A poem about how I changed my negative self-talk to positive self-talk
INTRO: This poem was inspired by one of the first self-development books I had ever read, way back in 1994 ‘You Were Born Special, Beautiful, and Wonderful: What Happened? by Bert Weir. I had left full-time work, four years earlier, to be a full-time mum. One day I went to a network marketing women’s breakfast and Bert Weir was the guest speaker.
After hearing his explanation of how self-talk affects our behaviour, both for the good and the bad, I was so excited to get home and start reading it. This book was a life-changer for me. I did the exercises he suggested in the book. I followed his method of recording, in a pocket-sized notebook, any negative self-talk and behaviour at the time of saying or doing them. During the day, I took time out to think up a positive statement and then write it underneath the negative statement that I had previously recorded that day in my notebook.
I did this for one month, as recommended by Bert. Each time I went to say or do the negative talk or action, I stopped myself and replaced it with the new positive way. At the end of the first month of doing this exercise every day, I had changed, for the better, many bad habits both in my self-talk and my general behaviour. I still use this method to this day. Beverley Joy
“Hey, you in the mirror
Yes, I’m talking to you
Why do you look so tired and glum?
What’s the matter with you, cat got your tongue?”
“Who are you?” I asked, “What’s it to you how I look or feel?”
“Come on, what’s the deal?”
“My name is Self-Talk, I live in your mind
I look out to the world through your eyes
I am your voice, I speak your thoughts
You think, say, and do what I tell you too.”
With hands-on-hips and my head held high
I spoke with pride in my reply
“You don’t have that much control over me”
“I am the master of my destiny.”
With a smirk, my mirror reflection said back
“No, you’re not, I pull your strings
I reveal what you truly think.”
“You may dress up on the outside
Put on makeup and fine clothes
But when you speak of yourself
You often dress yourself down?”
“What I tell you may be false or true
It depends on what your parents taught you
Your teachers, relatives, the media, your peers
And bullies who mistreated you over the years.”
“The things I say that you recognize
Come from the conscious part of your mind
But things I say that you’re not aware of
Come up from the depths of your subconscious.”
“I’m just a recording of what you believe in
When I parrot “You’re stupid, you’ve failed again
Or you can’t do that, you can’t think straight”
It leaves you powerless to make mistakes.”
“I also talk through your body language
When you look tired, happy, or indecisive,
Strong, impatient, angry or in fear
The world around you knows it, for they can see.”
“Are you aware of your facial expression?
When you are going through the motions
In everyday life, well, do you frown or smile?
While you work, walk, or wait in the checkout line?”
“Here’s a few things from your memory bank
“Get out of my way, I’m running late.”
You say to your family as you run for the gate
Disorganized and frustrated yet again.”
“Now, rewind that scene. What emotion did you feel?
Frustration, fear, or guilt?
Were you mad, upset, or sad?
How did your family members react?”
“Can you think of a better way you could have behaved?
Get a notebook and write those words down
Then say it, see it and feel it; smile don’t frown
Reenact the scene how you would prefer it to have been.”
“I’m running late.” No, don’t say that
Say “I am always ready in plenty of time.”
“I can’t find my keys.” Oh, no, please
Say “I always know where to find my keys.”
When you hear yourself being negative,
STOP, rewrite it, say it, see it, feel it
It takes 21 days to change a habit
Whether the habit is good or bad.
You can trick your brain
Which only remembers what you tell it
Your brain is like a filing cabinet
It can only open files that are stored in it.
With a small notebook in your hand
Record what you think and say
Change one or two things a day
Or more, to fast track your change.
Make this next month, count
Speak kindly to yourself
Become your own best friend
Soon your self-talk will mend.
It’s your day, it’s your energy,
You can choose how to spend it
Negative self-talk drains energy and time
Yet, healthy self-talk conserves them in kind.
What you think and say you become
Perpetuating more of the same
Thoughts precede words, words precede action
Action precedes habit, and habit precedes character.
It’s never too late in life to make a change
Get professional help if you feel overwhelmed
To change how you talk to yourself
Start today the 30-day challenge.
Stop what you’re doing and think about it
Write down the negative self-talk
Change it to a good alternative
Then old talk habits will become new.
Write it down
Say it out loud
See yourself saying it
Feel your confidence build.
Keep on correcting yourself
All-day ’til its automatic
Change one or two phrases at a time
Repeat this process all day long.
Be kind to yourself, be your own best friend
Change your self-talk, make amends
Value your precious time and energy
Think before you act and speak.
Beverley Joy © 2021 Simply Story Poetry. All rights reserved.