How to be mindful of your self-talk


How to be mindful of your self-talk

How do you talk to yourself?

Are you always being kind, loving and understanding? Or do you criticize yourself a lot? Tell yourself you can’t do something, that you’re stupid or that you’re not good enough? Chances are, you wouldn’t say those things to a friend or someone close. A lot of us though, don’t have a problem with being unkind and even nasty to ourselves. To change that, you need to be mindful of your self-talk.

“Be mindful of your self-talk. It’s a conversation with the Universe”.- David James Lees

To be mindful of your self-talk, means observing your thoughts and feelings, without judgment. It means to step “out” of your thinking process and direct your attention to the present moment. That’s where you acknowledge that those self-criticizing thoughts, are just that: thoughts.


Until you recognize and acknowledge those negative thoughts and their patterns, you might not even be aware they actually exist. They’re often repetitive and pretty much always unproductive. I’ve had these self-berating thoughts going through my head ever since I remember. I never thought of it as neither a negative or a positive thing; I just thought it was normal, or that it’s just the way I am. Once I recognized that those self-critical thoughts don’t serve me at all, I started paying attention to where they came from. You might find that those negative thoughts come from fear- fear of failure, fear of your past, not being good enough.  Ask yourself: “what am I afraid of?” or “how do I attack myself?

When you notice and acknowledge those habitual patterns- be mindful of them. When you’re being mindful of them, you simply observe them. So, when you think “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do this, I give up” you recognize that it’s just a thought: “I’m having a thought that I’m not good enough“, “I’m having a thought that I can’t do this, that I want to give up.” It’s just a thought, not your truth. 


Mindfulness involves awareness; paying attention to and accepting present moment. Once you’ve identified those thoughts, allow yourself to feel them. Surrender. It’s something you probably often deny yourself. This isn’t always easy to do- avoidance is the opposite of mindfulness and whenever you feel pain, you want to bottle it up and suppress it. Resist it. We usually look to distract ourselves from those negative emotions. Avoidance can intensify those negative feelings and it can stop you from learning from your thoughts and emotions.


Learn to be on your own side. Find self-compassion and forgiveness. Self-compassion will help you predict emotional reactions to negative events in your daily life. Research has also proven that high levels of self-compassion are associated with less procrastination and higher motivation.

“Do you want to meet the love of your life? Look in the mirror”- Byron Katie

Something really changed my perspective, was when I started thinking of myself as a child. When I start noticing that my self-talk becomes even slightly negative or limiting, I think “would I say this to my 8 or 10-year old self?” This really puts things into perspective. You wouldn’t tell a little boy or girl that they’re a failure or that they’re not good enough. You can also try writing down those self-critical thoughts. Look at them and ask yourself “would I say this to a friend?Meditation is also great tool for finding self-compassion.


Using affirmations can also help you become more mindful of your self-talk as well. Don’t deny yourself that love. Whenever you use words “I AM” whatever follows usually feels very powerful, it’s what shapes your reality, so why not use it to your advantage? Tell yourself, I AM FEARLESS, I ALLOW MYSELF TO FEEL, I LET GO OF THE PAST.

If you notice yourself being self-critical, try to remember that beating yourself up for making a mistake will only make you feel worse. Don’t let self-criticism weigh you down. Accept those feelings and thoughts for what they are, and let them go.


Do you find that you criticize yourself often? How do you deal with those negative thoughts?

PS If you don’t already, I’d love it if you followed me and Thirteen Thoughts on Facebook!

  • My bf always tells me off as soon as he hears any of my moaning about myself… I guess I should probably listen to him (sometimes).
    (is that Anja on a bike? she always looks so eye-grabbing!)

    • He sound like a keeper :) So nice to have someone look out for you, even when it comes to little things like this. Yup, that’s our Anja! :D

  • Such an encouraging and positive post, Paula! As far as I can remember, after every mistake, I start thinking the worst of me and putting myself down instead of doing the opposite to over come the mistake I made. I know that being that way won’t bring anything good, but it is really hard to change. I need to learn how to forgive and carry on without putting myself down :)

    Ela BellaWorld

  • This is such a great, positive post! I really enjoyed reading it! Self-talk is so important and not something we talk about enough.

    xo, Liz

  • Sophie Sierra

    Absolutely adored this magical, positive and thought-provoking post through and through Paula. Self-talk is such an important issue that’s so relevant, especially in this day and age. I’m totally guilty of negative thoughts and being overly critical and nasty in my own mind and I love the idea of observing your thoughts and mind-set yet disconnecting with a bit of distance and accepting them for being thoughts, not the truth. Also think another perfect point you made is to try and get to the root of why you’re having them, and surrender. Using affirmations is so important too, something I’m definitely going to try and do more of! <3

    Such a truthful point that you'd never tell a young person, or your younger self that they/you aren't good enough, I always find it upsetting that when a little kid has big dreams adults attitudes seem to be 'you can be a doctor, a pilot, anything you want when you grow up', yet as an adult dreams seem to often get knocked down without a second thought with a 'I wouldn't do that if I were you', or 'be realistic'. You deffo need to be a life coach up on the stage, your positive, beautiful mind speaks utter volumes and is so powerfully poignant; you are an absolute inspiration to all of us and I couldn't be prouder of you!

    Love you Paula! <3 xxx

    Sophie | soinspo xo

    • Naww here you go again Soph!! Thank you so so SO much for saying such sweet and kind things!! I think we’re all guilty of a little negative self-talk. Sometimes when I’m having a really good day, my mind will almost start looking and seeking something that went wrong so I can have an excuse to put myself down. It’s so strange! I love using affirmations- with regular use they really start sinking in and change the way you think.

      Haha who knows, maybe one day lol :P I still have a lot to learn myself but knowing that these posts help others, makes me feel incredibly happy. :)

      Love you!!!! <3 <3

  • Such a great reminder! I don’t think I realize how negative my thoughts are sometimes. It really takes a toll on my self esteem and well-being.

    • I think we’re so used to them, sometimes we fail to notice just how negative our self-talk and thoughts are. Thank you so much Andrea!

  • Great post! I have to pay more attention to this, especially now that I have a daughter. I don’t want her growing up with the self doubt and insecurities that I have. But this starts with me, so I’m trying to be more aware of the negative self-talk that comes out.

    • Thank you! Definitely! I think that having a daughter must be a good inspiration for you to be a little more mindful of that negative self-talk :) I honestly think we all struggle with it at times.

  • Such a great and useful post! I’m actually just reading a book that focuses a lot on acknowledging your thought just as thoughts, nothing else. Good thing to keep in mind in my opinion :)

  • Very well written! I used to let negative thoughts control me, without even notice it, because I never acknowledged them. It was once I realized I was being my own worst enemy that I started making an effort to change that and I also realized the people I surrounded myself with were only making it worse. It changed my life for the best!

    xoRosie //Rosie’s Life

  • This was super helpful today! Thank you

  • amelia may

    This was so reasurring and very helpful. Such wonderful insight into our negative chatter too. Very best wishes. and thank you. Xx

    Keep calm and Start Writing …

  • The Sunday Mode

    In the past few years I’ve been more and more mindful of my self talk and I think being aware is definitely the first step to sorting it all out. I notice I tend to be extremely harsh on myself, so being aware of that helps me to try and change those thought processes.

  • Sometimes I think I’m too hard on myself. And then I think I’m not. I still haven’t figured out which of the two it is.

    • It all depends on how you feel :) If you pushing yourself makes you feel good and motivated, then there’s nothing wrong with that, I think.

  • It’s so true, being hard on ourselves and judgemental comes so easily, yet you would never do it to someone you loved or even a stranger. Amazing & inspiring post lovely x

    Beauty with charm

  • Mel

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post as I am constantly being hard/putting pressure on myself!

  • I used to be terrible with this. I feel like it’s something that comes a little easier with age. Being in high school and college you’ll always have so many doubts. Not to say that when you get older the doubts aren’t still there but I think it gets easier.

  • sharon ann
    I love the post. It is so true. The old proved says, “How a man thinks, so is he.”

  • Karolina

    You are an amazing person and it shows how smart and good harted you are through your posts! I have two questions. What are your favourite magazines?
    Do you have any tips on books that could help improve my english?

    • Aww thank you so much Karolina! Are you Polish by any chance? :)

      Porter is one of my favorite magazines, it has fantastic articles, I like Marie Claire too. You know, I actually learned English by watching reality TV haha :) But I’d also read English versions of some of my favorite books and that really helped me with improving things like my grammar or vocabulary. Just read anything that you can get your hands on and make it a habit ;)

      • Karolina

        Thank you for taking your time to answer. And yes! I’m polish but I lived in Stockholm for about 7 years now. What about you? :)

  • Thank you for sharing this, Paula. I really think what we think of ourselves is essentially what guides us to do what we do and be who we are. Suppose we loved ourselves so much that we wouldn’t let anyone deter our thoughts and bring us down. We would be so strong and powerful – the things we could accomplish! I’ve been working on my self-talk for years, and it doesn’t come easy when you’ve had rough times. However, it is definitely possible to renew yourself and your thoughts. We are always changing, and we may as well steer ourselves to always be better than we were the day before.

    The Crimson Cardigan |