Stop Feeding Yourself Negativity

When my daughter was born, she cried. A lot. After having had a pretty easy first baby, she came into the world crying what seemed like all the time. It lasted for about three months. I was exhausted and frustrated.

One day, after telling complaining to Brian how tired I was he said, “If a biography is ever written about you, it should be titled ‘Exhausted‘!” He was not being unkind. It was actually said in a playful, fun way. But the truth was, I said it a lot. Like really a lot.

Without even knowing it I was repeating things to myself that were not helpful. I was tired. That was true. But in constantly saying it every few minutes I was making myself even more tired.

What I realized was that no matter how tired I was, I certainly didn’t want to be known for that. “I’m overwhelmed” or “I’m tired” are phrases that the more you say them the more you believe them. Before you are aware, you are believing and feeling way more than you need to be.

That day I made a commitment that I would stop saying those phrases. They just needed to be eliminated from my vocabulary. I realized that I was exclaiming them quite often without even being conscience of it. It had become so engraved in my thinking that I didn’t even detect it until my husband pointed it out.

Whatever your situation, feeding yourself negative lines is not helpful. I am not encouraging dishonesty. Telling someone that you are overwhelmed because you are genuinely trying to get help to make things better is one thing. Constantly throwing your hands in the air in resignation and uttering an “overwhelmed” or “I’m tired” sigh is another. The one way is helpful, the other is very detrimental.

There have been times when I have been with a group of moms and I have honestly felt like it was a badge of honor on who was the most tired or overwhelmed. I don’t know about you, but that is not exactly what I call encouraging.

Yes, mothering is difficult. Yes, it is tiring. And, yes, many times it is overwhelming. Is not all of life like that sometimes? Getting suggestions and help from others who have been there and done that is extremely helpful. But constantly repeating to yourself how difficult, tired, and overwhelmed you are only makes things worse.

Whatever your difficult situation is today, speak truth to yourself. Ask for help from someone that will not only offer helpful suggestions, but also lots of encouragement. But above all, stop feeding yourself negativity. You may even need to be as drastic as I was and axe some vocabulary words from your conversation for awhile. You may be surprised at how much you were saying it. I know I was.

Do you ever find yourself speaking negativity without even realizing it?


  1. This is so true. It’s amazing how pervasive certain words and attitudes become in our lives. I also think this happens with our kids. Without meaning to be negative per se, we start telling people, “Oh, she’s the one who never sleeps well.” “He’s my crazy one.” And pretty soon our kids are defining themselves on the negative labels we give them.

    • Johanna says:

      What a great reminder about unintentionally defining our kids with negative comments. Thanks so much for bringing that up.

  2. OK dear. Did you write this after I said I was overwhelmed this morning? Good thing that I give you things to write about! :-) Seriously, great reminder– as much as I didn’t want to hear it today.

    • Johanna says:

      Ha! No, I had already written it. :) But I’m glad it was appropriate for the day. And, have no fear, I give myself plenty of stuff to write about…always learning from my own shortcomings. Thankful for grace…and a great Mom who taught me well.

  3. This was very convicting to read, but I’m challenged and encouraged to stop feeding myself negativity. Thanks for a great post! =)

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