"Things do not change, we change." Henry David Thoreau

Since we get what we think about, talk about, focus on, say to ourselves and believe about ourselves, we first need to become aware of what we are thinking and saying on a regular basis.

Are you in the habit of putting yourself down? Are you constantly telling yourself that you are not good enough or haven’t done enough? Do you tell yourself that you are bad, stupid, or lazy on a regular basis? This behavior has to stop or you will just manifest more experiences that prove you are right. Negative self-talk is a self-fulfilling prophesy.

So, how do you stop the negative self-talk? How do you change your habitual behavior of putting yourself down? Simply deciding to stop the behavior is not always enough. You need a way to break your negative pattern.

I have used the Rubber Band Technique off and on for years to remind myself that I have decided to choose something new - a new behavior, a new thought, a new action or a new reaction.

So, how does the Rubber Band Technique work? Let’s use the example of constantly putting yourself down. You’ve decided to change that behavior, but find yourself falling back into that habit, time after time, because it is so automatic. It happens before you give it much thought. The secret is to catch yourself in the behavior and immediately choose something else.

Place a rubber band around your wrist, and every time you catch yourself putting yourself down, snap the rubber band and deliberately choose to replace the negative self-talk with a positive statement. The rubber band is a pattern breaker that gets your attention and reminds you that you are choosing a new behavior. It acts to snap you back into the present moment, so you can consciously choose a new behavior until that new behavior becomes your automatic response.

Here’s a different example. Perhaps you are a complainer. How can you apply the Rubber Band Technique? Set an intention to catch yourself complaining. Every time you notice yourself engaging in that behavior, snap the rubber band and remind yourself that you are not willing to tolerate that kind of behavior any longer.

Here are other ways to apply The Rubber Band Technique.

  • Catch yourself eating standing up.
  • Catch yourself reaching for that second helping of food or dessert.
  • Catch yourself talking about someone behind their back.
  • Catch yourself swearing.
  • Catch yourself judging others.
  • Catch yourself driving over the speed limit.
  • Catch yourself yelling at bad drivers.

    It is up to you to address your negative, and perhaps even destructive, habits. You do have a choice.

    "They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself." Andy Warhol

    Action Challenge

    Steps to change a negative behavior.

    1. Find a rubber band that fits loosely around your wrist.

    2. Decide on the thoughts, words, behavior or action you want to change.

    3. Decide what positive thoughts, words, behavior or action you are going to replace for the negative behavior.

    4. Every time you find yourself engaging in the behavior you want to change, snap the rubber band, remind yourself that you have chosen a new behavior and immediately replace the old behavior with the new behavior.

    "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." Leo Tolstoy

    Once you are more aware of the negative thoughts, words, behaviors and actions you want to change, you need some positive behaviors to incorporate.

  • Author's Bio: 

    Kathy Atkinson is the owner of Creative Life Coaching, a personal growth and self-development company offering products and services to support your quest for happiness and success in your personal and professional life. Since 2000, Kathy has been coaching clients in the US and abroad via the telephone.

    Kathy specializes in using EFT, Emotional Freedom Techniques, to help business owners, professionals and individuals release the fears, doubts and limiting beliefs that cost them financially in their careers and emotionally in their relationships. Experience this amazing process for yourself by downloading the free EFT for Anxiety Relief script and audio recording today. Visit for more information about the Emotional Freedom Techniques.

    Kathy's life coaching web site - Eight Keys to Success offers a plan and a process for taking charge of your life. Check out the success keys today at www.8keystosuccess.com