• StevenF

Enough with The Negative Self-Talk

I happened to run across this post on the Nextdoor app:

It really broke my heart that this woman thinks that way about herself. The negative programming we tell ourselves or that others have instilled in us and we choose to believe can be so damaging to both our psyche and progress.

Imagine having it so ingrained in you that you are fat, ugly, and unintelligent—and as the post infers, that it is all your fault.

I have other friends who carry around this sort of mental baggage. You can see it in their spirits—that they're ugly, stupid, worthless, etc.

The thing is, it doesn't have to be that way. Sadly, a lot of this programming occurs in childhood during our formative years. Relationships we have with parents, teachers, friends, family members, classmates, significant others etc. can also cause us to believe things about ourselves that simply aren't true. And unfortunately, the more we believe those things and tell ourselves they are true, the more they seem to become our reality.

And so we have to reprogram our thoughts. This, of course, can be challenging, especially after years of negative programming. Sometimes the first step is just telling yourself the opposite of what you believe, even if you don't believe it at first.

The key for me is awareness. How do I feel about myself when I think this thought? If the thought makes me feel heavy or bad about myself, then I work to change my thought patterns.

What would happen to our spirits if we told ourselves every day how beautiful, unique, and special we are? How amazing we are?

We are, you know. We really are.

You are.

There is literally no one nor has there ever been someone exactly like you. You are the only you that has ever existed. Isn't that something? Isn't that truly something to be celebrated?

I wish I could reach into that woman's heart. Or into the heart of my friend who can't let go of the wrongs of the past. Or into the heart of my friend who thinks she's ugly and is always cutting herself down. Or into the heart of my friend who keeps getting into relationships with men who make her feel worthless. Or into the heart of an acquaintance who feels she has to cut other people down or sabotage them in order to make her feel better about herself. Or into the hearts of so many people I know who have convinced themselves they are "less than."

I wish I could let them and you who are reading this know that you are more than that. You really are.

I think some of the most damaging and toxic behavior comes from those who suffer deep insecurity about themselves. It doesn't have to be that way. It really doesn't.

We stop ourselves with that sort of negative mind trash. That's the sort of stuff that prevents us from moving forward. I have my own mind trash, too. I am not immune either. But it is those fears and pronouncements that we are not good enough or that we are somehow deficient or lacking in some way that hold us back. That lock us in the past. That prevent us from fully believing that we are better than we are.

And we deserve more than that. We are more than that. If you catch yourself telling yourself something that makes you feel bad about yourself, ask yourself, "Who would I be without that thought?" And then choose to let that thought go. Reframe the thought into something more positive, sometimes even a question.


Instead of

"I'm a failure."

Tell yourself something like,

"That didn't go as well I would have liked. What I learn to do better next time?"

"I look like crap." vs. "Everyone has a bad hair/makeup day. I'm still beautiful."

"I'm so stupid." vs. "I made a mistake. I need to give myself more grace. What can I learn to avoid making that same mistake again?"

"Nobody likes me." vs. "I am loved."

"I always end up with the wrong kind of person." vs. "Sometimes I make relationship choices that are not productive. What changes can I make to find someone who deserves someone as terrific as I am?"

"I'm having a terrible day." vs. "What are the good things that have happened today and how can I focus on them?"

"Nothing good ever happens to me." vs "What amazing things have happened to me that I can be grateful for?"


It's not always easy. But it's about reframing the programming we input. I truly believe the more we focus on the good and positive and the more we share and spread that energy to those around us, the more it comes back to us.

Enough with the negative self-talk. Empower yourself to see the fabulous person you really are.

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