Don’t believe everything you hear –even in your own mind. – Dr. Daniel G. Amen
“Not everything you hear coming out of someone’s mouth is going to be the truth.” I think I was about 12 or 13 when I first heard my daddy say this. While I can’t remember all of the events that led up to receiving this particular nugget of wisdom, I do remember feeling perplexed after I heard it. You see, it was the first time I realized that people do intentionally lie.
Don’t believe me? When was the last time you either told or was the victim of a little white lie? You get pullled over for speeding and out of fear, you blurt out a half-truth about having a full bladder. Or maybe, you allow your boss to give you sole credit for something you didn’t do by yourself. And sometimes, you just tell a tiny untruth because it’s easier than having to address the neon green elephants drinking tea in the living room.
Yes. Little white lies come in many forms. But the most heinous and destructive kinds are the ones we tell ourselves when no one’s looking or around.
I’ll never get that job. Everyone always walks all over me. Everything always goes wrong. Nobody even cares about me. I may as well die.
Destructive. Pervasive. Lies.
Just because you’re thinking it, doesn’t make it right. And just because you’re saying it, doesn’t make it true. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone call themselves stupid, a whack job or an idiot, I’d be able to buy a round trip ticket to Paris.
Repeat after me: I am not a _______________ (insert negative word). You’re not a failure, a low-life, a thief, a liar, a fool or a loser. You’re not! But you can convince yourself that you are if you’re not careful of the self-talk you use.
Whether you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right.
At the end of the day, you are ultimately in charge of what you choose to listen to or any thought you choose to agree with. It’s your choice. It’s your responsibility. No one else’s.
But my mom always said I was a _____. It doesn’t matter. You can’t change what mom used to call you as a child but you sure as heck can change what you call yourself as an adult! You can’t change what you’ve heard but you can alter what you say. You don’t have to partner with or accept damning self-talk, thoughts or behaviors. You can be aware of the negative messages you give yourself and stop them before they hinder or cripple you.
You don’t have to create and/or relive the worst possible scenarios in your mind. You don’t have to beat yourself up with I should’ve, I failed, or I will never. You don’t have to use guilt-trips, destructive labels (for yourself and others) or even personalize every deed or behavior. YOU. CHOOSE.
Destructive self-talk kills dreams, destroys hope and ravishes the mind. It literally drains the life out of you. Only you can prevent forest fires. Remember Smokey the Bear? Well, it’s like that, only I’m not a bear and this isn’t a forest. It’s your life.
Change your self-talk? Save your life.