5 Things to Stop Telling Yourself


Why do we find it easier to give ourselves negative messages rather than positive? Most of the time, it is because we believe what we are saying. Does that make it true? No! What is often going on is a form of self-hypnosis. If we repeat an idea over and over, we begin to accept it as valid. Whether the idea is negative or positive, we absorb it and it becomes real to our psyche. We get what we focus on. What compels us, then, spend so much of our inner dialogue putting ourselves down instead of building ourselves up!

For one day, track how many negative phrases you say to yourself about yourself. How often do you “hear” one or more of the phrases listed below? If it’s more than once, it’s too often. What do you have to lose by thinking good thoughts about who you are? How you think shapes your world far more than you may have ever imagined. You are entitled to shift gears, to look at yourself without judgment.

Once you have observed your habitual thoughts, try this: Don’t say a single negative word about yourself for a day. No self-criticism whatsoever. If that’s hard, aim for an hour! How do you feel? Write it down, because there will be a difference.

Here are 5 ideas none of us need. They suck away energy. They only have power if we give them our habitual attention. Consider them debris, and kick them to the curb. Replace them, every time, with the words that are added in bold.

1. I’m not good enough

Just by virtue that you exist, you are a vital and unique part of this life we all share. You are inherently worthy. When the impulse comes to tell yourself twenty times a day that you’re not good enough, say instead, twenty times a day, “I am worthy.”

2. They are better than me, more intelligent, more artistic, more this or that

We can fool ourselves with this one a lot. We see what other people do and feel there’s plenty of evidence we don’t have their talent and skill. But who says we have to be like them? Who’s the judge here? We each have a talent, uniquely our own, and we always know what that is because we love doing it. There isn’t a set of talents or skills we have to fill. We are meant to find our own, and give to that our best self. Say instead: “I love doing (whatever it is) and I’m good at it.”

More: How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People

3. I’m not likable or lovable

This is a big one. It justifies (explains) a lot of things that go wrong for us, or so we think. But it isn’t true. Believing it is actually believing in an illusion, and we repeat it way too often. It is also the hardest idea to shift. There is only one way. Dare to say instead, whether you believe it or not at first, “I love who I am.”

4. I can’t succeed

Our society pushes the idea that success is being first at something, and that it is accompanied by financial reward. That definition is fine as far as it goes, but it’s not the only one. Success in its essence is a feeling of achievement that arises whenever we do something well – it doesn’t matter what that is, small or large – we know in our heart that it matters. Say instead, “I do succeed.”

5. I am powerless

Here is another illusion. In truth, what this means is that we have decided to relinquish our own personal power and give it away, usually to a person or to a situation. We can live years believing that we cannot alter outcomes. We let go of our own sense of self, and let others define us. The self-hypnosis on this one runs deep. But it can be turned around, and fast. Just say instead, “I take back my personal power.”

In the end, thinking positive thoughts about yourself (and deleting the negative ones!) will transform your life for the better. No one else is quite like you. You have an inner light that is meant to shine out into the world.