Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Should fear of negative self-talk be on Top Ten lists of fears?

Back on July 1st the web site had an article titled Fear of Public Speaking: Our #1 Fear is Talking to Someone Else that began with the nonsensical claim that:

“Every year, the survey engines around America release the ten biggest fears list, and at the top of the list, every single year, is Fear Of Public Speaking. Death is number two or three most of the time.”

Obviously they never saw the 2001 (and 1998) Gallup Polls reported with the title Snakes Top List of Americans’ Fears.

But,'s article title got me thinking about talking to ourselves (self-talk) versus talking with other people. That isn’t on Top Ten fear lists, because the question isn’t being asked in surveys.

Negative self talk clearly is a problem. In a July 2013 blog post at Life Practice for Schools Gaynor Dawson described it as being:

“ having a poison parrot in your head, which just won’t shut up.”

The negative self-talk problem  appears in blog posts and articles about public speaking. At No Freaking Speaking Matt Abraham discussed Be Kind To Yourself: Managing Your Self-Talk and Fear Stories To Reduce Speaking Anxiety. Sandra Zimmer wrote at length about Self-Talk: What You Say to Yourself Determines Your Experience.

There also are brief discussions at medical web sites like Turn Down Negative Self-Talk at Web MD, and Positive thinking: Stop negative self-talk to reduce stress at the Mayo Clinic. Down in Australia at the Center for Clinical Interventions there is a detailed nine-module course on Improving Self-Esteem.

The image of a Blue-eyed cockatoo came from Christian Paul Stobbe on Wikimedia Commons

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