Contributed by Olivia F.
One of the goals I have had since I was a child was to be a successful CEO of a major company. What type of company or how I would get there, I didn’t know. As I got older, I found I had a passion for writing so I began to fantasize about being a successful, best-selling author. So there I was with my lofty goal in mind but I had not bothered to put together a map of how to get there. In the meantime, I criticized myself incessantly with self-talk that went something like this, “What are you doing? Why aren’t you making more money? Shouldn’t you have published at least one book by now? What are you waiting for? Why aren’t you…?”
Besides this constant chatter going on in my head, I procrastinated. I would put together a writing plan but never stick to it. Either I didn’t have time or suddenly some other, ‘more important’ things would pop up that I had to do. Whatever reasons I came up with, I ended up telling myself I’d write later. Just one thing, later never came and I began the cycle of self-criticism which led to further inaction on my part.
Finally, tired of putting myself down and giving up on myself, I decided I needed help. But, deep down inside I felt ashamed because I was nowhere near my goal after all these years. Even worse, I had friends who were actively going for their dreams and making a lot of headway. I questioned what they had that I didn’t. I knew I had the smarts, the desire and the skills. So what was really going on? I decided that I needed to look inside myself and try to get to the bottom of this.
As I started going through this process, I came across a book, You Can Heal Your Life.
At first I thought it was corny. But I soon realized that what I was reading was true. I didn’t approve of myself and I felt I wasn’t good enough to get it done. I decided it was time for a change. One of the recommendations that I adopted had to do with changing my self-talk. After understanding how much the voice in my head was getting in the way of being in action, here’s what I started doing. Every time I noticed that voice of self-criticism, I shifted my attention and told myself, “I approve of myself”, “I’m worth it”, “I have what it takes”, “I can do what’s necessary to bring my dreams to life.” While I slip up now and then, most of the time I affirm that I am a good person who is worthy of success and wealth — which goes a far way in neutralizing the fake arguments and scenarios that used to run unchecked through my mind.
I am glad I found this book that has already helped me immensely. While there is definitely more for me to do and uncover in this process, I feel I am on the right track. I have begun to feel more positive about what I am looking to accomplish and I am becoming more consistent in my actions towards my goals.
If you are struggling with the problems of self-criticism and self-doubt as I have, consider reading You Can Heal Your Life.
Are there other books or resources you can recommend to manage and change negative self-talk? We invite you to share your ideas in the comment box below.