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This Simple Trick Will Stop Your Negative Self Talk in Its Tracks

You know that feeling: “Crap, I did it again. I am so disorganized (or fill in your own shameful adjective).”

Remember Mad Libs? Let’s do our own little Mad Libs exercise.

Take a deep breath and think about the last time you were so pissed at yourself. This might have been a week ago or a second ago. Read this next line and answer with whatever pops into your head. I always do this! I am so ________________! (Shameful adjective.)

Please jot down what you notice in your body. Do you feel constricted? Do you feel panicky? Do you feel nauseous? Whatever you feel is perfect, just write it down. Ok, now take another breath and pat yourself on the back. Writing down our shameful thoughts is hard work.

Now, let’s play another round of Mad Libs. Ready, go. I am so ________________ sometimes! (Same shameful adjective.)

Now, take a minute and jot down what you feel in your body. If you are like me and the hundreds of people I have worked with you feel a sense of relief, space, and even lightness when you fill this one out. When we add “sometimes” to any description of ourselves we are telling our nervous system and our mind that we are more than just one label. None of us are one thing all the time. We all have so many parts to us, like spokes on a bicycle wheel. We are some of our characteristics some of the time, sure, but we’re nothing all the time.

Expert Tip: The next time you find yourself making a sweeping description of yourself add the word “sometimes” and see how you feel.

Key Takeaway: When we think of ourselves in only one way we can’t see other options of ourselves or others.

Now, tell me what you felt when you added the word sometimes? I am so curious, sometimes! 🙂

Photo by Hannah Olinger from Unsplash


What Should I Do Next?

When you’re ready to begin therapy, we hope you’ll consider contacting The Center for CBT in New York City. We offer a safe space where you are free to be who you really are and express yourself and your values authentically. We embrace, value, and welcome people of all sexual orientations, genders, and racial identities. The Center for CBT in New York City makes beginning your therapy journey simple. You can get started any time by completing our online consultation request form. One of our team members will be in touch within 24 business hours to answer your questions.

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