Teen having mental health counselling

The most important words are the words you say to yourself when others don’t listen.

Much of our stress is due to silent conversations we have with ourselves. Psychologists call this self-talk. We talk ourselves into the ground by programming ourselves negatively. Negative self talk services in our attitudes, beliefs, expectations, evaluations, interpretations and predictions.

When we blow things out of proportion by using words like ‘’extremely’’, ‘’incredibly’’, ‘’always’’ or ‘’never’’ we often come to believe in the things we repeat to ourselves. The tendency to put ourselves down is self-destructive. In fact, self-esteem and vulnerability are inversely related: when self-esteem is high vulnerability is low and vice versa.

Some people call this our critical inner voice. Everyone has this critical inner voice but people with low self-esteem have a particularly vicious one. It calls us names like stupid or lazy whenever we make the slightest mistake… It compares us with other people and their successes and it tells us that we will never achieve that because we are not capable… If we are less than perfect we are nothing. Our inner voice exaggerates our weak points and dismisses our strengths.


Why do we listen to this critical voice? We listen to it because it makes us feel safe and by raising our defences it prepares us for a possible defeat in the future.. If we have an adequate amount of self-esteem it will help us confront challenges and solve problems instead of worrying about them.

More often than not our inner voice really undermines our sense of self-worth.

Another reason why the critical voice has such a strong hold on us is that there is a part of us that is willing to believe that it’s approval, just like the one of our parents, is necessary for our survival..

Negative thinking in adults and children is linked to poor health because our thoughts determine our behaviour. Critical inner voice and poor self image often leads to a feeling of helplessness, which turns into helpless behaviour and even depression.

The power of your inner voice is huge. We and our children are capable of more things when our inner voice is kind and supportive rather than harsh and demanding.

Learn how to develop a kinder inner voice and build a healthy self- esteem. Discover our e-course Teach your kids to build a positive Self Image which will empower you as a parent and help your child thrive.