Stop negative self-talk – The power of reframing

Have you ever taken a moment to think about the way you talk to yourself verse the way you speak to others? How is it that we can be more compassionate,  respectful, and empathetic to others, and yet treat ourselves so poorly. We go to great lengths to help a friend, but when it comes to helping ourselves when faced with a challenge, failure, or an emotion, we are quick to put ourselves down.

The fact is, we all do this at one time or another. This is not abnormal. 

Negative self-talk is common. In many ways, it is the default wiring of our brains. Why? Well, because we wired it this way without even knowing it.  But what if you can begin to rewire the way you think? What would it be like to think more positively, overcome emotions, and have more confidence in your abilities to overcome challenges?

We all have negative self-talk. In fact for many people it sounds like this:

I can’t do this right
I am not good enough
I should lose weight
have to do X, Y, Z
If I could just do this then I would be happy
I don’t know how to do this
I will TRY to save money

Our inner gremlins can be very loud and even cause us times of emotional trauma. If we talked to our friends the way we talk to ourselves, we would no doubt be called abusive.

However, language originates from thoughts and/or feelings, which then leads to actions or inactions in our lives. The way in which we talk to ourselves produces energy that either boosts us up (anabolic) or brings us down (catabolic). Lets discuss:

There are two types of energy 1) Anabolic and 2) Catabolic. Both are very useful at different times, but the way in which they can present and effect us in our lives in rather drastic.

Catabolic energy is a destructive. It breaks down cells, and it breaks down people.  (This can be positive if a lion is chasing you and you need energy broken down from the body. however, it is mainly not a great thing in daily life. All of our negative thoughts are catabolic. Catabolic energy helps us play the victim rather than a person of action who gets results.  Unless we make an effort to release catabolic energy, it keeps us in unhealthy patterns and stops us from realizing our full potential.

Anabolic energy is creative. It builds cells and helps people grow. Anabolic energy heals and enables us to see things the way they are, which is neither good nor bad, but rather experience that help us learn and better ourselves. It enables us to feel joy and realize our potential. A natural state of our body is anabolic.

Here are some examples of what Anabolic verse Catabolic language :


Should, might
Need to
Have to
Always, Never
I Think


Choose, desire, want
It’s important to me…
Desire to…
Am not willing to, chose not to
Intend, aim to
Yes, I will/No, I won’t
I know/I don’t know

In order to change the energy around how you speak to yourself, you need to reframe what you are saying.  For example:

“I will try to get to the gym to lose weight” (catabolic)
“Going to the gym is important to me, I will go to the gym” (anabolic)

** the word try already hints that it wont happen. Why shoot yourself down before you even begin. There is much more power behind, I WILL then I will TRY.


The first step to any change is having an awareness of how you are speaking to yourself. The more you can see the pattern of when and how you speak to yourself the more you will be able to take control and implement a reframe

When you notice you are implementing negative self talk, ask yourself ‘how does this talk make me feel?’ Is that how you want to feel?

When you realize the emotion behind the self-talk,  ask yourself, what action (or inaction) am I taking, and how is this serving me in moving me toward my goal? ** remember, even inaction is an action. Its a choice to do nothing. However, it doesn’t move your forward.

If your actions are not serving you. This is time for a REFRAME:

Reframe the statement you are making to yourself. When you reframe it, what emotional energy does it bring? What action will you take with the increase in energy? Does that energy and action serve you better or worse then the negative self talk?

The more that you practice the better you will become. You will see you energy levels and motivation increasing too! Remember, you wont do this all the time! AND THATS OK! The more often that you can allow yourself to do it though, the shorter your times of struggle and self-abuse will last. By shifting your energy, you can change the way you feel to a more positive state!

Darryl McCullagh

Hypnotherapist – McCullagh Hypnotherapy


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