Jenks Hypnosis and Training Center, LLC

805 N. Fir, Jenks, OK 74037    (918) 298-6884
Located in Jenks, America, near the heart of south Tulsa

Part 1

What does your self-talk sound like? If you are like most of the rest of us, it is pretty negative. We would never speak to our spouse, children, friends, co-workers, or even strangers the way we have no compunction about speaking to ourselves. We are taught from infancy to negate ourselves. We're told to deflect compliments. We're told the limelight belongs to someone better than us. We're told it's rude to brag on ourselves - and no one wants to be rude! Before long, negativity becomes a way of life and we don't even realize it. By focusing on the negative, or what is perceived as wrong, a person with low self esteem will never feel better than deficient and inadequate. They become defeated, lose what little motivation they have and all the joy is sucked out of their existence. Even if they do manage to push themselves to grow, they do so with such unrealistic attitudes, goals and expectations of perfection they can not possibly achieve.

What a paradox! We strive to improve ourselves and wind up worse than before. Such overly high expectations of perfection impairs success rather than encouraging it. So, here we are, adults floundering in a sea of negativity wondering how in the world we got here. And more importantly, how do we get out!!!

Change your perspective and Change your life. Action follows thought. Negative actions begin with negative thoughts. But thoughts can be changed! Which ones of these destructive thought patterns pepper your daily life?

1. Assuming the Worst. A three fold problem. 1) I am the cause of all bad things; 2) I expect the worst of every situation, (3) I can't do anything right. This type of thinking assumes that you are responsible for your problems, and everyone else's as well. But nothing - and no one - is ever All bad or All good.

2. Unreasonable Demands. My personal favorite. The Superwoman Syndrome. I SHOULD be a perfect lover; never tired or cranky; never make mistakes. In short, PERFECT. We make demands we can't possible meet, then beat ourselves up because we failed - again. We feel inadequate, frustrated, ashamed and diminished. Considering the state of the human condition, the only SHOULD that applies is-of course I should be fallible. I'm HUMAN! We always do the best we can with what we have at the moment. Sometimes, that isn't a lot. And that is OK!

3. Fairy Tale Fantasies. Life should be perfect. .A subcategory of No. 2. It demands perfection and balance. This destructive thought pattern peppers our speech with "That's not fair!" and "How come this is happening to me?" Good things happen to everyone - even those you think don't deserve it. Bad things happen to everyone - even those you think don't deserve it. To expect the world, its inhabitants and ourselves to be perfect is an invitation to disaster and disillusionment.

4. All or Nothing Impossible Standards. Superwoman Syndrome - second verse. Only perfection is acceptable. There is no middle ground. If I am not the best - then I am the worst. If I can't do it perfectly the first time, then I am a failure. Any imperfection means I am all bad. Such absolutes don't exist. Remember the last line of No. 1? Nothing and no one is ever all bad or all good. It just doesn't happen that way. Such extremes can't exist in the real world. 80% of 100% is still 80%. It will never equal 0%. We may perform below perfection, but a poor performance never makes a complex person worthless - just human and therefore fallible.

5. Over-generalizing. Remember the childhood ditty "No body likes me. Everybody hates me. I'm gonna go eat worms"? That's a perfect example of over-generalizing. Using one negative to describe your entire life. These over generalized statements are unkind, inaccurate and destructive. Life is never black and white. In the 1800's, Abraham Lincoln made a very astute statement. "You can please all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time. But you can't please all of the people all of the time." You can't please yourself all the time either. As a complex human traveling through life, you are always in the process of becoming. Always changing and growing. Never all good OR all bad.

6. Absolute Labeling. Over-generalizing-second verse This thought pattern assumes one concept describes you completely. "I'm such a loser!" "I'm so stupid." In this context, to say 'I am' means 'I am always', in every way, a loser or stupid. Sometimes people who are quite intelligent have spoken or behaved in a less than intelligent manner. (Just look at our political leaders!) And sometimes, less than intelligent people have behaved in a remarkably intelligent manner. The point is no one is ever ALL one way or another. Humans are far too complex - even the most simplistic of us - to be described with by a single concept.

We are human. We are creatures of imperfection. And it is those imperfections that make us unique. Despite our imperfections, our rough edges and our failings, we are basically good. This is where positive self talk becomes so critical. Changing your self talk from negative to positive is the beginning of the journey. In part two, we will continue walking the path of destructive thoughts.