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Brenda Della Casa

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Question:Got a Question? How do I rid myself of negative self-talk?

I sabatoge a lot of relationships or stifle them by my own negative perception of self.

Asked by deborahmom on 11/19/08 3 Answers»


Hey Deborah,

I am the same way. I tend to be self-deprecating to be funny, but in a more personal context it pushes people away. I'm not saying anything I haven't heard all my life, but at the same time, I know it's not true. I can tell you what worked for me, but I don't know if this would be something your interested in. I took Stephen Covey's 7 Habits course and started putting the steps into action. I sit down on Sundays for about two hours and figure out what I want to accomplish for the week and where and when I will accomplish it. I also pick three relationships and the role I play in that relationship to work on. For example, my friend and I were having some challenges with one another and I was worried we'd just moved on to separate paths. I decided I wanted to work on that relationship and we discovered it was a lack of communication. I also write all of these things down. I've found that when I set myself specific mental goals, I tend to be too busy thinking of them to talk negatively about myself.

I'd also recommend "The Magic of Thinking BIG" by David J. Schwartz. It's kind of cheesy like most self-help books, but it does have some pretty good pearls in there, too. For your situation, Schwartz says "Your mind is a thought factory. It's a busy factory, producing countless thoughts in one day. Production in your thought factory is under the charge of two foremen, one is Mr. Triumph (I know) and the other Mr. Defeat." He goes on to describe how each "foreman" works and that they're instantly obedient. The point is that if you feel yourself being negative, it's simply a matter of telling Mr. Defeat to sit back and relax and Mr. Triumph to step forward. In other words, if you catch yourself being negative, stop and turn it into a positive. This puts the positive thoughts in your mind and your day will be the better for it. It takes practice and work to catch and turn these negative thoughts and feelings around, but it can be done.

Hope that helps!

Answered by: Kristy101081 on 11/24/08
Brenda Della Casa


Dear DeborahMom:

What an important question. I am sure there are many other readers who can relate to your question.
We live in a society that glorifies both the quest for total perfection and judgment. Each is taxing and painful on its own but put them together and they’ll work a number on your self-esteem that will leave you gasping. Each and every day we are bombarded with airbrushed images of celebrities, fed PR- glazed stories and given unrealistic blueprints of what our lives, looks, relationships and family lives should be.

There are advertisements to tell us we need to fight the natural process of aging else we be marked “unlovable”, magazine articles to remind us that other women are the enemy, lingerie ad’s to show us how unsexy we are, colleagues to judge us at work, family members to judge us at home and tabloids to remind us of glamorous lives most of us will never afford. With this cycle on repeat, it’s no wonder more and more women are walking around feeling as though they will never measure up.

So, what do they do? They start believing the messages that are being sent to them on a constant basis.
The first step to having a kinder dialogue with yourself is to take some time and truly befriend yourself. Sit down and meditate on the things you have achieved, survived and the lessons you have learned. Acknowledge that success means different things to different people and perfection is arbitrary. A perfect moment for one person is hell for another and so on. Next, forgive yourself. This sounds easy but , in fact, it will be one of the hardest things you will ever do.

The more you get to know yourself and acknowledge the beauty that is unique to you, the more you will want to protect yourself—even from your own self bashing. Until you can get to the point where it is an automatic response, try standing up for yourself to yourself the same way you would your best friend. If someone told your best friend she were ugly, stupid, irresponsible, unlovable or said some other hurtful comment, how would you react? You are worthy of that love too.

Best of luck to you,

Brenda Della Casa
Author, Cinderella Was a Liar

Answered by: Brenda Della Casa on 11/20/08


I don't think there is any easier way to do it than to try to replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. Deepak Chopra says we have something like 50,000 thoughts a day and most of them are negative, so you're not alone. You're probably just more sensitive or in tune with your inner critic.

Try to think before you speak and filter what is coming out. Be aware of the triggers and try to avoid them. So, stop having that same conversation with yourself about all the stuff you're not good at and try running some good qualities out there. If you can't think of anything you think is positive ask some friends and family members to tell you a few things about you they like.

You're right in feeling that if you don't think you're worth the time that other people won't. Unfortunately, there is some truth to perception being reality.

Practice positive body language as well. Stand up straight, hold your head high, take a deep breath and repeat some affirmations that feel good to you. The one that always gets me pumped up is: I am a being unlike any other. The reason I like this is because it's true ... It's not like I'm saying I'm the most beautiful or smartest or tallest. It's acknowledging that I am unique and special and there some pride in that. No one else is like me. No one else is like you. There's power in that. Use it. And be good to yourself.

Answered by: VictoriaB on 11/20/08
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