You are What You Think

Fellow actor, friend and downright talented person, Dina Drew Duva, shares her take on self-talk.

You are What You Think

How self-talk can change your day.


“Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening.” ― Lisa M. Hayes

Have you ever stopped for a moment to listen how you speak to yourself throughout the day? Remember the old saying, “you are what you eat”?  I think we also should add, “you are what you THINK”!  Think about it - who is that voice you’re hearing all day long, judging, analyzing and obsessing?

Is that your mother, your father, that nasty 4th grade teacher who told you that your painting was just okay? Is it a grade school bully who called you fat?  Or any number of other old wounds that rear their ugly heads at the worst times in our day?  

Without realizing it, do you blindly repeat those insults to yourself?  

“I can’t believe YOU did that again?”

“OMG! YOU look fat!”

YOU can’t handle this.”

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Let’s stop just for a moment. The next time you catch yourself saying something down right AWFUL to yourself, STOP and think, “WOULD I SAY THIS TO SOMEONE I LOVE like my partner or child?  Would I say it to a co-worker?  A Stranger”?  I’m guessing 9 times of 10 you wouldn’t!

If you really wouldn’t say those things to another person, then why would you say these things to yourself?

Read those sentences again. It’s amazing if we switch the YOU to I - how much easier it is to hear those words.  

“I can’t believe I did that again?”

“OMG! I look fat!”

I can’t handle this.”

For some reason, it can be so easy to be out right mean to ourselves.  Now let’s frame this in the context of going through your day.  If all you hear all day long, especially when you’re met with some challenge, are these negative thoughts, how much harder is it to exist?  How much of our joy have we stolen from ourselves?

For example - you are about to walk out door to work, and your son calls because you forgot to put lunch in his backpack.

“I can’t believe I did that again.”  You yell at him over the phone and then rush down to the school. As you get out of the car your pant seam rips.  “OMG, I am so fat!” You bolt into the school and barely say hello to the school secretary who seemingly gives you a scowl. You rush home to change before heading to work, and at the traffic light you think.  “I can’t handle this.”  And your day is pretty much ruined.

Let’s stop and try that again.  

Your son calls about the lunch.  “Ok, I did this again. I probably need to slow down.  Maybe this a teachable moment I can go over with my son about taking responsibility for himself. That’s a great idea. I will talk with him tonight.”  You hop out of the car and rip your pants seam, right on your bum.  “HA! I’m so happy I’m going shopping with my sister this weekend! Thank you favorite pants for lasting as long as you did!”  

You enter the school and give a warm smile and a gracious hello to the secretary. She returns your welcome enthusiastically.  “It’s always so nice to see you,” she says.  You head out to your car and chuckle to yourself.  You head home to change, and then on your way to work you stop at your favorite coffee shop for that amazing latte you love - a reward for handling a slightly difficult morning with grace.

Just by changing our thoughts, we can change not only our own experiences in the world, but those of the ones around us.  

You are what you think.

Dina Drew Duva Bio:

Dina is an actress, writer, video content creator and photographer. Recent TV credits include: NBC's "Shades of Blue", CBS's "Blue Bloods" and numerous commercial and print spots. Her writing and videos have been featured on Sammiches and Psych Meds, Reality Moms, and Huffington Post. She also co-owns,, a comedic video platform for moms. She lives in Northern NJ with her two kids and husband, actor Rich Duva. For more info and latest updates, please visit