Negative self-talk: The things we say to ourselves in the privacy of our heads.

Negative self-talk: The things we say to ourselves in the privacy of our heads.

Negative self-talk. As a self-love coach, this comes up regularly in sessions.  Usually after a few gentle questions, I am able to shine a light on what is happening and make my client aware that it is NOT the truth of WHO they are. This talk can be damaging and lethal when it is in the privacy of our own heads.  No one escapes this talk.  Those voices haunt and taunt me too, each and every single day.  My negative self-talk may say things like,

Who are YOU to have it all?

What kind of blog post was that?

You are not good enough!

You need more education before anyone will take you seriously.

You might as well just quit.  You are never going to succeed at this. 

On and on…


This is a normal part of the human condition, having an inner critic, saboteur, or Negative Nellie follow us around telling us we are no good. Sometimes we can make peace with it, sometimes we can ignore it, and sometimes we let it into our hearts thinking it is right!  It always feels like a constant battle but here is the thing, you can try to run from it OR see it for what it is.  Your greatest ALLY.  Say, Whaaat?

Yup, you read that right. This Inner Critic that is constantly putting you down, trying to make you feel worthless, well, he/she is there to get you fired up, to remind you to not take life for granted AND to never forget that you have something important to do with your life.

When you see this critic as your ally, you flip the switch on what it is saying and using it to see where you may need to be more compassionate to yourself.  It is a way to help you remember where you should love who you are more!  Doesn’t that feel better?  A little less exhausting?  That negative self-talk is there in your head to help you, not bring you down.  You always have A CHOICE in how to respond to those messages.  You can choose to let it in and affect how you see yourself OR, (I recommend this one), you can let it SERVE you in seeing that it is not true and no one, not even your inner critic, has any ownership on your self-worth but YOU.  Bryon Katie uses a wonderful technique called The Work where she explains we ought to ask the thought or negative self-talk, “Is this true?”

Now, some say that we should get rid of that negative self-talker but guess what the more you push it away the stronger that voice gets. I don’t believe it is possible.  But you can do a number of things to make it less vocal and central in your life.  Here are some wonderful suggestions you can start today.

  • Mirror work – Louise Hay created this one and it is very powerful.  Every morning, look at yourself in the mirror and say one or two good things to yourself, looking in your eyes.  “I love you.” “You are beautiful.” Watch how you will transform in thirty days.
  • Write a powerful affirmation (on your mirror or your desktop on your computer).  I have been using this one, “I AM ENOUGH.” This affirmation strengthens that my self-worth is defined by me.
  • Meditating.  Find a meditation or create one that helps you get some silence in your mind.  The goal is to allow the thoughts to be there without judgment or attachment to them.  This takes a consistent practice.
  • Morning pages by Julia Cameron in the book, “The Artist’s Way”. Every morning you begin your day by writing 3 pages of whatever comes to your mind.  No editing.  It frees the grip of that voice because it was recognized for a minute or two.  This allows for creativity to flow.
  • Use Bryon Katie’s method, as mentioned above.
  • Start a Gratitude journal.

Please keep in mind that after 30 days or more, you may need to change up your practice.  For instance, change the affirmation you say to yourself or what you have written on the mirror.  Because we get “use” to these words it no longer stimulates us or has the impact as it did in the beginning.  It becomes automatic.  One practice that works consistently well is a gratitude journal.  Jotting down 5 things at the end of your day that made you feel grateful.  For example, “I’m grateful that the sun is shining”. Creating a gratitude journal never gets tired because it stimulates your mind to find the good in your day.  Your mind thrives best when there is a puzzle to solve. These practices do not take away the critic.  They are in place to help keep the negative self-talk in check and guide you in finding out what is most important to you and how to give yourself a little more love and understanding.  You are Enough!  🙂

What negative things has your inner critic been saying?

Are you inspired to make a few of these changes today?

If so, please share in the comments what you will start doing to make your inner critic be your ally.




Need a little MORE help with taming that Negative Nellie?

Commun-ication. Words have energy

Commun-ication. Words have energy

I’ve been thinking a lot about how we communicate with each other since my last post. Talking about certain phrasing and how they have an impact me got me wondering, is it just me?  I think we all know to some degree that words have real energy.  They have the power to start something… a new romance, a fight, a law, a movement, etc… It all starts with a word back by an emotion.  Isn’t it Shakespeare who said, “The pen is mightier than the sword!”

Commun-ication – creating connection.

In this day and age, it seems we are all voicing our opinions, thoughts, ideas, and passions in one form or another. EVERYONE has something to say! But what are we saying and moving when we write, make a video or just have a conversation with a friend.  I broke up the word, communication, like this COMMUN-ication, because the simple fact is that is precisely what we are attempting to do with our words.  We wish to commune with each other.  Create community through shared words.  We are looking to be heard and understood at a deep and heartfelt level. But you have to be conscious of what you are saying so that you can find the right community.  You know, as they say, your tribe matches your vibe.  That’s a bit corny but really it’s a truth.  If you just say what is expected so you can fit in, you will find the wrong tribe and you will always feel off among them. If you have followed me for awhile then you know this has been something I’m breaking through in this past year. Fitting in is something we all desperately seek.  There is no shame in it.  It’s one of the first things we learn in school.  But it has been also handed down from our ancestors who lived in actual nomadic tribes.  If you were shunned by the tribe it meant often, a death sentence. Being on your own meant living in the woods fending for yourself against unknown factors and predators.  So fear of being rejected has this unconscious undertone of literally risking your life. This is why it can feel so devasting to not be accepted by a group of people or put out from them.  It is our old brains that have held onto this thought pattern.  We may have had parents that said to, “just fit in.” or things of this nature.  It is understandable but it’s time to break this habitual thought.  What the world needs now, are original thinkers AND authentic speakers!

WORDS have energy.

Do words really have energy? Yes, they do.  If you need further proof to words having energy there is an experiment that many know by Dr. Masaru Emoto and the effects water had when different words were spoken or shown to the water.  The results are awe-inspiring and confronting.  Take a minute to see the video in seconds you will see what I mean.

When you really think about your words, their energy, and the effect they have on water, imagine what it is like on your environment, the people around you, and yourself.  The words we choose to say, how we say them, who we say them to, and the intention we put behind them, well, they can really make a major difference in your life.  Maybe it’s time to choose those words wisely.

BE TRUTHFUL in your words.

Now that we know that words have energy, it might be wise on being truthful in them.  In the Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz, he lists one agreement as, “Be impeccable with your word.”  Or another way of saying this is, “Say what you mean and mean what you say”.  Why is that important?  Let’s go back to that feeling of fitting in and your tribe.  When you are authentic with your word, it will be felt by the right people where you will be accepted naturally without many words. Secondly, you will be known as someone who is reliable and confident in who they are.  Thirdly, when you live by your WORD the universe will match you with remarkable gifts for being in that authenticity. You will manifest more of what you want in life and less of what you don’t want.  Life is much richer, easier and more fulfilling.  You live by your own code of authenticity and truth.  You know how hard it is to keep up a lie.  It is just as hard to be something you are not.  If you are true in your words that reflect who you truly are then life lines up the right job, friend, love interest.  Being authentic in your word is something that takes knowing yourself deeply through self-love.

Don’t take it so PERSONALLY!

Don’t take it so PERSONALLY!

Imagine you are visiting with a friend.  You are in a conversation and pouring your heart out about something that made you mad, or that you didn’t agree with, or that you don’t particularly love that someone did or said.  You are hurting and upset about something.  Then your friend, who has been sitting there listening says,“Don’t take it so personally.” or, “I think you are taking it too personally.”   Your heart sinks to your stomach.  You feel like your breath is taken away.  And, worse, you don’t know how to recover.  In fact, it’s hit you so deep you either defend yourself with maybe a snappy tone or you say nothing at all. The thing that is very ironic about this phrase, is that when someone says it, you are usually in the middle of talking about something very personal.  Naturally, it throws you off.  You are stopped in your tracks because you are hurt by their apparent judgment of you.

Could you be too sensitive?

I consider myself to be, a Highly Sensitive Person, though I have never been diagnosed professionally.  Labels are tricky, especially this one for me.  The trigger of being called “too sensitive”, or in this case, highly sensitive, goes deep into my childhood.  Whenever someone would say, “you are taking it too personally” or “you are too sensitive”, I would feel small and wrong for having the feelings I did.  This phrasing has almost always been used in a very derogatory way.  It is, in essence, saying you should be better than this.  In society, to be sensitive is to be weak and usually, in my life experience, it was inconvenient to FEEL too much ALL.THE.TIME.  As I read through a list of what it is to be an HSP, I can see how I might fall into this category easily. *

No one knows you better than you! Let me say that one again, NO ONE knows you better than YOU.  When someone is using this type of phrasing it is possible that it is their way of:

  • getting off the topic because THEY are uncomfortable with the subject matter OR,
  • they are parroting what someone has said to them in the past because they don’t know what to say OR,
  • they are judging you for taking things on that you should, in their opinion, let go because it is “trivial” to them.

First, start with checking in, “Is what I am talking about making you uncomfortable?”  This gentle way can help you get an answer, but it may not bring you to a truthful response.  Though it shows you whether or not, they are the right person for this conversation.  You can then decide to stop or continue based on their response.  You will know intuitively whether to go on or not.

You could also go in stronger, depending on the strength of your friendship OR how comfortable you feel in doing this. “You know when you say that to me, it upsets me.  I feel like you aren’t really listening and supporting me.”  This opens a door to a more honest conversation and, really, a stronger friendship. It takes standing up for yourself and owning your feelings.  This may take some practice because it can be scary to do after someone has said you are too sensitive.  HSP’s are people who take things in and aren’t usually the ones calling someone out in a conversation.  It is because of having this in-depth way of feeling, a highly sensitive person is acutely aware of how something like a confrontation can feel for the person receiving that response.  This works in a funny way for HSP’s, as you can imagine.  Everything is taken “personally” because we feel for everyone including, but sometimes forsaking ourselves. And yes if you are sitting there thinking, “Whoa, that’s a lot of work!”  You are right.  It is.  And most times, we think it’s normal (or maybe hope that it is) and that everyone does it. But, not everyone feels for everyone or are aware of other people’s feelings when they are talking (um, big shocker!).  Because it’s not a natural talent for everyone to have. It is confusing for HSPers too.  We feel with our whole being and we have big hearts.

What could work better? A suggested approach that comes from a place of LOVE and curiosity.

What if you are (or have been) the listener and were the one who typically blurts out, “Don’t take it so personally.” Before I continue into this suggested course of action, it requires some awareness and for you to tune into your inner Coach. 🙂

Think back to the last time you used this phrase.  Maybe you saw how your friend appeared to change immediately afterward.  She may have stopped talking or looked deeply hurt. She might’ve gotten really defensive.  We all don’t like being judged, nor diagnosed as being something undesirable.  Here is a suggested way that can be used in this situation. “I can see how this topic is really affecting you in a deep way.  I don’t know what to say but I want to help. What can I do to be here for you?”  This shows that you care.  She may tell you that it is enough to just be able to talk and there is no required advice or things needed to be said.  In fact, I would say, that is what MOST people want anyway.  Simply, to have someone listen.  It doesn’t matter if you have never experienced what she feels or has been dealing with.  LOVE is when you can sit with a friend and be with her in her suffering, no matter what kind, without labeling, judging, or “fixing” her or her problem.  Listening is one of our most powerful gifts in loving one another. 

I want to end by saying being sensitive is a gift that many people misunderstand and misjudge. It is a personal mission of mine to help shift the perception of sensitivity, build understanding and awareness on it, and to empower all highly sensitive people to be who they truly are. <3

**If you are like me, coming to the realization that this might be you, then I would like to suggest that you do further research on Highly Sensitive People, and consult a professional.


Do I have Permission?!

Do I have Permission?!

Where do we get permission on things as we become adults?

In this vlog, the topic is about how my body is giving me signals to slow down and rest which challenges my perceptions of how I see myself if I allow it.  If I allowed the rest then I would see myself as weak and broken. Being at war with my body and my mind is downright exhausting! Holla, if you hear me on that one. 😉 Especially, when there are no easy answers on how to help things or heal them permanently.

I give a recent example of when I took a moment and really listened to what my body needed.  Though there were many many warring old beliefs, and societal mantras pulling at me, I decided to let it be okay. In other words, I gave myself permission. To finally LOVE my body the way she wanted me too.

What areas of your life do you need to give yourself permission?

Are you at war with how you feel about something (perception) & what is actually happening (pain in the body)?


Please share in the comments. <3, Susan

Loneliness is part of a spiritual journey.

Loneliness is part of a spiritual journey.


Last post I spoke about Lonely and what it tells us about ourselves.  Where we may need to love our selves more. Today, I write about another side to lonely (loneliness rather) that often accompanies any in-depth inner work or spiritual path.  The loneliness comes after changes have been made in order to grow and now we find ourselves in new territory.  As you walk down this path of spiritual growth and self-development, new awarenesses start to happen such as, but certainly not limited to;

1., An awareness of how you show up to situations.  This is a nice side effect.  You aren’t playing small so now, you come as you are, a naturally confident and more grounded whole human being. Because you’ve done the work in personal inner growth, you see things in a new way.  You will show up differently.  In the beginning, you might be aware that you are feeling new and alive. But it will also be a very natural and somewhat familiar feeling. At some point, it may not occur to you any longer unless of course, someone compliments you by saying, “You seem different.  Did you change your glasses?” It will lead to the next thing…

2., An awareness that some of the people in your life no longer feel good or okay to be around.  This is a hard one to swallow.  I speak with some experience here. It doesn’t feel good to walk away or leave a familiar setting on any terms.  But this happens when you’ve experienced inner self-growth. Some people you have kept company with just won’t feel right anymore.  You have become aware of who you want to be, learned the lessons of the things that kept you stuck and finally know what you want in life.  You will feel confident in what you want without second-guessing nor will you feel the need to ask for other people’s opinions. In other words, you will only seek validation from yourself (self-love), not from others.  This also means you won’t tolerate things in the same way.  I know there are a lot of blogs, and articles that talk about getting rid of TOXIC people in your life.  I want to say something on this. Those people were attracted to you and you to them because of similar wounds. Labeling them is not the road to awareness nor, and I feel strongly about this, a wise self-developmental tip.  You have freed yourself from those wounds so you don’t see those friends in the same way. But they are not toxic.  They are hurting.  You know their pain the best as you just recovered from it.  We all have to make our own choices and create our own paths to healing.  The best thing to do here is to send them the compassion they need and move forward with love.  Karmically speaking this will free you even more! This brings us to the next one,

3., An awareness of loneliness.  You will be standing up for YOU now.  Your preferences, ideas, and thoughts and that sometimes may mean you will probably revamp your entire social circle.   But in the meantime, you will feel lonely.  This is NOT necessarily a bad thing. Eventually, you will begin to find a new tribe of friends.  But it can take some time to find your footing in this new place of growth.  You are stronger but feel off.  It is because the comfort zone is not the same anymore.  This is the reason for the loneliness. Be patient and give yourself time to adapt.  This is where meditation can be the most helpful.  Or long walks if meditation isn’t your thing.  I know this seems strange to say.  But listen, you have run away from yourself for a long time.  Take time to get to know yourself by enjoying the loneliness.  It can really make you stronger if you understand how to love “you” more. 😉

This past year I’ve been on a journey of deeper self-awareness and using lots of self-love to get there. In times of change with a lot of perspective-shifting what I have noticed is that it requires a lot of releasing, healing AND even some mourning.  Of who I was and how I was being.  I love people.  I have great compassion towards friends and family. Most of the time forsaking myself in the process.  Once you know who you are (and want to be), aware of the things you did to stay small, you can’t go back and try to “fit-in” for the convenience and sake of others feelings.  Brené Brown has written an excellent book on this topic, released last September, Braving the Wilderness: The quest for True Belonging and the courage to Stand Alone.  She recently had an interview with Marie Forleo about this book.  She said something that is so true of this work we do in self-love that I am adding it here (abridged version):

“I know who I am. I’m clear about that and I’m not going to negotiate that with you…..I’m not going to negotiate who I am with you because then, and I think this is the heart of the book, then I fit in for you but I no longer belong to myself.  And that is a betrayal I’m not willing to do anymore…I’m not willing to betray myself anymore to fit in with you.”

The most important person you can ever stand up for is yourself.  Sometimes it is a lonely game but later as you travel through the wilderness, as Brené puts it, you will feel strong and encouraged when you find that you don’t need anyone outside yourself to find true love.  It exists when you decide to belong “nowhere and no place” as Maya Angelou said and is also quoted in Brené’s book.

This interview with Marie Forleo and Brené Brown is an important one for these times we are living in.  I’m putting a link here for you to view it.