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How to Stop Negative Self-Talk at Work

By Jackie Chavez M.A.

Man starting at computer screen with expression of concern. When we're gripped by negative self-talk at work, it can freeze us in our tracks.

Negative Self-Talk Is…

an internal dialogue that limits our ability to believe in ourselves and achieve our goals. Recognizing what negative self-talk sounds like and how to reframe it is essential for learning how to stop negative self-talk from affecting you.

Here are some examples of how negative self-talk might sound at work and how we can stop it by reframing our thinking!

Examples of Negative Self-Talk at Work:

"I missed the deadline. I'm so unreliable."

Reframe: I don't always miss deadlines. Maybe I need to block off some time in my schedule to review upcoming due dates. I can give myself grace and make adjustments for next time.

"I didn't get the promotion. I'll probably never make it here."

Reframe: Maybe I need to look more carefully at the reasons why I didn't get promoted. Maybe it didn't have to do with my performance - it could have been due to things outside my control. I may end up getting the promotion in the future.

"I made a mistake on that presentation. I'm a failure."

Reframe: I need to give myself grace. Everyone makes mistakes. I can learn from my mistakes and adjust how I practice my presentation next time.

"If I take a break, everything will fall apart without me."

Reframe: Even if I take a break and everything falls apart, it's an opportunity to step back and re-evaluate how much I've put on my plate. Who can I ask for help with my workload, or to help pick up the slack while I'm away?

We hope this helps you identify some of the ways negative self-talk may be affecting you. Part of changing our behavior is changing the way we relate to ourselves. Learning to reframe negative self-talk is a great step in that journey!


Let's talk about the hard stuff.

Artesian Collaborative is a mental health practice based in Chicago. We excel at guiding individuals and teams through tense and difficult topics - and helping them feel good about it.

Our therapists provide mental health counseling for individuals, couples, and families. Our team also leads corporate and community trainings in the areas of Stress Management, Diversity Equity & Inclusion, and Relational Leadership.


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