Ever since I discovered Pat Flynn’s smart passive income blog in 2014, I’ve spent a lot of time in the personal development and self-improvement world.

I’ve learned about the morning routines, the meditation techniques, the healthy eating habits, and the millionaire mindsets. Everything that successful people do to help bring out the best version of themselves.

Learning about all of this has really helped. If nothing, it at least helps you become aware of what you are doing vs. what you probably should be doing.

I feel that building this foundation of self-awareness is what holds you to the path you hope to tread, and every little tweak makes a huge difference in the long-run.

But while sometimes I can feel my foundation getting stronger and stronger, I just as often find myself coming face-to-face with the man with the hammer.

House on the mountain

The man that's come to knock it all down, to test how strong your foundation truly is.

That man is negative self-talk.

Every time I think I’ve put him away for good, he appears from the bushes.

I caught him showing face yesterday, and even again this morning.

This morning, it was about this website. I launched it about 3 weeks ago, and had some pretty grand visions as to how the first month would go.

I’d be getting up and writing early in the morning, pumping out a ton of content, posting on Instagram every day, running an active Facebook group, and building value-packed email campaigns.

When some nights/mornings I'm just too tired to get anything done, the self-talk kicks in:

“You ****ing idiot. What are you doing? Really, you couldn’t get anything done tonight? Are you even trying? Do you think you’re ever going to make it?”

I literally caught myself saying those exact words in my head. After all the positivity that I thought I had built up, those were the damn words.

I've been trying to figure out how to completely hide from the man, but I'm not sure it's possible. The only way is to build your foundation stronger and stronger, making him more irrelevant.

I thought I'd share a 'glue' that I've recently discovered, that's really helped defend during his visits.

First and foremost, the first step is to catch yourself saying it.

Every time you notice yourself stopping to think, stop and think about what you're thinking about (inception?). Doing this a few times every day has been a powerful exercise, and I've noticed that the more I try to pay attention, the more I actually catch it.

Step 2 is to quickly dismiss those thoughts, and not let them become what you believe.

I actually heard someone say something recently that’s been an absolute game changer.

“Would you talk to someone else the same way you’re talking to yourself?”

When I thought about calling someone a "****ing idiot" for such small matter, I was disgusted. I know I would never say that, yet I was doing it to myself.

What would I say to a friend who is going through a similar situation? Or a 5 year old child? Something like “hey, it’s unfortunate that this is happening, but here are the few things we can start doing to improve for next time” sounds a lot more like me. What a difference.

I've found this practice to help turn what was going to be a negative experience, into a positive one. Not only with the feeling of control, but also running through what can be done for next time (instead of harping on yourself) leads to tangible improvement.

So I’m sharing this in hopes that it may be able to provide that little tweak in times where you catch yourself being down on yourself.

To recap:

Step 1: Make it a habit of auditing your thoughts a few times throughout the day.
Step 2: “Is this what I would be saying to a friend?”

If you found this helpful, let me know in the comments section below 🙂

Thanks for reading!


This article was originally published on one of my other sites, Can’t Wait Till Monday.