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?

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.


Advice is not my bag, baby. What’s my work? – self-love coaching: part three

Have you ever had someone give you unsolicited advice?
have you asked for advice but later felt ashamed, or felt worse AFTER you got the advice?

We always think that this is the way to go. For example, let’s say you have a problem that you can’t solve or you feel bad about something and don’t know how to move forward.  What do you do?  You pick up the phone/Skype/Whatsapp and reach out to a loved one: a close friend or family member.  They love you and will handle you with care, right?

Well, not necessarily.  You know the saying “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”?  This is where you can see it in action.  Because the advice-giver wants so badly to help you.  That is their good intention. BUT the truth is, they end up failing us miserably and never meant to.

Why doesn’t it work?

The first reason is simple.  No one knows your life BETTER than YOU!  Nor have they journeyed through it the same, no matter “how close” it may appear.  Nor could they ever fully understand things the way you do about your life.  Why do we do it then?

We are brought up in a society that teaches us to always find the answer outside of ourselves. It makes us insecure and in turn, we don’t trust ourselves.  But if we learn to practice stillness or some call it, mindfulness through meditation or other such practices, we can hear our own answers all the time!  The more you practice the stronger it will get.  If you think about it before you called your best girlfriend, you probably already had an answer to the situation.  But you called anyway to either get validation or because you didn’t trust that answer.

The other reason that advice doesn’t usually work is: You are asking a lot from this one person.  When you open up that conversation you both are in vulnerable states.  You feel inadequate and lost.  She feels a huge responsibility to help you and care for your feelings (or not, depending on the situation).  Ultimately, someone is going to fumble.  It could end with words like, “You are not listening to me!” and “I was only trying to help!”  Then a hang-up, or awkward silence.  It will take time for the friendship to cool off before you come back to it.

What happened here?

The advice she gave came from her own life experiences.  When you begin to tell her the situation, she will “listen” to your problem up to the point she finds herself in your story.  Meaning she can “relate” to an aspect of it. This is her way to justify her put-upon advice giver status and feel like she is actually helping you.  AHA! I know what to say now, could be a thought your friend has during your explanation. She is only actively listening for her entry point NOT totally what you are experiencing.  You will hear the advice-giver say things like, “I know what you mean because I’ve been through something similar…and this is what I did.”   Here’s your action plan!! But do you like it?  There will be something that doesn’t fit or make you feel good.  This is called dissonance.  You will feel a twinge in your stomach that is the opposite of an AHA moment feeling.  Your mind will say, I asked for this so I better make it fit.  OR you might fight back because she has misjudged you and your situation.  This can get a little ugly.

This is also how it’s not like Coaching.  Coaches do not counsel or advise clients but guide them back to their own inner guidance.  You know the initial answer you had all along. 😉  Here is how that conversation may go:
The Coach will say, “That doesn’t sound like a good situation.  How does that make you feel?”

The Client, “I’m really sad and hurt.”

The Coach, “I can imagine. What do you want to do about it?”

The Client, “I want them to know how it makes me feel.”

The Coach, “Have you done that?”

The Client, “No.”

We continue the conversation from there.  This type of thing may take some time.  It could be a pattern that needs its own healing before the client can feel like they are ready to do anything with it. Or there could be more to the story that we haven’t heard yet.  But if I jumped in here, and say, “WHY haven’t you told them!?”  I would have inadvertently judged her and suggested that she is weak or worse, her fear already, inadequate in handling her own life!

As a coach, I’m listening to the client and asking questions that maybe she isn’t able to do for herself.  I’m also getting to know how SHE processes her emotions and interactions with others. I’m not pushing my own ideas, my own agenda or life experiences on her.  It almost always makes a person feel worse. Coaching is really about: understanding the whole person by listening to that person and using compassion. Which I hope you can see now is very different from giving someone advice.


Ready to free yourself from advice?

What in the HECK is a Self-Love coach?!

Some time ago, I was on a business conference call.  During this call, it occurred to me that it is not crystal clear how I work with my clients.   Inspired to educate the audience, I will deliver a series of videos and blog posts, where I tell you how this work, self-love coaching, can inspire change in my clients. Maybe you will be inspired too ;).



Interested in a shot of Self Love?

Are you interested in testing self-love coaching out?  Give yourself a shot of self-love & click on the button below!  I promise I don’t bite! 🙂

Being “not perfect” allows me to be my True self.

Being “not perfect” allows me to be my True self.

cropped-9f9ea395695993f8ac9dfaf65c8d5ba71a256467-res2048.jpgIn this video, I tell you about what has been going on in the Life Coach for Expats world, or rather, with ME. I am working with a business coach which gave me an excuse, sort of, to stop writing/vlogging.  I also talk about the campaign #notperfect and show how I’m playing into the perfection game once more.   As I say in the video, “having a business is a self-development program.”

We are always working to be better. Check out the video!

Does this ring True for you?  Share in the comments!