Book Summary: Talk To Yourself like a Buddhist Summary Cynthia Kane


Talk To yourself like a Buddhist by Cynthia Kane Book Summary

Summary of Praises for Cynthia Kane’s book:

  • Engaging, clear, practical, honest and wise
  • Well-organized, easy to digest, and overflowing with nuggets of
  • “I learn to judge less”
  • “Now I suffer less”
  • Life Changing
  • “My social anxiety practically gone !”
  • Well-thought out and not too complicated
  • Results come easily

What Is Negative Self-Talk and How Does It Manifest in Our Lives? Summary :

  • Much of our self-talk is full of doubt and fear
  • We talk to ourselves the whole day
  • The words we choose to talk to ourselves have very powerful effect on us and how we see the world
  • We downplay our achievements

Example of Negative Self Talks:

  • “I can’t do anything right”
  • “My nose is too big”
  • “I’m ugly and unlovable”

Negative self-talk can cause by pass events like:

  • Job loss
  • Failing a school test
  • Financial setback
  • Betrayal of friendship
  • Being sexually assaulted

We create a lot of unnecessary suffering in our life. Negative self talk is consider a kind suffering because it promotes suffering

Ask yourself if what you’re saying to yourself TRUE ? KIND ? HELPFUL ?

The Four Modes of Communication Summary:

1. Thinking

Most of our negative thoughts are not true. They are judgements and opinions based on our past experiences, beliefs, cultural norms, socialization etc..

2. Speaking Aloud

We sometimes talk negatively about ourselves to our friends and also in person.

3. Body Language

Our body language is the product of what we are thinking or saying

4. The Written Word

We speak rudely to ourselves when we write “to do notes”. Be are of that and write to yourself with love.

Example: ” Please remember to take our the trash Cynthia, love Cynthia.”

Remember to write journal in a loving way as well

Judgment: The Accomplice of Negative Self-Talk Summary

  • Whether an event is good or bad it’s base on our judgement
  • The way we judge an event is base on our upbringing, past experiences, social conditioning and basic personalities
  • Each time we tell ourselves that we are we are fat we felt worse than before
  • When you compare yourself with a stranger you feel worse everytime if you judge the other person is better than you
  • “If only you work harder than you could had a car like that”
  • “If only I didn’t spent so much money on that vacation”
  • “I would never be able to afford a house like that”

7 Common Expression of Negativity Summary:

  • Overreaction : “Everything is terrible”
  • Personalization: ” Why is this happening to me?”, “it’s my fault”
  • Absolute language: “I’m a bad person”
  • Assumption: “He Thinks I’m not good enough” !
  • Expectation: “This isn’t how it’s supposed to be!”
  • Comparison: “Why can’t I be like her?”
  • Regret: “If I hadn’t done that…”

Bring Compassion To your Self Communication Summary:

  • Console yourself the way you console your best friend
  • Cheer yourself up the way you cheer your best friend
  • Tell yourself you’re doing fine
  • Stop beating yourself up
  • Self compassion is hard because society thinks its weak
  • Love yourself no matter what

Judgment: The Accomplice of
Negative Self-Talk

  • You beat yourself up for having negative self talk
  • “I can’t believe I’m having all this negative self talk and I don’t realize it
  • “What’s wrong with me !!!”
  • Instead be glad that you realized you’re speaking negatively to yourself
  • Go easy on yourself

Fire the Drill Sergeant, Hire the Cheerleader Summary:

  • Don’t scold and humiliate yourself when you make a mistake
  • Don’t say ” Come on ! Get it together ! “
  • Instead say ” That’s okay you’ll do better next time”

Our Past Experiences influence and shaped our current selves

  • All our negative experiences like guilt, unworthiness, shame shapes our beliefs
    Everytime we experience a disappointment, a failure or a defeat we carry it with us and use it to beat ourselves up in the future
  • Victim of abuse sometimes feel that they deserve it. This feeling is very detrimental to their emotional self.
  • Being called fat at a very young age could affect the way you perceive yourself even into adulthood

How Society Had Influenced Our Beliefs & Lifestyle

  • Smoking something that is so awful had been made to look cool by advertisers. Cigarettes are also always smoked by cool characters in the movies which further influence the audience
  • Pantyhose had been turned into a must have for women from all over the world
  • Watches had been transform into a must have luxury item for men
  • Products and services are sold base on the idea that it will make customers more beautiful, luxurious, healthier, sexier and family oriented etc
  • Romantic comedies had shape the expectation of men and women everywhere. Men suppose to be the hero. Men love sex more than women etc
  • Beauty and success are subjective. We would suffer if we follow what society tell us should live
  • Living by societies standard of what it means to be happy and fulfilled would create a lot of judgements and negative self talk when we can’t measure up to the world’s standards
  • When we are young we are like sponges, we soak up everything we see and hear whether its good or bad. It would shape our mentality and mindset as we grow even though we don’t it will

How Scarcity Had made us Suffer :

  • Society has been making us believe that love, friendship and money is scarce. We starts competing and comparing with others. We start having hatred, delusions and greed mindset which are the sources of human suffering
  • Negative self talk are all based on fear. We fear that we are not good enough, we fear that we did not earn enough or did not perform good enough. We keep reminding ourselves who we are not and what we do not have
  • When you notice yourself saying you have not enough, ask yourself what scarcity mindset are you having?

“Know That you have always been good enough, you’ll always be good enough as you are”

The Origin of Self Judgement

“I’m not good enough”

“I’m not pretty enough”

“I’m not worthy”

The idea of humans are flawed had been ingrained in all major religions:

  • In Christainity, Jesus came down to die for our sins
  • In Islam, we have the idea of original sin and falling from grace
  • In Buddhism, Buddha had been reminded by Mara that he is unworthy of enlightment

“Our judgements and belief are making us sick”

Always Be Questioning Your Judgement & Beliefs:

  • We humans love to tell stories. Sometimes we make up negative stories from facts we know without knowing the whole truth.
  • An employee was waving at her bos she saw and he didn’t wave back and she thought that he’s angry with her and he is going fire her tomorrow. but it turns out that he really didn’t see her.

Ask yourself these 3 questions:

  1. What judgement am I making?
  2. What story am I telling myself as a result of this judgement?
  3. What do I know to be true?

Release Your Negative Self Talk

  • We should relieve negative self talks that no longer serve us, clinging to them will only make us suffer
  • We find it hard to release the bad thoughts because it has become a habit for us and a habit is hard to break.
  • Our identity is created around this negative self talk and when we stop it we don;t know who we are
  • Release yourself from your negative self talk by saying to yourself : “I realize this is negative self talk and I’m releasing myself from it”

Start Forgiving Yourself:

Write down all your negative self talk you’ve say to yourself and tell yourself this:

“I forgive myself for judging myself and for all my negative self talk. We all sometimes say things that aren’t helpful or accurate and I forgive myself for saying those things”

Forgive yourself for the role in the situation.

“When we know better, we do better”

Forgive other people and the situation because clinging to them will only make you suffer

Fake forgiveness until you feel it because it takes time to for it to sink in

Talk you yousrelf positively every morning

“I love you !… you’re gonna have a great day !”

“Take it easy, this is going to be okay”

“You’re doing a great job, I love you”

Judgement Vs  Observation

Judgement is the root of all negative self talk

Judgment: I can’t believe he would ask to borrow money from me again;
he hasn’t even paid me back from the last time. He needs to get a job and
get his financial house in order. He is pathetic. I’ll tell him no.

Observation: He has borrowed money from me before and has not yet
paid it back. I don’t think it would be wise, based on past experience, to
loan him money again. I’ll tell him no

Judgment: I am so fat! Even the doctor said so! How embarrassing! I have got to get my butt to the gym and start eating right. But it’s so hard, I’m not sure I can do it, I shouldn’t even waste my time trying.

Observation: The doctor said overall I am in good health, but that he is a little concerned about my weight. he said if I eat healthily and start exercising then I would be able to lose 5kg and prevent getting diseases like diabetes and heart disease

Replace Overreaction With Calm & Balanced Assessments

Overreaction: “This was the worst mistake I could ever make !” or “Everything is terrible !”

Calm assessment: “That wasn’t your best, I’ll do better next time

Replace your old bad negative self talk with new positive and better ones:

  1. Replace personalization with balance responsibility
  2. Replace absolute language with balance relative language
  3. Replace Assumption with Focus on Facts (And Not Knowing!)
  4. Replace expectation & control with optimisms
  5. Replace comparison with abundance mentality
  6. Replace regret with appreciation

Learning to laugh at life

It is very hard to feel miserable when you are laughing. Find the humor in life and you find happiness

Change Your Words, Change Your World

How we talk to ourselves is how we view the world. We have to the power to change it right now.

Speak to your self with love and compassion. Change your negative perception of the world with positive talk.

Negative self talk is a symptom of  your judgement and false assumptions. Its an indicator to show you where to work on self next.

You’ll stumble and fall in this journey but it’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up when you fail. Cheer yourself up like you are your own best friend.


Hope your enjoyed the Book Summary for Talk to yourself like a Buddhist. Support Cynthia Kane and buy her book here

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