What We Tell Ourselves - Katie Cashin Therapy

What We Tell Ourselves

Guest Post By: Christina Taylor

When I was younger, my sister used to tell on me when I called her something bad. My way out of the situation was to exclaim, “I didn’t say she was a _____, I said she was acting like a _____.” Does this make sense? Not really. But, if you apply this “getting out of trouble” logic to your everyday life, you’ll realize that maybe child Christina knew what was going on.

We tell ourselves things every day. From the beneficial, “Don’t cross the street, there’s a car,” to the survivalist, “Eat. That is hunger,” we guide ourselves throughout our day. What we don’t realize is that we listen to ourselves a little too much. Instead of having compassion when we make a mistake, we let our negative self-talk get the best of us. When we tell ourselves that we are bad, we feel bad, we reassure ourselves that we fully embody – “bad.” Think this is nonsense? The New York Times writes, “We all have a personal narrative that shapes our view of the world and ourselves. But sometimes our inner voice doesn’t get it completely right. Some researchers believe that by writing and then editing our own stories, we can change our perceptions of ourselves and identify obstacles that stand in the way of better health.”

How can you flip your thoughts? Instead of telling yourself “I am anxious,” try “I feel anxious.” Feeling and being are two fully separate things. Try rewriting your story, what negative things can you cut out? What can you disassociate with? We are the authors of our own story, what we tell ourselves oftentimes becomes our own perceived reality.