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CHAPTER 1: The Problem

Hey, you worthless piece of shit! Yes, I’m talking to you! …

Are you mad? What kind of self-help book this is if an author starts it that way?

Maybe you are outraged? How dare I say such heinous things about you? How dare I judge you so harshly and obscenely?

“The way you talk to yourself is worse, certainly, than the way anyone else talks to you.” – Seth Godin

I just wanted to make a point. There is a pretty high probability that you’ve said much worse things to yourself. And you weren’t mad or outraged. Instead, you were consenting.

I purposefully started the book with this outrageous invective. If you cannot stand invectives from me, how can you stand self-inflicted invectives? I wanted to evoke anger. I wanted you to stop hiding the problem you have. I wanted you to acknowledge that you are telling yourself such invectives and much worse than that and you do it without purpose or reason. You go overboard with it and it destroys your life like nothing else.

And I wanted you to do something about it. Read this book. Learn how to change your self-talk for good. Stop being your worst critic, tormentor, judge and a hangman in one person. Turn your life around.

I’ll keep the language in this book civil and will refrain from referring to excrement from now on. The only ugly expressions you will find in it will be examples of negative self-talk.


Well, if you weren’t mad or outraged and if you never said any crap to yourself, this book is clearly not for you. You are above negative self-talk and already live happily ever after. I’m so glad for you! People like you are like sunshine for this world. Thank you for being the best version of yourself.


However, very few people are like that. In fact, virtually everyone I’ve ever met in a real life (not in the magical bubble of social media) were struggling with their self-talk and this struggle was always at the source of their life struggles. We judge ourselves harshly. We belittle ourselves. We are full of self-doubts and self-loathing.


When I wrote my book about overcoming shyness, “From Shy to Hi,” I shared negative thoughts that crossed my mind when I was about to approach a stranger and start a conversation. It was a real slop bucket. I was blown away when each and every beta-reader I shared the advanced reading copy with said: “Yeah, me too. I tell myself such atrocious stuff all too often.”


That was the first time I’ve ever gotten confirmation that I’m not a lonely madman, but we all share this affliction. I started to see this theme again and again. Self-talk was affecting everything I was teaching about.