Changing negative self-talk by silly singing

July 14, 2011 at 7:29 PM 5 comments

I have been to a couple of workshops about procrastination and perfectionism so I thought I’d share a little nugget which I hope will help me.

One of the problems with these two linked issues (which are very prevalent in high-achieving universities) is negative self-talk, where you are hyper-critical of yourself. Since becoming aware of this, I have realised that I am very mean to myself, I mean, really nasty. They said not to say stuff to yourself that you wouldn’t say to an 8 year old. My inner 8 year old should be calling Child Line!

And it has actually got worse in the last week between the two workshops as I tried to stop. Here is a sample inner dialogue (prolly ought to be monologue, but there you go…):

I do something stupid make a simple mistake anyone could make (like click the wrong bit of a jigsaw so my score is less good (seriously, who cares?)).

‘You idiot!’

‘You’re not supposed to call me an idiot, you idiot!’

‘Oh great, now I’m calling myself an idiot for calling myself an idiot. What an idiot!!!’

So I’m now beating myself up for beating myself up.

On the course I asked how to stop such silly behaviour and got two really good related answers, which I shall share with you🙂 One is to laugh at myself. Instead of getting worked up about being such an idiot I can’t stop calling myself an idiot, see the funny side.

The other was that if you’re going to criticise yourself, do it in song!

So if you hear me singing the ‘I’m an idiot’ song in a silly voice, that’s why😀

It’s been working fairly well so far!

In case you think that is just ridiculous, changing negative self talk can break a destructive cycle of inaction through feeling bad. There was lots more too, but one of the other bits of advice was to break things down and only deal with one small bit at a time.

So I’m starting with the idiot song. ‘Ooh, I’m an idiot, I’m a silly idiot…’

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. wdednh  |  July 15, 2011 at 3:04 AM

    I sing all the time🙂

    Reply
  • […] Changing negative self-talk by silly singing (via Knotrune) Posted on July 14, 2011 by wdednh I have been to a couple of workshops about procrastination and perfectionism so I thought I'd share a little nugget which I hope will help me. One of the problems with these two linked issues (which are very prevalent in high-achieving universities) is negative self-talk, where you are hyper-critical of yourself. Since becoming aware of this, I have realised that I am very mean to myself, I mean, really nasty. They said not to say stuff to yourse … Read More […]

    Reply
  • 3. therealsharon  |  July 16, 2011 at 2:38 AM

    This made me laugh….is that a bad thing? I might have to try out this singing thing when I think I do something dumb:)

    Reply
  • 4. jannatwrites  |  July 18, 2011 at 5:24 AM

    I’d be rich if I had nickel for every time I’ve called myself an ‘idiot’, ‘moron’ or ‘stupid’. The song-singing idea is interesting – I hope it works for you.

    Reply
  • 5. hmunro  |  August 6, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    I love the idea of turning negative self-talk into a silly song. (It’s rather Monty Pythonesque, isn’t it?) Thanks for bringing a big smile.

    Reply

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