Be Careful What You Tell Yourself

Sharon J. Cole


(You’re Always Listening…)


“I’m Not Good Enough”…

“I didn’t do Good Enough”…

“I didn’t do that Right”…

“I’m Sorry”…

“I can’t do That”…


Some of us were trained to believe that words don’t matter.  But I’m here to tell you, Words Matter.


That Inner Voice…Just Simple Feelings and Words, Right?

Normal, Right?


Well.  Not Really.  Actually, Not at All.  Keeping this type of language around, is Risky Business.

We all fall into it.  But we can’t let it stay. 

Does it help anyone around us?

What effect do you think it has on us?


Do you really think our mind hears it?

It certainly does.  Our mind hears it, and every cell we have, hears it.


Sometimes it feels good to wallow in those thoughts for awhile.  But it gives us Nothing.  And it takes away “good” from our lives.


But does this thinking help you be better? Or faster? Or more effective at anything?


It’s ok to be disappointed about coming up short— it could even be several things at once.  REALLY disappointing. But you can know you’re better than that.  And you can come up with how to change that for next time.  And you can do lots of other things very well.  So you’re GOOD!


What would you tell your good friends that felt disappointed with their life?  You’d probably tell them they are good enough!  That things can be hard—just hold on, and keep moving forward.  And that you believe in them.  That They’re doing their Best, and Their Best is GOOD!


Limited thinking creates actual limitations in our lives.  The more you tell yourself the negative words, the higher the likelihood you’ll eventually believe it.  It’s True.


What about if we’re just joking around? To ourselves or to someone else?  Our brain doesn’t know the difference.  It hears it.  Their brain hears it.  Words are powerful.  Even joking around.


This kind of thinking lowers our self-esteem.  It decreases motivation.  It causes us to feel less in control.  It feeds anxiety.  And depression.  In effect, it actually alters your reality.


If you see yourself as “not up to par”, you probably won’t reach as high toward your goals, or your everyday living; you probably won’t set your goals as high; you probably won’t see some of the opportunities that are in front of you.


This type of feeling also shows up in us “playing it safe”, not reaching…Toward Life, but also Toward People.  It’s hard to grow relationships, or anything else, staying in this predictable “safe mode”.  Mark Twain has said, “Twenty years from now you will be more  disappointed by the things you did not do than by the things you did do.”



When I was growing up, my perception was my reality—I didn’t “fit in”, so I wasn’t “as good as everyone else”.  I was younger than most in our neighborhood, so I wasn’t easily accepted—I was the tag-along.  Life seemed hard.  We lived “out in the country” so didn’t have a ready way to go to the school functions, games, etc, and I didn’t ever really get acquainted with the “town people” until I “graduated” into the 7th grade and went to town to school.


None of the very few people I knew were in my class.  I actually got up the nerve to ask the Principal if I could change to a different class with some of my friends (I do not know how I did that!).  He told me I needed to make new friends.


I’m definitely not complaining about my life; I had lots of opportunity—just not on a social level.  And Now, everything was new and different, and I didn’t feel I was ready.  (And I closed my mind to thinking how I could be ready.)  For instance, I was used to wearing jeans every day in my 6-grade, 2-room country school, and in the new school, jeans weren’t even allowed.  I never saw the opportunities that were there.  I closed myself off.  How much I could have grown…


From my dad, I learned a work ethic that served me well through my successful banking career, and through my successful real estate career, and serves me to this very day.  And I so much appreciate that gift.


Another gift I received during my childhood, and through raising my children in the country, was learning a lot about health, fresh-grown food, our own milk, eggs, and farm-raised meat.  I believe the foundation of those things has given me much insight about real health.


I also got to enjoy, and I did appreciate it even then, the outside.  Being a part of the “outside”; the cows, chickens, the dogs and cats.  Most of my life at that time was outside.  What a gift.


I got to enjoy the fellowship and visiting of the weekly visits with relatives—at our house, or theirs; the many special times of home made ice cream gatherings, and trips in the back of the pickup to the “swimming hole” with family and neighbors.


One thing I had the opportunity to learn, is that it doesn’t matter if people don’t see and appreciate who you really are.  I would have been wise to have recognized that when I was younger, but that wisdom does serve me to this day.  It is a great gift.  The thing that matters is realizing who you really are inside, and being ok with that. What a great opportunity.


My point is, I grew up giving myself a lot of self-talk that I wasn’t good enough, and that I didn’t do things as good as I should have.  Then as I grew into my work professions, I overworked a lot, overstressed a lot, and continued to set the bar high above its present level.  That can be good to a point.  But our bodies weren’t made to continually overwork.  And they are sure not made to be continually overstressed.  That’s just like eating poison.


I still believe in setting the bar above what I’m presently doing.  But the difference is, I’m fine when I come in below that bar.  It’s truly ok.  And then I don’t have to stress.  And I don’t have to feel I’m not good enough or that I didn’t do it right.


And it took me a bit longer to learn: Why Continually Say, “I’m Sorry”.  Is there anything wrong with saying “I’m sorry”? No, unless you say it all the time, sort-of as an excuse for not delivering as you otherwise might. I believe the consensus of those words, repeated continually day after day, tears us down just as much as any type of negative words we could say.  I used to do that.  ALL the TIME.  Those words don’t serve the people you’re saying it to; and they don’t serve you.  A more positive statement could be, I’ll make sure that doesn’t happen again.  You don’t have to place any blame.  On yourself or others.  You don’t have to feel “guilt”. Simply do the best you can, take responsibility, and move forward.


Another negative about thinking and talking ourselves “down” is that it keeps us from showing our heart to others.  It can easily convince us to avoid being vulnerable to others…leaving no room for real connection.  This might feel like it’s working ok for you, but it actually could leave you without the opportunity for good, loyal friendships.




The underlying notion points to: you’re focusing on what’s wrong.  And that takes away from enjoying your “Now”.


How good is “GREAT”?

          Some say: Not as good as Perfect…

          Well, that is a true statement… But…

          Is GREAT, actually… GREAT???

          Well, YES IT IS!!!

And if you can be satisfied with GREAT, or even VERY GOOD…you’ll probably be LESS STRESSED about the whole thing, and you can be happy with yourself, that you’ve done a job well! 


Pause… And be proud of yourself!


And…Is Perfection Attainable, Anyway??  I’m sure you know the true answer to that.


(And…Those who simply do their life, and their work, not aiming for perfection, tend to perform better than the perfectionists.)




Do you suppose that kind of talk comes from a “mindset”?  Maybe from childhood? And has formed a “lifelong” habit?






I may not know you… But I do know… There is Greatness in You.


And it’s Your Choice—the language you use.  And if you Choose to shrink yourself and hide your light…it’s truly your Choice.  But when you do, you can’t win.  Nobody wins in that scenario.  You continue to live your life, but on a much lower plane than you were meant to live.  And No Telling Where Your Life Can Go!!


And… SOMEONE Needs that Good that’s in You—

And… Your Words can uncover that Good… To (and for) You, and To (and for) Others.


So, would you like to get rid of negative thoughts and words from your life, and travel the other direction?  You CAN overcome it.


1.     How do you feel about yourself.  That’s probably the bottom line.  Your “Self” needs to know you Love You, and

2.     Your “Self” needs for you to Treat You Gently, and

3.     Your “Self” needs for you to Build Yourself Up.

          Be Patient with Yourself.  Be Nice to Yourself.

4.     Can you Notice when you begin to think those negative thoughts? Try to visualize a “stop sign” when you do.

5.     The Main Key may be: The Pause.  Stop Yourself in the thought.  It takes practice.  But it can become a habit: Catching Yourself in the Thought.  Psychologist Lauren Alexander, PhD. says it’s like catching your negative thoughts in these instances, and swatting them away like an annoying fly.

6.     Then as you practice, you can begin thinking of more positive things to think and say to yourself.  And you’ll begin to catch yourself doing things “right”.  It is usually a slow process, but it will happen, and you’ll grow.  It’s changing a habit.  And that takes time.  A good book about habits that I recommend highly is Tiny Habits by James Clear.

7.     Try giving that “voice” a goofy nickname.  Talk about (her) when you catch yourself listening to (her).  Let (her) be someone outside yourself.  (Debbie Downer’s at it again!)

8.     When you trip and fall, in your journey through life, you might think or say to yourself, “I can do better” or “OK, time to get back up on my feet”, but don’t criticize yourself. The negative thoughts actually create more negative emotions.

9.     It would be a Great Addition to your life, to add a time into your mornings or evenings, to write down several things (maybe 10 or so) that you are Thankful for.


Some of these Alternative thoughts could replace some negative ones:

Imagining yourself, and thinking of yourself as Calm and “in control”;

Saying to yourself, I’m Plenty Good Enough (and believing it);

And maybe saying, That job I did…it was acceptable, and I can use this experience to learn how to improve.  What an Exciting Blessing!

And instead of “I’m Sorry”, I’ll make sure all is good for you.

And you can say, I CAN do that!




As a Side Note, Positive Self-talk is the Greatest Predictor of Success in Life.  Use that “inner voice” to help you; help that inner voice to notice all the gifts you can be thankful for.  Fill up your mind with those things, and they will crowd out the “other thoughts”.


And as another Side Note…

If you can change your mind, the way you think, you can change your Life!


Thank you for reading my article.  If you need help in any way, please contact me at my email:, or by phone: (479) 234-2298.


And Remember…Take good care of yourself!  You’re the Only One of You there is!



Meet Sharon

Sharon is the founder of Where is Your Calm, and is dedicated to the wellness of every client she has. She graduated from the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy in 2019 and has been doing group coaching and individual coaching since then.

Sharon is a caring haven for people of all ages to address their overwhelm and overwork, helping them to improve their life with small changes in their lifestyle and nutrition habits. She regularly attends classes and training to keep up with the most innovative practices to address her clients' needs.  

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