The Power of Positive Self-Talk
Your inner dialogue, that constant voice in your ear, can be your greatest friend or your worst enemy. It all depends on your mental habits. Some people are naturally more optimistic, while others lean towards a more pessimistic view of the world. When it comes to how you talk to yourself, you are in control. You can take control over how you perceive yourself and how you choose to live your life.
What is self-talk?
Self-talk is something you do naturally throughout your waking hours. Everyone has a set of messages that play in our minds. You might not even realize that running commentary is going on in the background, but this inner dialogue frames our reactions to life and our circumstances.
How does self-talk work?
Take a moment and think about what you have said to yourself today. Was it critical? Or was it kind and helpful? Often, the pattern of self-talk we have developed is negative. We remember negative reactions and play them over and over in our minds, becoming self-defeating.
Changing how you talk to yourself can be difficult. Over time, your persistent thoughts have created certain pathways in your mind. This makes it hard to believe anything else. Just like starting an exercise plan or a new diet, it may be difficult to start these new mental habits, but if you stick to it and are consistent, you will feel the results.
Tips to Start Positive Self-Talk
Become Self Aware You don’t always consciously take note of what you are telling yourself every day. The first step in improving your self-talk is to notice what your inner voice is saying. Keep track of when you put yourself down, and when you are positive. When a thought comes to mind ask yourself, “Would I say this to my best friend?”. If not, you know what you need to change. Becoming self-aware will help you know when you are the most negative and where you can improve. Challenge Negative Thoughts When you say, “I can’t” ask yourself, “Why can’t I?”.
Work on saying “I can” more. When other negative thoughts come to mind tell yourself to “Stop” aloud. This will help you replace negative brain pathways with positive ones. Be Present When you focus so much on things that have to happen in the future, you cause yourself unnecessary worry. Control your worry by focusing on what you can do in the next minute, hour, or day. Change your self-talk Use replacement mantras to counter your negative thoughts with positive ones. Example One
- “I am so stressed, I am never going to get anything done.”
- Alternative: “I know with time and effort, I can achieve what I need to.”
- “I am just a negative person, I will never change.”
- Alternative: “I am capable of change.”
- “I am so dumb, I really screwed up that presentation.”
- Alternative: “I can do better than that. I will prepare and rehearse more next time.”
Positive self-talk is about recognizing the truth in situations and in yourself. When negative events happen, positive self-talk helps you seek the positive out of the negative, to help you improve and keep moving forward. Practicing positive self-talk will help you become more self-confident, motivated, and productive.