New! Top Ten Things to Do to Make 2016 Your Worst Year Ever!
by Jefferson Holbrook, DSC.
— Step # 7 Negative Self-Talk! —
The highly anticipated, short-awaited next installment in the Top Ten Ways to Make 2016 Your Worst Year Ever! is finally HERE!!
Just a quick recap: As part of the Self-Help articles (Selfish-Helpless), we have so far learned 6 key ways to make 2016 Your Worst Year Ever!
- Holding Grudges
- Don’t Volunteer!
Step Seven: Negative Self-Talk!
Jancee Dunn, in an article titled: “Negative Self-Talk: 9 Ways to Silence Your Inner Critic,” maintains that “A little self-criticism is a good thing: It can be a reality check that spurs you to be a better person.” She goes on to clarify that statement a bit further. “But there is a vast difference between ‘I need to work out more,’ which sparks your motivation, and ‘I’m a jiggly blob’.” (Article published 4/8/2013)
Maybe you are not normally too hard on yourself. Well, I’m here to help. If we actually only give ourselves constructively critical motivation, then there is not much chance we can leverage that self-dialogue to make 2016 Your Worst Year Ever!
Being overly critical of ourselves is not something that you want to do just once in a while. Like many of the other things we have discussed since we began our journey to make 2016 Your Worst Year Ever!, consistency is the key. But how do we cultivate an overly critical spirit towards ourselves? Well, if you have the misfortune of partnering with someone in relationship that is self-absorbed, selfish, self-centered, and narcissistic, then you have already received a great example of taking criticism to unhealthy emotional extremes.
If you happen to be in a relationship, you should know that being critical of your partner is one of the single most destructive things you can do. If you don’t know this truth yet, then Denial is not just a river in Egypt. You will learn the veracity of this sooner or later. This will usually end things in a hurry, especially if you are adept at coupling constant criticism with a lack of encouragement. And, of course, this will get you well on your way to making 2016 Your Worst Year Ever!
Speak your horribleness into the universe, and the universe will work with you to bring about a horrible life!
As stated in previous entries, these things that you can do to train-wreck your year overlap some. You can use some in conjunction with each other. For instance, Complaining is useful when you are being too hard and demanding on those around you. Lying is a key component to negative self-talk, because there are so many things you should be saying to yourself negatively, and most of them will not actually be true! Lying to yourself about how good you are can be destructive because you can build yourself up and end up in situations in which you are destined to fail. On the flip side (“Side B” on the 90 minute cassette tape!) you can lie to yourself about how horrible you are, dumb, ugly, etc. And we will see how believing the worst about yourself can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Speak your horribleness into the universe, and the universe will work with you to bring about a horrible life!
Let’s “play the tape forward” as the therapists say, and see how it plays out. Being overly critical of others can isolate you and eventually lead to depression. But being overly, unnecessarily critical of yourself can eliminate the immediate need to be isolated. You can be depressed even sooner! And, let’s be honest, who wants to wait extra time to tip headlong into the black abyss of depression? Impatience is actually a virtue when you are working on making this year Your Worst Year Ever!
Engaging in negative self talk can provide a convenient short-cut to low self esteem and depression. But what if this does not come naturally to you? You might be saying, “But, Dr. Jefferson B. Holbrook, I am easy-going and only engage in constructive criticism with myself appropriate to whatever situation I find myself.” Again, I’m here to help.
The following is a less-than-exhaustive list of possible things you can say to yourself. The first list is full of examples of what you can say to yourself regarding your looks. Using these statements can impact your mood, self-esteem, and keep you generally feeling bad about yourself:
- [I have to start out with the aforementioned…] “I am a jiggly blob.”
- I’m too skinny.
- My hair never looks good.
- My hair is too _______ (curly, straight, etc.)
- I am shaped like a potato.
- Nobody loves me.
- I am unlovable.
- I am super-ugly and will die alone.
- My fashion sense is completely wack.
- I am an asymmetrical freak of nature.
This next list involves your character and conduct more so than your looks. Bad habits and character defects are equally represented:
- I am late everywhere I go. I just can’t get it together.
- I am just so dumb.
- I am stupid.
- I never make the right decisions.
- I have so many regrets.
- I’ll never be happy. I deserve to be unhappy.
- I’ll always be this way.
- I’ll never get ahead.
- All those people who said I would never succeed, they were right!
- I never finish what I ….
Even if you think that there is nothing really wrong with you, you can begin to practice saying these statements to yourself. There is always room for improvement. The key is to leverage that ‘room for improvement’ by exaggerating your own deficiencies to yourself.
In the less than immortal words of Homer Simpson, “I am smart! I am smart! S.M.R.T., S.M.R.T., d’oh, no wait, S.M.A.R.T. I am smart!!” Yeah, um, not so much. You might be super dumb, but thinking you are smart, might at times actually work in your favor. There is definitely a place for ‘Delusions of Grandeur’ in making this year Your Worst Year Ever!
In conclusion, there is one commonality in all of these character traits we have thus far discussed. If you are serious about making 2016 Your Worst Year Ever!, then you need to be committed to becoming your own worst enemy. As always, feel free to leave a comment below indicating how your efforts are coming along to make 2016 Your Worst Year Ever!
Jefferson Holbrook, DSC, received a Doctor of Science in Communications from Tudor College of Earlscroft University and has published numerous essays, articles, poems, short stories and blogs. He is also the author of two collections of poetry. He lives with his boys in the southeastern United States.
© Copyright 2016 Jefferson Brian Holbrook and Kingdom of the Son. All rights reserved.