Join The Transformation Club
Back to Blog

Putting the Brakes on Negative Self-Talk - 086

podcast self-esteem Aug 23, 2021

You may not know if being free of negative self-talk is going to be right for you.  You may not know if you’re going to be SO happy with your new-found freedom that you’ll have to email me and tell me about it.  You may not know if this transformation is going to be really fun and exciting. 

And, if it’s not as wonderful as others have experienced and you want your previous negative self-talk life back, you can re-create that life again – although you may want to give your new-found freedom a little time before you decide.  

In this episode Dr B talks about:

  • 4 steps to ending negative self-talk
  • What life is like without negative self-talk
  • The importance of celebrating your wins
  • Strong community and Live Q & A in the Living Beyond ADHD FB Group
  • Getting on the informational Waitlist for the ADDventures in Achievement Foundational Skills program

Developing your Executive Function Skills and shifting your limiting beliefs is the fastest and most effective way to overcome ADHD limitations, find focus, gain confidence, and newfound freedom in your life!

My mission is to put an end to the worldwide needless suffering of adults with ADHD and those with under-developed Executive Function Skills - whether from ADHD, chronic depression or anxiety, trauma, addictions, or chronic illnesses.  And, you don't need a formal diagnosis to know you need help developing these executive function skills in order to greatly reduce your suffering.

 

Full Episode Transcript Putting the Brakes on Negative Self-Talk! Episode #086

Years ago, my negative self-talk was ruining my life. I read lots of books on what to say to myself and how to say it and still the negative thoughts kept pouring through my mind all day long. If I made a mistake – negative thought. If I was late for an appointment – negative thought. If I gave my word and broke it – negative thought. And not just one or two negative thoughts for everything I did; they would overtake my mind for hours. If this happens to you, and you want to put the brakes on your negative self-talk, stay with me as I share what I taught myself, and others to do as well.

You may not know if being free of negative self-talk is going to be right for you. You may not know if you’re going to be SO happy with your new-found freedom that you’ll have to email me and tell me about it. You may not know if this transformation is going to be really fun and exciting.

And, if it’s not as wonderful as others have experienced and you want your previous negative self-talk life back, you can re-create that life again – although you may want to give your new-found freedom a little time before you decide.

I firmly believe that the little girl I once was still lives on inside of me. She is the keeper of my passion, playfulness, curiosity, and overall energizer-bunny energy, and she is amazing. And yet, there were many times that I was abusing her with my words, thoughts, actions and reactions to life events. I would speak to her with disgust in my voice and blame her constantly for bad outcomes.

One day, when I was having a field day with my negative self-talk, I realized that I had hit the wall and just couldn’t stand it anymore. But I didn’t know how to stop it. The books hadn’t helped. The professionals hadn’t helped. So, I got quiet and went inside myself, and then I knew what to do. I needed to confront myself.

I went into the bathroom, stood in front of the mirror, and looked myself in the eyes – eyeball to eyeball – and made myself say out loud exactly what I was saying to myself in the privacy of my own mind. It was horrible. As I continued to look myself in the eyes – I saw beyond what I typically see – I saw that little girl inside of me in such pain for what she heard me saying. It was heartbreaking.

And, if that wasn’t enough to shift my way of speaking to myself, I went and got a photo of my little girl when she was about 3 or 4 years old, and I held that photo in my hand, and continued the conversation with her. I told her that I didn’t care if I was hurting her. I wanted what I wanted, and if it was hurtful to her, then so be it. Again, it was an awful experience.

And since I don’t leave things to chance, I then imagined that I was speaking to a real little girl age 3 or 4, standing in front of me, saying those words to her, and I choked and couldn’t speak. I burst into tears. I was abusing her. I didn’t think of myself as an abuser, and yet I was in that moment and many prior moments. I was as abusive to the little girl as I was abusive to myself – my adult self. I was thinking that it didn’t matter what I was saying or doing to myself because I could take it.

In that moment, I realized that the abusive voice I had taken on wasn’t mine – it was a voice I grew up with. It was a dialogue that I was familiar with. It was punitive and cruel and seemingly had no love in it for me. This is what that voice sounded like and felt like to me. Whether it truly was or wasn’t doesn’t matter because I know that we all create our own reality and narratives about the events of our lives and that was mine. Those were people who were supposed to love me and protect me and care for me, and it didn’t feel like they did. And since they spoke to me as they did, I felt I could speak to myself that way as well. Little did I know back then the part I played in that reality I created.

Was I going to continue the abuse or put a stop to it immediately? The decision was clear – putting the brakes on the negative self-talk must happen immediately. Not another word to be uttered with such cruelty and disrespect to my little girl. Instead, she became the focus of my attention. I used my EF skills of Metacognition, Inhibiting, Shifting, Emotional Control and Self-Monitoring to change my relationship with my little girl. I learned to shower her with love and kindness, and made self-care a top priority; my intentions always considered her and what was for her highest good. This is where the healing of my relationship with my SELF, my younger SELF started. I forced myself to tell the truth to myself and confront my abusiveness and stop it.

From there, I started to rebuild trust between my adult SELF and my little girl SELF because obviously she didn’t trust me – why should she after all the abuse I heaped on her? Gradually, she began to trust me and one day, we negotiated how we would co-exist moving forward. We discussed what she needed and what I needed so that both of our needs could be met. I say that because I think of this physical body that we live in as a “time share” – a space that we both live in and need to share the care and responsibilities for. The result of our negotiation was that she gets her needs met first, every single day – the first 3 hours of the day are for her, no matter what, and then an hour at the end of the day before bedtime is hers as well. She shares her evening hour with me and Pink because she loves Pink as much as I do.

I co-exist today in my timeshare with my little girl and my living amends to her remains a top priority; she gets the first 3 hours of every day and the final hour in the evening before its time to sleep for 8 hours. That’s 50% of each day given to sleep and my little girl. The rest of each day is for everything else. And since I stopped abusing her, life is good – it’s fun, exciting, structured as needed, and self-integrity leads. What I commit to my adult self and child self remains non- negotiable. My word is all I have and it must remain sacred.

This renewed relationship with my SELF makes decision-making easy, choices obvious and life free of drama for the most part. For those of you who want “the steps” to take to get started on your own journey away from negative self-talk, stay tuned.

Since self-talk is part of being human, mine is positive, encouraging and empowering. I have learned to offer myself “grace” and have replaced conditional love with unconditional love for myself. I learned some great lessons watching the Ryan Reynolds movie – School of Life. In the basketball scenes, the players and spectators cheered if the team missed a throw, made a basket, the other team made a basket, a team member lost the ball, etc. People cheered no matter what. It took the edge off of the need to win the game and instead they played to have a good time and do their best. Over time, this attitude resulted in them winning games and eventually the championship. I imagine their self-talk used to be very negative and punishing as well as punishing to their team members. With an amazing coach, they turned it around and talked to themselves with pride and appreciation. They would check in and ask – are we doing our best? – and when the answer was a resounding “yes” – they cheered “great.”

So, what lessons did I take from that movie? To not take life so seriously. To celebrate my wins when I’m doing my best. It may not be the best I’ve ever done, however, it’s my best for that day or that situation – and hence my best.

So, what’s the negative self-talk that you are abusing yourself with? And are you ready to stop it now? I hope so because if you continue to abuse yourself, you must still want or need to receive that abuse.

If we were chatting and you told me that this is just how you are and have been for most of your life, I’d say great…and…you weren’t born this way. You can change if you’re ready to change.

We are definitely as limited as we make up our minds to be. We have so many limiting beliefs that are stored in our minds as facts when they aren’t facts; they are limiting beliefs. If something isn’t 100% true, then it’s a belief, not a fact, and most likely a limiting belief. We need to identify them, challenge them, disprove them, and shift them to beliefs that are empowering of us now.

Remember – whether you believe you can or believe you can’t – you’re right.

If you aren’t yet a member of my Facebook group, Living Beyond ADHD, I highly recommend you get over there and ask to join. And, if you follow the steps, you will be approved more quickly than if you don’t. The steps are: 1-Ask to join. 2- Answer the few questions that are asked of you, including the question about the group rules. 3-We have rules so that the group is a safe space, free of judgment, and a place where you can show up and interact with like-minded adults – laugh a little, learn a little and most of all be connected to a positive energy community. 4-Approvals are done 1-2x/week so please be patient.

I now go live in the group every Friday, at different times each week, and answer questions posed by group members from the weekly post for the live Q & A sessions. It’s definitely worth joining us to get your questions answered, unless you have all the answers you want.

Since everyone joining the group wants to develop their Executive Function skills or get accurate information about Executive Function skills and ADHD, I have lotsof free resources on my website at: drbarbaracohen.com as well as provide great posts in the group and the weekly live Q & A to support your needs.

And, if you are interested in learning more about the development of your Executive Function skills, you can join the ADDventures In Achievement Waitlist for January 2022. Getting on the Waitlist doesn’t obligate you to join the program. It simply provides you with information about Executive Function skills, and how the program facilitates you developing yours so that you no longer have limitations on what you can or can’t do. It’s an immersive, experiential 7-month program to help you transform your life.

For those of you who have been long time listeners, you know I am big on WINS and their importance in your life. There’s another important aspect to focusing on WINS and that is you are training your mind for consistency - every day to notice what is right with you, right with what you are doing and right in the world – in other words… WINS. And especially during a time in our world history when it would be easy to ignore what’s right or good or amazing – this is exactly what we all need to be focusing on to keep the level of positives within us high, so it can offset the high level of negatives that we are bombarded with every day.

A WINS mindset is pro-actively looking for and celebrating your wins. It will transform how you experience your life, if you let it, even during very challenging times, like now. How you experience your life and the meanings you give the events of your life contribute greatly to the quality of your life. We don’t always have control over the events or experiences; however, we do have control over the meaning we give them.

You are a precious child of God and the universe; and are called a “human being” not a “human doing” for good reason. You don’t have to earn your value; you were born with it. Your value comes from “who” you are; not what you do. And if you need a place to know that is true, be sure to join the Facebook group, Living Beyond ADHD, so you can be with others who will celebrate yours WINS with you and affirm that you are more than okay as you, the “human being.”

So, what’s it going to be for you today? If you posted a question in the FB group to be answered on the Friday live Q & A, that’s great! If you have stayed engaged in the content and with the community of the FB group, that’s an awesome win! And, if you’ve decided to stop buying the lies that there is nothing you can do to dramatically change the quality of your life, that’s fantastic! I’m so happy for you. You get the point; celebrate all of them. And none of this “half-hearted celebrating”; you’ve got to mean it. Exaggerate your emotions. YES!!! WOW!!! AWESOME!!! Be sure to celebrate your WINS – big and small – because celebrating daily builds consistency and makes a faster difference in your life.

How much time do we have? Not much. So, let’s get to it.

So, back to putting the brakes on your negative self-talk, and specific steps you can take. I’m wondering if you’ll start doing your inventory of negative self-talk while you listen to this episode or if you’ll need to pause the episode so you can focus on your inventory. You could do both, since you have freewill. You could even sleep on it and then write your inventory the next day by letting the examples of negative self-talk arise more easily.

Whichever way you’ve decided to inventory your negative self-talk is up to you. What I’m curious about is what are you specifically saying to yourself? That’s your first step – inventory what you are specifically saying to yourself.

Next, I wouldn’t tell you to believe that it’s not your voice berating you, because you might think to yourself – “whose voice would it be then Dr B if it’s not my voice?” It’s in your mind and it’s speaking to you, so it must be your voice. I understand your conviction, and yet many of my students have come to realize that those cruel voices speaking to them aren’t theirs – they belong to people from years earlier. This is your second step – determining the source of the voice(s).

The third step is determining what will get you to stop speaking to yourself this way; as you draw from my story earlier in this episode. I’m wondering if you’ll want to evict the internal voice that’s not yours – or not. Eventually, you’ll realize how long you’ve been working on stopping the negative self-talk without success, and consider an eviction notice, since you can’t heal what’s not real and if it’s not your voice, you can’t heal the issue – you can only evict.

And, if you decide against eviction because it’s not the right strategy, I wonder what strategies you’ll use to resolve this self-abuse. Perhaps go back and listen to the strategies I used to resolve this for myself and see which one’s appeal to you – perhaps all of them do because you want to be thorough. This is the fourth step.

There you have it. Four steps to freedom, if you’re ready to be free of your abusive negative self-talk.

Who will you be without your negative self-talk? If you’ve lived with it for so long, you might feel a loyalty to it and feel strange about the idea of releasing it or even transforming it into empowering self-talk.

I want you all to know that there is real hope for resolving the challenges you are experiencing with negative self-talk and that you can put this abusive way of life behind you, just like I did.

The widespread needless suffering of millions of adults around the world has to stop, and I am doing what I can to stop it with this generation; with us. We all need to address so much of the negativity that we have been indoctrinated with, as well as further develop our under-developed Executive Function skills if we want to live the life that is possible for us with those changes. We have to BE the person who lives the life we say we want; not struggle to live the life we say we want so we can become the person someday who has that life. That’s backwards thinking.

I learned that even with all the content knowledge developed to bring my program to the world years earlier, I hadn’t developed into the person I needed to BE to start this mental wellness transformation movement. I learned that the anonymous quote I found years ago was absolutely true – “Set a goal so big that you can’t achieve it until you grow into the person who can.”

What about you? Do you keep pushing for your goal and not achieving it because you haven’t yet grown into the person who can achieve it? This journey is an inside job and the sooner we all realize that fact, the sooner we can achieve our important goals. Seek to BE the person first, and then you can DO what needs doing to achieve your success. To think otherwise will cost us dearly. Your life is full of clues about what’s missing or needs your attention. Slow down and become a student of your own life. Study yourself – who you are today and who you need to BE to DO what you want to do. Understand what you need to succeed with the multi-faceted brain you have. Take action on what you learn about yourself. This is the lifework that lies ahead for you if this is your time.

You came to this lifetime with an amazing gift; everyone did. Your piece of the jigsaw puzzle to complete the picture of how the world can be. I would love it if each and every person on this planet were able to express his or her unique gifts freely, without the threat of being shamed or criticized. What a world that would be. Let’s put an end to the stigma once and for all, and become who we are destined to BE so we can DO what we are destined to do, for ourselves and others. A Favorite Quote: Lisa Hayes said, “Be careful how you talk to yourself because you are always listening.”

What this quote says to me is that the many parts of myself are always listening – that they are each sensitive to something I say, whether it’s encouraging or abusive. And since I never know whose listening at any given time, and I am 100% responsible, 100% of the time for what I say to myself, it’s up to me to do what I can do to evict the negative and feed the positive in everything I will BE and DO. So, I ask myself daily - “how can I” and I do that.

Whether you’re learning from my podcast episodes or Facebook live videos or working with me directly, you are in my world and I’m here to serve your needs. Be sure to reach out and get your needs met. It’s up to you to take action so things can change for the better for you. And they can only change for the better for you if you change. Like Jim Rohn said – I can’t do your push-ups for you, however, I can show you how to get the most out of doing them. The same is true with your magnificent mind.

Make it a priority to join the Facebook group, and answer the questions asked of you, so you can have a non-judgment community to lean into. Put yourself on the Waitlist for the ADDventures In Achievement Foundational Skills Program, so that you receive all the amazing emails we’ve written to both educate you about Executive Function skills as well as the details of the program; there is absolutely no obligation by being on the Waitlist. You’ll thank yourself for getting informed.

There’s nothing to enroll in until January 2022, so you have plenty of time to learn about your Executive Function skills and their development, as well as how that happens in the program. And, if you’re on the Waitlist, you’ll hear about transformations that are happening for students in such a short period of time such as this excerpt: “I found Dr B’s Foundational Skills absolutely life changing. Dr B brings rare, raw, real, deeply personal executive functioning stories and life experiences from her own life to her work. This brings a marvelous level of “I really do know what it is like, and I really do know the struggles that you are having”.

If you enjoyed today’s episode or any of the other episodes, please share this podcast show with others. I would also be grateful if you’d rate the show and write a positive or inspiring review on iTunes so I know I’m meeting your needs. It means a lot to me to know your life is getting a little bit better every time we get together. Be sure to check out the show notes for the many opportunities available to you as well as ways we can work together and stop your needless suffering. You will find real solutions to the challenges you are experiencing, whether in my free resources,the 3 amazing MasterClasses, or the AIA Foundational Skills Program. I would love to help you realize a new freedom, that is…if that’s of interest to you. Thanks for listening… Until the next time… Bye for now…

Resources referred to in this episode:

• Living Beyond ADHD Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/livingbeyondadhd

• AIA Executive Function Foundational Skills Program & Informational Waitlist: https://www.drbarbaracohen.com/AIAWaitlist

• Free PDF - 13 Signs Weak Executive Functioning Is Holding You Back: https://www.drbarbaracohen.com/Executive-Function

 

Episode Resources:

 

 

To Help The Show:

Subscribe at your favorite listening spot and my podcast player has social media links (icons) in the episode player so you can share episodes you love with others! 

Please rate the show and leave a thoughtful review on iTunes so I know you're benefiting from the episodes.  The greater the number of reviews, the higher the ranking, and the easier it will be for others to find the show; people who also need this information.  

Let's put an end to the worldwide needless suffering together! We can do this!