WOW Word-Of-the-Week #440: Self Talk

January 9, 2013 by  

Self Talkthe positive and negative thoughts you feed yourself daily.

Have you ever thought about what percentage of your “self talk” is positive? Do you ever have an idea that you think is good and then talk yourself out of it? Or worse yet, have a friend or family member does that for you?

This week’s WOW comes from Roxana Popescu’s “feel good” story in the San Diego UT titled “SUCCESS STORY SHOWS IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL.” She writes, “For much of her life, Peg Marcus lived by two sacrosanct syllables: You can’t.

 You can’t finish high school because we need you for baby-sitting, her father told her in the 10th grade. So she dropped out to care for her six younger siblings. The lived in the Rust Belt, where the men worked in factories and the women cared for the little ones. You can’t change the way things have been done for generations.

 The younger siblings grew up, but the refrain stayed the same: You can’t go to college, Marcus told herself then, because you need to take care of you children now. You can’t go back to school, she repeated after those children had grown, because you’re too old now. Somehow half of her life flew by before Marcus, now 62, discovered two other syllables: Why not?

 Long story short, her formula for success is rigorous. She says, “We can aspire to do and be what we want to be and do it. It takes finding the right route. It takes finding the right resources. It takes a lot of drive and determination. It takes an attitude of ‘I’m not going to give up.’

 The article goes on to read, “Getting there took decades of hard work on herself. She struggled with depression, obesity, low self-esteem, fibromyalgia and a drinking problem, but every challenge brought her closer to where she is today. Some changes she made along the way: Letting go of negative thoughts, releasing fears of judgment by others and embracing the belief that she deserves the same joys and privileges she always wished for others.”

 In 2012, she graduated from Grossmont College with an associate degree in social and behavioral sciences. Her new goal is to pursue a second associate degree, to study occupational therapy, which she plans to turn into a career.

This week’s focus is on your “self talk.” How hard is it for you to let go of negative thoughts?  How affected are you by other peoples judgments? Do you believe that you deserve the same joys and privileges that others have? How would it feel to turn “you can’t” into “why not?

Reader Responses

“I learned a long time ago not to pay attention to people telling me that I COULD NOT DO something. In many instances, those are the people who did not want to see me move forward in my life. In almost every instance, they did not have what it took to succeed. I was always taught by my mother to look at the positive side to every situation and to try to find the good in other people. Obviously, it is easy to see the negatives in others; those are very prominent. But what is it that makes people tick and become successful. Those are the traits that we should try to bring out in our relationships. People who tell others they can’t do something, or that it is impossible, either have not accomplished anything in their lives or don’t know how. I avoid those people as often as possible. I have always been confident enough in my own abilities to know what I can do. I am also realistic enough to realize my own limitations, but I don’t allow those limitations to limit me, or to put blinders on my ambitions. I have always found another way. That is the bottom line.” –  “Warrior” Joe