November 28, 2003
How can you tell if you’re lying to yourself with negative internal dialogue? Dr. Phil suggests that you test every negative belief that you have by honestly answering these four questions.
1. Is it a true fact?
Remember that a fact is different from an opinion that you may embrace for some reason. For example, if you believe that being morbidly obese doesn’t affect your health, or that it isn’t worth trying to achieve anything because you “always lose,” ask yourself if it is indeed a true fact.
2. Does it serve your best interest?
For example, if you’re telling yourself that you’re a bad person or a failure, does that serve your best interest?
3. Does it protect and prolong your health?
How does your internal dialogue affect you physically? If you are obese, is your denial about your condition placing you at risk for heart disease, diabetes or cancer? If you call yourself a “failure” or “worthless,” are you allowing yourself to live a stress-filled life because you don’t believe you deserve better?
4. Does it get you what you want?
Does your internal dialogue help you achieve your goals? Or has it negatively impacted your ability to pursue things that you want out of life?