Challenging Negative Self Talk

Look for alternative explanations

  • what is the evidence for and against my thinking?
  • are my thoughts accurate representations of reality, or merely interpretations?
  • Am I jumping to conclusions, or using other cognitive distortions/automatic negative thoughts?
  • do I need to do experiments to see if my thoughts are really true?

Reality Testing

  • are there other ways to view this situation?
  • what else could this mean?
  • If I were being positive how could I view this situation?


  • is this situation really as bad as I think it is?
  • What is the worst that could happen?
  • How likely is that to happen?
  • What is the best thing that could happen?
  • What is more likely to happen?
  • Is there anything good about this situation?
  • Will this matter in 5 years time?

Goal-Focused Action

  • is thinking this way helping me feel good or achieve my goals?
  • what can I do that will help me solve the problem?
  • is there something I can learn from this situation which will help me do it better next time?


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