Like it or not, we human beings talk to ourselves all the time. Sadly, this self-talk is often negative. We seem to believe en mass that the stick is a better motivator than the carrot. Research, on the other hand, says differently. When children (and grown ups) are praised for the effort they put into something, they are more likely to feel motivated to put in more effort. Criticized for what they did, people will start doing the minimum they need to do to get by. As a colleague and friend of mine said, “You can't criticize people into high performance.”
Fear and criticism can sometimes motivate people, but these are short term wins. Long term wins require a positive attitude that is focused on excellence. When people focus on perfection, it is easy to feel defeated and shift into negative self-talk. However, a slight quarter degree turn and the self-talk can be such that it motivates you to be more resilient, to persist, and to innovate.
The truth (that most of us forget) is that self-talk is a choice. Granted, for most of us, it is not a conscious choice that we are making to feel bad. However, once people learn and begin to practice positive self-talk, rewards come quickly. Those rewards lead to more consciousness and greater dedication to practice positive self-talk.
The best way that I've found to start changing the inner dialogue away from self-criticism, self put-down, etc., is to start practicing credit taking. That builds the muscles of the angel so that when you experience a traitor attack, you already have a neural network set up to come in and respond to the traitor, stopping it in its tracks or at least, making it less ferocious.
Since we humans do talk to ourselves, it is worth the time, energy, and commitment to learn how to talk to yourself in a way that helps you feel good about yourself, be as productive as you want, and, in the end, feel more joy. What could be bad with that?