negativity Archives - The Self-Worth Experiment

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Life is what you make of it - a eulogy
Feb 06

What to do when life is suffering – a eulogy

By Dr Berni Sewell | Discover your happiness

I had big plans for the beginning of 2022:

Launch this year’s round of the BREAK FREE from Low Self-Worth online course. Create a thriving new Facebook page for The Self-Worth Experiment. And start work on a new online course to teach people who suffer with fear and anxiety practical techniques of how to find peace and calm.

And then my Grandma died. And I found myself travelling to Austria for the funeral instead…

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3 empowering steps to eliminate negativity and toxic self-talk
Sep 17

How to eliminate negativity and toxic self-talk

By Dr Berni Sewell | Transform your life

I still remember the day when I first noticed it.

Cursing the abhorrent weather, I stumbled through the front door off the storm-swept streets of Vienna. I shivered and sneezed, feeling sorry for my dripping wet self. It would be just my luck to catch a cold so close to my birthday!

I opened my mailbox with a feeling of dread. It only ever spat out bills, problems and evil tidings. I expected the worst, and wasn’t disappointed when a hefty supplementary electricity payment dropped in my hand.

This was outrageous! They were taking advantage of little people like me!

Disgusted by the world’s corruption, I stomped up the stairs to my flat. My mind racing with worst case scenarios of nasty conversations involving arrogant call centre employees defending a money-grubbing corporation. I loathed conflict!

Lost in gloomy thoughts, I caught my foot on an umbrella some idiot had left outside their door to dry. I tumbled down, my knee hitting the hard stone floor. I screamed in pain and frustration.

Why always me?! Why did the Universe hate me?

As I finally collapsed on my sofa, despair overwhelmed me. My life was a relentless string of disasters, catastrophes and anxieties.

What was wrong with me? Why did nothing good ever happen in my life?

I felt like a pathetic failure. I wasn’t good enough! My own incompetence and the cruelty of this backstabbing world doomed me to a miserable existence…

And right there, as my mind wallowed in hopelessness, it hit me.

Every thought I created was toxic, every word I spoke despondent. I had become a powerless victim of my own negativity which sabotaged my life, destroyed my happiness and ramped up my anxiety.

And I knew it had to change.

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A powerful way to stop worrying
Feb 15

A powerful way to stop worrying

By Dr Berni Sewell | Overcome your fears

My 4-year old has a little cuddly toy called Biff. Biff is a “worry eater”.

When she’s worried about starting school, scared of the dark or anxious about performing the ABC song in the nursery play, we write her worry on a piece of paper.

We put the piece of paper in Biff’s mouth, close the zip and put him in bed with her.

The next morning (with some Mummy assistance obviously) the worry is gone. All gobbled up. Or so she thinks.

The important thing is that she stops worrying. She surrendered the anxious thoughts to somebody else and trusts that the problems will be taken care of.

End of story. No more worry.

I guess now you think: “What a lovely way to stop worrying. For a pre-schooler. But how could this ever work for me?”

Well, the good news is that this tactic works at every age…

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The only guaranteed way to transform your life
Jan 29

The only guaranteed way to transform your life

By Dr Berni Sewell | Transform your life

I hit rock-bottom at the age of 25.

Every aspect of my life was a struggle. I felt like I was serving a life sentence in a homemade prison.

Paralysed, stuck. And alone.

I couldn’t advance in my career because crippling self-doubt convinced me that I was a fraud in a ridiculous scientist disguise. I felt lucky I had a job at all! Considering my incompetence.

I was unable to go out with friends because I felt weak, anxious and vulnerable and was terrified of being mugged or killed on the way home alone.

I avoided meeting new people because the thought of social interactions made me feel sick. I believed that everybody I met would automatically judge me.

And I had given up on love and the prospect of a new relationship because I felt too flawed and damaged to deserve it. The only conceivable outcome was abandonment and the resulting unbearable pain. No, thank you!

So I sat at home. Day in, day out.

Wallowed in self-pity. Blamed myself, the Universe, other people for my misery. Drowned in negativity and self-loathing. Resented the people who had it all figured out, who were happy, confident and loved. And spent whole days in bed, in despair and hopelessness.

I would still be there now. Full of emptiness, hurt and envy.

But I was lucky. Because somehow I discovered the answers to the 3 most essential questions we will ask ourselves when we embark on the journey to a free, light-hearted and happier life.

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How to boost your self-worth (by getting rid of your shoes)
Nov 19

How to boost your self-worth (and get rid of your shoes)

By Dr Berni Sewell | Heal your self-worth

Imagine for a moment hitting yourself unconscious with a shoe periodically throughout the day.

You get up in the morning, first thing you do, WHAM! Shoe on the head! Because of this, you are unconscious most of the morning. As soon as you come to your senses, WHAM! There we go again.

And so the day goes by. One blow to the head after another. Until it’s time to go to bed. Last shoe of the day. WHAM! Good night!

If you’re now thinking “What’s the point of this? This is crazy talk. Who would do that to themselves?”

The answer is you! And I! And over 95% of the population of industrialised countries. Let me explain.

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How to stop beating yourself up
Oct 13

How to stop beating yourself up

By Dr Berni Sewell | Love yourself

(WARNING: You will have to lose your mind!)

This morning I took little one to school. In the school yard, parents were chatting in little groups while waiting for the doors to open.

As we arrived, my mind whispered: “Nobody will want to talk to YOU. You are an outsider.”

To prove it wrong, I joined a couple of Mums. But as I tried to contribute to the conversation, they talked over me, taking no notice of what I was saying.

“See?” My mind gloated. “They don’t want to have anything to do with you. You aren’t interesting enough. People will always ignore you.”

As the children swarmed through the school doors, the two Mums wandered off, still chatting, without acknowledging my existence.

“I told you so”, my mind confirmed. “You are an impossible person to like. People just don’t click with you. You are too boring, odd. Just not good enough. You have nothing to offer. You will be alone for the rest of your life. You pathetic loser!”

A few years ago, this experience would have thrown me into a bottomless abyss of self-punishment, self-loathing and self-pity. For days I would have beaten myself up for being unlovable, unpopular, worthless.

But today I wasn’t bothered. The school yard experience didn’t affect me at all. I didn’t lose another negative thought on it. I went on with my day feeling happy.

So, why do I react so differently now? What happenend?

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5 easy tactics to combat negativity
Sep 13

5 easy tactics to combat negativity (even if it’s in your nature)

By Dr Berni Sewell | Discover your happiness

Yesterday, when I picked my 4-year old up from nursery, she wanted to go and play in the park. I said no as we had a dentist appointment which triggered a minor tantrum.

As little one whimpered and complained, her best friend turned around and said: “You are being very silly!”

The moment she said it, I could see little one’s heart break. She collapsed on the floor, burst in tears and wept inconsolably until we got home and bribed her with a gingerbread man.

We went on to have a lovely afternoon. Lots of fun and games, stickers, compliments and laughter at the dentist and loads of cuddles.

When I tucked her in at night and asked whether she had a good day, she replied: “No! Celeste said I was silly!”

And it made me wonder. Why can a whole day of positives not outweigh one negative? Why do we focus on the negatives so much?

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The simple reason why you never get what you want
Jun 08

The simple reason why you never get what you want

By Dr Berni Sewell | Discover your happiness

When I was at the height of my anxiety, life as a whole was a threat. And it didn’t only seem this way. It was!

Every letter in my post box was a bill, demand note or bad news. Every train I took broke down or was delayed. Every electrical appliance I bought was faulty. Every cold going around would find its way to me.

I felt stressed, terrified and somewhat victimised. Everything I touched was destined to go wrong, turn into a catastrophe or make me unhappy.

And I couldn’t help but ask myself “Why does the Universe hate me?”

Until I started to watch “The Big Bang Theory” and I realised that the Universe doesn’t hate anybody! The problem is merely that the Universe behaves like Sheldon Cooper. I’ll explain…

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