Written by Nicole Paquin Recently, promoting my book, one of the podcast hosts was also an established spiritual healer. During the one-hour interview, and the two-hour phone call that followed, she picked up on some of my self-sabotaging bad habits. “Thoughts become things,” she said. “Be careful not to entertain negative self-talk or ignore any warnings that come your way, because they can manifest into your reality.” I’ve always struggled with my pesky inner voice. “You need to love yourself,” she said. “Tell that negative voice to shut up and give yourself a positive affirmation to counter act the negative. You wouldn’t talk to your dog, child, spouse, or friend like that, so why on earth would you allow that to come from within?” She was right. Why would I talk to myself like that? I realized I’d been repeating negative mantras on a loop. Destructive things I wouldn’t say to my worst enemy. Things like, “You’re not good enough.” “You’re not thin, or pretty, or successful enough.” I also often second guessed, and scolded myself. I know I shouldn’t be beating myself up and second guessing everything I say or do, but it’s hard to stop. So I decided to become more mindful of how I was speaking to myself. To be better at loving myself. There were a few tools I needed to incorporate before it could become an everyday practice. I learned our brains are constantly dreaming. It’s only when we’re conscious that we have control over them, so here are a couple of tricks I’ve learned to keep that toxic voice from taking over. Take the first thirty minutes of the day for yourself. Don’t pick up your phone or open your laptop. Use that time to decide what kind of day you want to have. Visualize it. When you make the decision to have a great day, it will be harder for the negative thoughts to sneak or seep in. When and if they do, visualize the act of karate chopping that thought out of existence, and replace it with one which lifts you up.