The above photo is of Grand River Hospital (not far from Toronto, Canada), where Beyond ADHD Author Jeff Emmerson was rushed after a suicide attempt in 2011. (Photo Credit)

Moving Past Negative Self-Talk: A Key To Achievement, Growth and Success

I didn’t even know what (positive or negative) self-talk meant until my late twenties. Going through some very hard struggles in my life, I sought out tools for not only taking my life back (in a manner of speaking), but for realizing my potential as I continued down my path. I began to study courses from people who spoke about peak performance, self-fulfillment, career success, financial success, emotional achievement – you get the gist.

I obsessed over changing my destiny from one of constant self-doubt and mistakes to the one I imagined: Success in relationships, fitness, enjoying the simple things and being full of abundance spiritually, financially and in every other area of my life.

This stuff isn’t bullshit…this IS the make-or-break content we all need to be taught in school from an early age. No matter who you are, self-worth and empowerment goes a very long way toward your overall life experience.

That’s a fact.

How Do I Overcome Negative Self-Talk?

First off, don’t ever try to eliminate the self-questioning inner voice from existing – that likely won’t happen, since our brains are as they are, and we’re human. Instead, as I had to learn over many years of therapy, reading books and self-exploring, start by countering those thoughts with intentional, empowering ones that are part of a “growth-mindset.”

It takes time, daily focus, repetition and self-compassion to make positive self-talk a part of your lifestyle, and wow, is it ever worth it. In fact, it’s the one thing that saved me from not being here any longer (beyond the help I received from my amazing wife and others who care in my community).

Ultimately, only I could choose to dust myself off from the despair, the years of failures and the vicious self-hate within and begin to crawl in a new direction before even being able to walk. It took a lot of stubborn work to do it, and a bit of luck here and there. Luck means nothing without putting in the damn work, though, so don’t cop-out on assuming I was simply “lucky.” That would be a colossal mistake in judgment. Hard work saved my life.

You Need To Have Support Around You

As you set out to make a new habit in thought patterns in your day to day life, make sure to have positive, empowering people around you. Don’t hang out with people stuck in debilitating patterns of self-loathing and sabotage. Yes – be kind, be human and by all means be supportive (we all need that at times), but it’s a fine-line between being a supportive force and allowing someone to bring you into their negative patterns.

It was tempting for me when a very close friend and I would get together, since I cared for him so deeply, we’d been through so much together, but the past is gone, and I had to ultimately move on from our friendship. He was sinking into addiction and dangerous behaviors very, very fast.

Ultimately, you have to take care of yourself. It sure isn’t worth it if you damage your own life by trying to keep a friendship going that’s toxic, one that’s full of drama, addictive behaviors and negativity. That’s where codependency can be alluring and deadly at the same time. Been there, done that. I luckily walked away without being damaged much worse by my own poor decisions.

You Can Change Your Life – When You Decide To Do The Work

Depending on how old you are and where you’re at in life, you may or may not have a lot of money, time and connections. The amazing thing is that with the desire to make a change in your life, with the commitment to do whatever it takes and be patient as you work hard, you can literally change your life in a matter of months.

You absolutely can – again, no bullshit here. I say it because I’ve lived it, so this is all 400 percent truth. I went from a jail cell, suicide attempt, committing myself, a 4-month first marriage that ended badly, the death of my brother (suicide), destroyed credit, university drop-out with hundreds of jobs, a past criminal record, a mini-stroke, no educational hope and a brutal lack of self-esteem …

…all the way to being very happily married, financially comfortable, living on the lake, signing a traditional book deal (which something like 1 in 600,000 writers ever do) and being the world’s biggest one-person social media platform on the subject of ADHD (with a ton more to come!).

That’s me. I did it with a lot of help alone the way (none of us do it alone), but when it came right down to it, I decided to do the work to learn new ways to look at life, people’s behavior and my own internal self-talk.

It worked, and continues to do so.

Be a freight train for good in your own life. Don’t stay small out of fear, and sure as hell don’t endlessly complain in negative thinking. You’ve got so much more in you than that. PERIOD.

Yours in purpose,