Changing Your Negative Self-Talk!


I can hear myself shouting at one of my children, “will you please sort out your attitude” often to my shame with a poor attitude myself, we see poor attitude all around, whether it’s a parent, a child, a school teacher, a work colleague, someone who is a leader and someone who is led, it can be toward another person or it can be toward a task, whatever it is we all can seem to find endless ways to practice it, in fact, it is so common place in our society that most people barely notice it.

Do you expect perfection?

We often set very high standards on everyone else, especially when you have growing children, where we expect perfection in all things but in particular attitude, yet often fail to model or live by the very standards we set.

The end result is that if we live this way, life can be bitter and disappointing, and very unfulfilling, full of negativity and dullness, but unnoticed by many people, it just feels like this is life, there is always something or someone to moan about, there is little real joy.

You see examples of it all around, every day. You walk into a shop, the customer assistant is amazing, they really go out of their way to serve you, their attitude is amazing, it’s like the sun has suddenly broken through the dark heavy clouds of life, its somehow makes you feel more alive, you smile. 

Even more impressive is when the customer is rude and ungrateful, but the assistant still maintains the good attitude and serves them well anyway, I know I stand in admiration when I see such grace, and I hope the assistant will go home taller and happier. Sadly, this is all to commonplace and the reality is it chips away at those who do have this admirable attitude.

A friend of mine used to say, “attitude determines altitude, better to sore like eagles than peck around on the ground like a chicken, only able to take what is given.” 

an eagle flying in the sky
Photo by Frank Cone on

What is at the root?

Our attitude is rooted in our beliefs, and our beliefs are rooted in our own history, where we have come from and the people we have spent our lives with, and have shaped us into the people we are today, all of the broken promises, the misplaced hope and expectations, all the times we have been lied too, and all the times we have been let down or even abandoned, but also all the times we have been loved and admired, the promises fulfilled, the long deep conversation through to being held when we felt we could no longer stand.

The truth is, we all have a choice, we live the way we do because we choose to, as I’ve said previously, we have to take responsibility for our own actions, attitudes, happiness, fulfilment, integrity, inner peace, spiritual fulfilment, anger, disappointment, unfulfillment and so on, the burden is upon our shoulders only.

Being purposeful with your attitude will calm the waters of your life, being mindful of what is bubbling up inside of you and taking control, and therefore taking responsibility, choosing to step out of the blame game, refusing to be a victim and finding the good and being grateful for it.

Victor Frankl, a holocaust survivor said this “man is ultimately self-determining, man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment” he goes on to say, “man has both potentialities within himself; which one is actualized depends on decisions but not on conditions.”

Its very difficult to make good decisions when you have a poor attitude, however gaining a better attitude cannot be simply achieved by taking a deep breath and lying to yourself, it must come out of inner work, listen to yourself, your self-talk, because that will reveal what you believe about yourself, I hate being clumsy, or breaking things, I call myself an idiot among other things, and changing that is much deeper work than just controlling my speech, as that is how I’ve spoken to myself for over 60 years, it comes from self-acceptance and facing the past, and breaking free so I can live today in the present rather than living today in the past, asking myself questions like, “why do I believe I’m an idiot” facing these things and having a more truthful vision of myself, not gained by pumping myself up in front of a motivational video but through honest inner work.

Time to change!

This is an ongoing journey that I am walking but already I have come so far. Do you need to change the way you talk to yourself? Do you have demons inside of you from the past that affect your self-acceptance, that undermine your confidence? I would love to walk a journey with you, to help you find that true inner self. To help you look in the mirror and love what you see, to help you walk into a room and not question ‘Will people like me?’

For information about Paul and how he can support you on your journey visit him over at his website


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