Mar 14, 2024

The Power of Your Inner Self Talk: Stop 'Shoulding' on Yourself

by Lisa A. Romano

childhood trauma healing consciousness healing childhood emotional neglect healing codependency self talk

When I started this healing journey so many years ago, I was unaware of how negative, immature, faulty, and toxic my inner self-talk was.

Thoughts popped into my head, which initiated a chain of physiological responses known as emotions, and before long, backward rationalization settled in to referee the war in my mind. Because my early childhood experiences conditioned me to disown my inner reality and to figure out how to edit myself to at least superficially be one with what was happening outside of me, my inner self-talk was punishing, cruel, harassing, and shame-provoking.

One of the most common inner narratives I possessed began with three powerful words, "I should have..." That's the way it is with most humans.

We are not born rational.

We are born to survive, and react.

Rational thinking, healthy behaviors, and the ability to emotionally regulate are the fruits of introspection, self-analysis, humility, and a burning ache to know oneself so that one can do and be a better human. Being a healthy human implies we can take an emotional hit, rebound, and get back up again, and we have found ways to live a life of purpose and passion that aligns with our authentic selves. It means we have learned to worry more about living our lives in alignment with our authentic selves despite those on the outside who have personal opinions about who they assume we are. It means that we are honest about our character flaws and focus more on correcting them than we are about others and their flaws. If there is one piece of advice I can offer you today, it would be to become highly observant of your inner self-talk.

The moment you notice the word 'should,' hit the pause button, step back, and recognize you are about to flow upstream rather than downstream. The word 'should' is an appetizer to a shame spiral we throw ourselves into or shove others into. May you find the peace that surpasses human understanding in this lifetime despite what you cannot control.

I imagine a world where peace reigns; however, I also know that a world full of peace implies that the people in it are full of peace as well. Becoming super conscious of how and when the word 'should' pops into my mind, at the very least, helps me remain humble and vulnerable to the power of my words and the consequences their energy emits into the world on you and me.

Dear One, you are enough...we are One...nothing else makes sense...there is no such thing as separation...May you allow love to flow through and to you.

All my love, Lisa A. Romano

Lisa A. Romano was voted the #1 Most Influential Person of 2020 by Digital Journal and one of the top 10 Most Inspirational Women of 2021. She is a Life Coach and Bestselling Author who specializes in Codependency and Narcissistic Abuse Recovery. Her YouTube Channel has over 670K subscribers, and her 12-week Breakthrough Coaching Program has helped thousands, including psychologists and even neuroscientists, release painful emotions from the past. Romano’s approach is seen as groundbreaking and highly effective for creating the inner transformations all humans are capable of. To learn more about Lisa and her online programs, books, speaking events, and support groups, visit