves with people who have the same drive and passion toward success as we do

That way, we can encourage one another and pick each other up when we have those down days and feel tempted to rehearse negativity.   

105 Negative Self-Talk Examples That Hold You Back

1.  There is just no use.

2.  I’m so stupid.

3.  I never do anything right.

4.  I always say the wrong things.

5.  I’m just not that smart.

6.  I can't do it as well as others.

7.  I just don’t have a chance with my luck.

8.  At times, I wish I had never been born.

9.  Everything I touch turns to rubbish.

10.  I can’t seem to get anything done.

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Negative self-talk only reinforces the negative feelings we have about our failures.

11.  I hate my life

12.  I’m just not cut out for this.

13.  My life is always a mess.

14.  I’m so ugly!  No one will ever find me attractive.

15.  I won’t ever be happy until I get married.

16.  I am sick and tired of being broke.

17.  I have the worst ideas.

18.  I am such a terrible person.

19.  I will be happy once I get some money in my pocket.

20.  I’m just not very creative.

21.  I know nothing I do will work.

22.  Everything I eat goes to my waist. 

23.  This just isn’t my day.

24.  I will never be able to afford expensive things.

25.  I already know I can’t do it.

26.  When will I ever learn?

27.  Just thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach.

28.  I am completely out of shape.

29.  I don’t have the energy I used to.

30.  If it were not for bad luck, I would have no luck at all.

31.  Bad things always happen to me.

32.  Everything always ends up the same way every time.

33.  Same stuff, different day.

34.  I wish I could just disappear and never come back.

35.  My life is a dumpster fire.

36.  I lack the talent to succeed.

37.  No one will like me.

38.  I am waiting on the shoe to drop.

39.  I am fat and ugly.

40.  No one cares what I am going through.

41.  I don’t like the way anything fits on me.

42.  I wish I looked as skinny as you.

43.  I don't have the willpower to eat healthier.

44.  I feel so old.

45.  No one will ever be attracted to me, looking like this.

46.  I am too lazy to exercise.

47.  Others are so much better than me.

48.  I’m just not as confident as others.

49.  I get overwhelmed every time I try.

50.  I am not smart enough to come up with solutions.

51.  No one wants to hear my opinion.

52.  There are no more good men/women out there.  I will always be single.

53.  He/she is too good for me.

54.  I always freeze up in front of a crowd.

55.  I’m totally at the end of my rope.

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Negative self-talk is the dialog we rehearse in our minds that may hinder us from reaching our full potential and believing in ourselves.

56.  I really hate my job.

57.  I just cannot take this anymore.

58.  If I only had more time.

59.  I’m not good with words.

60.  I have so much baggage.

61.  He/she is way out of my league.

62.  I always get hurt.

63.  There is no way I can forgive them.

64.  I am just not the relationship type.

65.  I lack the talent to do what others are doing.

66.  I am not very desirable.

67.  I’m just going to die old and alone.

68.  Things will never work out anyway.

69.  I don’t even deserve to love myself.

70.  Can life get any worse?

71.  If I don’t accomplish this, I am a complete failure.

72.  I am a total loser.

73.  I am so frustrated and tired of doing this.

74.  I just can't get over what they said about me.

75.  I am not the sharpest tool in the shed.

76. I’m too old to find a life partner. Who will want me anyway?

77.I can’t take this anymore. I give up!

78.I hate being around people. I know they’re judging me.

79.I will never be wealthy. I don’t know how to manage my money.

80.I hate my life so much! I don’t want to be here anymore.

81.I keep picking the wrong partners. What the hell is wrong with me?

82. I can’t stand to look at myself in the mirror. It’s not a pretty sight.

83. Why is every day of my life so difficult? I feel so frustrated!

84. I’m so clumsy I can’t do anything right!

85. This isn’t going to work. I had better quit while I’m ahead.

86. My life keeps getting worse by the day.

87. Every time something’s going well for me, something bad happens.

88. What’s the point of having a positive mindset? My life still sucks!

89. I hate driving. I always feel like I will end up in a terrible accident.

90. I keep messing up even though I know better.

91. I’m too young and inexperienced to get people to take me seriously.

92. This just isn’t my strong area. I’m going to fail before I try.

93. My whole life is a mess and I don’t know how to fix it.

94. I will never get a job. Nobody wants to hire me.

95. My day is never productive unless I have my coffee.

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Negative self-talk comes from needing others' approval to validate us.

96. I hate my job. Who made work anyway?

97. I’m not cut out for this job. I know they’re going to fire me.

98. I don’t have the patience to accomplish that task.

99. I have to be the clumsiest person on the planet.

100. Today will be just another awful day.

101. I always make bad decisions.

102. What’s the point of doing this? I already know it’s not going to work out.

103. I will never succeed. I never have.

104. I’m nobody. No one sees, hears, or respects me. It’s like I’m invisible.

105. I can’t wait to die. Life sucks!

Final Thoughts on Negative Self-Talk Examples

If we are being honest with ourselves, many of these negative self talk examples apply to us

Of course, none of us are immune to feeling sorry for ourselves when things don't work out as we desire them to… but talking negatively about ourselves is like letting the air out of the tires on our cars and then trying to go for a drive.  We won't get very far.  

Moreover, negative self-talk will keep us from operating at our full potential.  As you can see, we can have negative self-talk in many different forms.

However, as the saying goes, “You cannot stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can keep it from building a nest in your hair.” 

The birds flying over your head are your thoughts.  You cannot stop them from coming.  Whether they are your own thoughts or the thoughts expressed to you by others.  Those birds building a nest in your hair are those thoughts taking up residence in your head (mind). 

You don't have to give a place in your mind to negativity. So, meditate and think about what is positive and good about you and your situation.  Next, look at how far you have come on your journey from where you once started. 

Finally, surround yourself with positive influences.  You are capable of doing anything if you win the battle of the mind and manage the things you say to yourself.

And if you're looking for more resources on combating negative self talk, be sure to check out these blog posts:

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