This topic was requested by a wonderful reader @bodyhammer!
I have a topic I’d like to submit to you,
I’ve been in the Reddit comments lately of extreme newbie Gunpla posts, the third build, tried panel liner on uncoated kits – giving tips and trying to be friendly to the extreme beginner and one thing I can’t leave un-addressed is negative self-talk about it
If I had a penny for every negative comment someone or myself have ever made about our works then I could probably buy out Bandai. We’ve all heard the mantra right?
“This is shitty but check out this kit”
“This is my first time trying this, hope I didn’t screw it up too bad.”
“At least this wasn’t an expensive kit/figure I messed up.”
or as a reply to a compliment
“Oh hey, that looks nice!” “Yeah, I’m glad it didn’t turn out as bad as I thought it would”
It’s a not-so-wonderful side of negative self-talk.
What is negative self-talk?
Well, it’s just that. It’s a negative referral to one’s self or their work. Now this applies to EVERYTHING. Hobby, work, academics, and so on. It’s a universal problem that many people deal with or have dealt with, so have no fear if it’s something you struggle with. I know I catch myself doing it once and a while.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are four main types of negative self-talk
This is when something is either good or bad. Black or white with no gray middle ground. Something you did is either perfect or a complete hunk of crap.
I messed up one small thing so this whole build/mini is ruined
This is when you blame yourself for something bad occurring. For example, a friend hasn’t responded to your message yet? Must mean they hate your guts and never want to speak to you because you did something terrible, right? Probably not, they might be busy, but you assume the worst of it.
This is when you only focus on the bad parts of a situation and ignore (or “filter”) the good ones.
I did this cool thing minus this one part so it’s crap.
This is when you only anticipate the worst. You mess up something small and you think the rest will be a disaster.
Oh man I messed up this seam line and now the whole thing is ruined!
How does this translate to our hobbies?
People do themselves a real disservice when talking about themselves in a negative light. This can often sabotage your confidence in what you do.
It’s easy to get burnt out when we keep this mentality and this can easily ruin a great hobby for some folks.
It’s important to note that you will make mistakes in what you do. It’s natural. It happens to everyone. Sometimes it happens on its own. There’s very little that can’t be fixed and you might not have to fix them just yet. That’s okay. If it can’t be fixed, well, shit happens and sometimes we just have to move on. It doesn’t fully define who you are in the hobby.
Beginners seem to get the brunt of this from what I’ve seen. They’re new and learning the ropes. They see experienced hobbyists posting what they make. Due to this, they can often feel inadequate due to this without realizing that it takes time to get to where they’re at. It takes trial and error to get to that level.
I’ve failed at many things and have taken them to heart. It’s difficult to get out of that mentality for me but there are things we can do to help.
What are some things I can do to help myself?
Negative talk can be something that can be difficult to manage. I should know. What can be done is practicing some methods of fostering a positive inner monologue or just a matter of shifting perspectives.
Remember that thoughts aren’t real and can often be subjected to biases such as moods or physical feelings. Try to nip your inner critic in the bud when it tries to put you down. Challenge it. Ask it how true it is. Most of it is an exaggeration.
Replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. Give yourself a positive compliment when you build or create something. Admit that you tried your best and use that to foster healthy opinions of yourself.
This looks like crap because ___ > This looks nice, I wonder how I can improve _____
Now, this isn’t a one-and-done thing. This takes time to build up momentum.
Please don’t get discouraged over it and continue on.
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Have a happy Monday everyone!
4 thoughts on “Negative Self-Talk: Stop that!”
What a great read! I sometimes have negative self-talk and it is hard to switch my brain into thinking positive instead of negative thoughts. But the more you work on it the easier it gets!
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I am the worst with self-talk! Ugh, it’s so hard to stop it. But I try really hard. Thanks for posting this, really hit home today.
This is huge for me and something I am really big on with my kids. Negative self talk is easy to do. Especially with the peer pressures and social pressure that exists. I am so thankful you made this post!