How to Defeat the Negative Inner Voice

screen-shot-2-15-at-124832-pm.pngDo YOU have a negative inner monologue working against your own best interest?

Most of us have a critical inner voice that occasionally points out our shortcomings and imperfections; but for some people, this voice is practically non stop.

I’ve bumped up against it too, so I understand how loud and persistent it can be, and how devastating it is to self esteem and confidence. The voice tells us ridiculous things, over and over, as if on a loop: “I’m not smart enough, I’m not good enough, I can’t do it.”

But you can break this self-destructive cycle of negativity and silence that critical inner voice. The solution is actually easier than most people think.

We defeat the voice by beating it at its own game. The real power of the critical inner voice (also known as the super-ego) comes from persistence and repetition. When you constantly hear negative affirmations repeated in your thoughts, they can’t help but have an effect on you.

The good news is you can use this same principle to your advantage, to build positive self-esteem, powerful confidence and a healthy self-image. You just have to use these same two characteristics: persistence and repetition.

The Power of The List

Years ago I began encouraging people to make daily gratitude lists after I discovered the powerful effect this habit had on my life. It forced me to think about what was right in my life, what was good and worthwhile; and over time it became a habit that improved my life immensely.

A few years later I discovered the power of making self-esteem lists. It’s the same basic idea, but you focus exclusively on your own positive attributes. For example, make a list right now in your mind of five positive attributes you have. Go on. I’ll wait for you…

Did you make your list? Good. You may have noticed that it forced you to ask some pretty empowering questions like, “What am I getting right in life? ” “What are my strengths?” “What should I be proud of?” “How am I beneficial to others?” ” What are my best qualities?”  “What do I excel at?” ” What obstacles have I overcome?”

Making these lists every day will force your mind to consider questions like this, leading to a new appreciation and respect for who you are.


Of course, if you’ve had that negative inner voice berating and belittling you for many years, it won’t suddenly stop overnight. It’ a gradual process, but you’ll be fighting back against the negativity,  introducing more balance into your life, and forcing your mind to consider things from a new perspective. 

With each self-esteem list you’ll be re-writing your self-image.

If you want to build real confidence, begin making daily self-esteem lists. I recommend making them first thing in the morning, in the afternoon, and then right before bed. It’s also a good idea to make random self-esteem lists now and again in your head. The next time you have a few minutes to kill waiting for an appointment, driving, etc., think of five positive attributes about yourself. And try to find new things each time you do this exercise. Dig deep to discover all your positive qualities

Start today – there’s no time like the present. If you don’t have paper and pen handy, make a quick list in your mind. Begin with two or three things and each time you make a list, try to expand on them and find something new. Doing this daily pays off.  And when you improve your self-esteem, you improve your life.

Jon Mercer

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  1. Yuvi

    | Reply

    Making lists have helped me a lot. Thanks for a great post :)

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