Ditch Negativity By Rewriting Your Inner Dialogue [With Video]

Written by Darren Kanthal

December 14, 2023

inner dialogue

Video Transcription:

How many times have you heard from people like me — coaches, self-help experts, talk about “just change your mindset”? And if you’ve heard that, I think you also know it’s just not that easy. It’s not like you just snap your fingers, and all of a sudden, you think something that sucks doesn’t suck anymore.

What I’ve come to realize, mostly for myself but also through my clients, is that a lot of the mindset really has to do with the internal dialogue – the internal monologue, the internal discussions, the internal narratives – that we have that lead to a certain mindset.

What Is Your Inner Dialogue?

For instance, if your spouse does that thing that always annoys you, the more you talk about how annoyed you are and how your spouse is doing it on purpose, and why can’t they just not do that? That inner dialogue, that narrative, just feeds on itself. Negativity breeds more negativity.

Just staying with the example of a spouse, and if you don’t have a spouse, you can replace that with child, parent, friend, boss, co-worker, or anybody else that’s annoying you and think about a different conversation to have.

Now, for instance, with my partner, Rachel, when she does some of the things that irritate me and when I think about the irritation, I just continue to spin on the negativity, and it makes me more and more annoyed.

Changing The Discussion

On the flip side, when I change the discussion, I remember that at some point, I’m going to forgive her. At some point, we’ll be back in love and having the good times that we always do, then sometimes I say to myself, “Well, why don’t I speed this up? Like, what am I really annoyed about? Well, I’m annoyed about this thing. Why? What’s the big deal? What’s so annoying about it?” And what starts to happen is I’ve just started to change the discussion.

Sometimes, I remember all of the reasons I love her and why I want to spend time with her. And that alone can change the discussion. So to me, changing your mindset is not just something to snap your fingers and next thing you know – POOF – the world is better. What sucks doesn’t suck, the thing that’s irritating you is no longer irritable. But if we can change the discussion we’re having with ourselves – if we can think about the thing in a different way, if we can find something positive about why it’s raining when I’ve got to walk between here and there, or why there’s traffic when I’m in a rush, or why my partner does this thing that annoys me or whatever it is.

How To Change The Discussion You Have With Yourself

Bottom line is, if you can change the discussion you’re having with yourself, you have just changed your mindset. There’s lots of tools out there. The one that I love, I’ve talked about it many times, is positive intelligence. It gives us a framework and a way of changing the conversation. If you’re all interested, I’d love to talk to you about it.

Without that or without any tool, really, the thing I challenge you with today is as you get annoyed with stuff, or whatever negative emotion it is, think about how can you change the discussion you’re having about the thing.

Darren Kanthal

Darren Kanthal, Founder of The Kanthal Group, is a values-driven leadership and career coach with over 20 years of experience in HR and Talent Acquisition. Darren is intensely passionate about helping mid-career leaders cut through the BS, do the foundational work, and achieve their greatness.


Choose, evaluate, and rank your core values with our simple and straightforward assessment.

Discover Your Core Values

You have Successfully Subscribed!