The Duchess Of MalMouthie

Posted by & filed under .

On the episode “My Fall From Grace,” I noticed Fergie (Duchess not pop star) continuously did this one thing that, IMHO, is going to keep her stuck in her groove unless she changes it.

The Setup

Despite her family’s money, Fergie had it pretty rough growing up. Her mom abandoned her at 12 to run off with an Argentinian polo player, and, like many children who went through similar things (albeit with fewer ponies), she blamed herself for her mother’s abandonment, thinking it must have been something she did. She still carries that self-loathing with her and is going on an Oprah-fueled reality TV journey – meaning visiting people like Dr. Phil, Suze Orman, etc. – on a quest for her self-worth.

What Fergie Says

Fergie talks about herself in negative terms all day long, right, left, and center. Throughout the episode, she refers to herself variously as “flawed,” “worthless,” “unloveable,” and self-sabotaging. In fact, unless I missed it, there wasn’t a single moment in the episodes where she presented herself as being anything other than hopeless and lost.

Back Up And Tell It Right

Words matter. Negative words, over time, become an unexamined shorthand that only serve to keep us stuck in our self-loathing stories. The simple-to-say/hard-to-do act of changing those words, of stopping ourselves in real time and re-editing our self-descriptions, can literally change the way we think about ourselves. In Fergie’s case, I would suggest that, for every negative word, she force herself to stop and recharacterize her self-description as a positive, e.g. go from “flawed” to “whole but working on believing in myself,” “worthless” and “unloveable” to “was a better mother to my children than my mother was to me so broke a potential abandonment cycle – thus I’m strong and loving” etc.

If you really want self-worth, Fergie, start by changing those words…