You sit down for lunch at your favourite spot with a few of your friends. The menu’s got some
new options including a decadent mac and cheese that’s just calling your name. When the
waiter comes to take your order, you watch as everyone orders a salad or lighter fare.
“I will never be as disciplined as them,” you tell yourself. “I might as well give up on those last
five pounds now. I’m too lazy to ever be at the weight I want.”
When the waiter turns to you, you order the mac and cheese, but now you feel guilty about it,
ashamed that you can’t commit to anything. When your meal arrives, you barely taste it; feeling
like each bite is headed straight for your hips.
Why do we punish ourselves in this way?
Well, it’s called self-talk. It’s the little voice in your head that pops up every now and again.
When that little voice is positive, you’re all set to achieve anything! However, when it’s negative,
that little voice can wreck havoc on your self improvement or life goals.
The biggest problem with negative self-talk is that it creates a type reality around you. If you tell
yourself that you aren’t good enough, you will start to believe it, and others will too.
Here’s an interesting fact:
You alone are responsible for how you feel.
At the end of the day, you alone are responsible for how you feel about yourself. The old adage
is true, it doesn’t matter what others say. If you feel that you are worthless, this is going to
translate to how you act and what you do every day.
Good News; You Aren’t Perfect!
Have you ever gone on social media, looked at one of your friend’s posts and thought, “If I was
prettier, I could have what they have.”
Guess what? Those are negative thoughts!
Perfection is something that we all seem to strive for in all areas of our lives. We want
everything from the perfect grade to the perfect job, the perfect body to the perfect parenting
style. The problem with perfection is that it is 100% unattainable. Instead, try accepting or
embracing your imperfections. They are what make you unique. When you don’t compare
yourself to anyone else, this is when you can discover who you truly are.
Would My Best Friend Say This?
“Wow, you suck at everything. You can’t even plan a dinner party right!”
Would your best friend ever say something like this to you? (If you find yourself answering yes,
it might be time to reevaluate your friendship.) Chances are your best friend is the one person
in the world who will give you encouragement when you feel down. So, whenever you have a
negative thought, or start feeling down, ask yourself if your best friend would speak to you in
such a way. If not, think about what they would say instead to turn that negative into a positive.
Thoughts Can Be Changed; So Can You!
Sometimes it’s truly difficult to figure out whether or not you’re slipping into an internal shame
spiral. First thing’s first: don’t beat yourself up. Stop whatever it is that you’re doing, take a deep
breath and carefully evaluate your thoughts.
When in doubt, remember that negative thoughts will make you feel ashamed, worried, or
unhappy. Positive thoughts will lift you up, or make you feel confident and happy.
How can you become more aware of negative self-talk?
1. Healthy Mantras are a wonderful way to start repeating positive things and forget about
the negative. Phrases like, know your limitations and then defy them or strive for
progress not perfection really help to create focus and perspective.
2. Follow people who can guide and inspire you. These people could be friends or family
you admire, or even a celebrity like Tony Robbins, Dr. Wayne Dyer or Deepak Chopra.
3. Download apps that help you focus on the positive. There are plenty on the market like
Akasha and Happify that can point you in the right direction.
4. Taking a walk helps to appreciate and see the world around you in a different way. It
gives you the space and freedom you need to observe your thoughts.
If you do find yourself dealing with some negative self-talk, the next step is to turn it into positive
If you’re thinking, “I can’t do this, I’ve never done it before!” here’s a great alternative: “This is
going to be a wonderful learning experience.”
“I really, really suck at this and I’m never going to get any better.” Try thinking instead, “I’ll give
it another try tomorrow.”
Write these positive thoughts on sticky note and put them somewhere where you’re guaranteed
to see them. For example, your fridge, bathroom mirror, laptop or monitor. This way, you will get
a little boost of positivity throughout your day, especially when you need the reminder.
By turning negative self-talk into positive self-talk you change your reality. You will start to
believe that you can focus on self improvement and achieve those life goals.
Practice, Practice, Practice . . .
Changing negative self-talk into positive self-talk is a process. This means that it’s not going to
happen overnight. The most important thing you can do is to learn to identify when that little
voice is telling you something negative. Slowly but surely you will transform your thinking, you’ll
If negative self-talk seems to be taking over your life, it might be time focus on your
Akasha meditations, or to visit your primary care physician. The benefits of focusing on
your wellbeing or discussing options with someone who can help will truly help!