Unlock the Power of Positive Self-Talk

Feb 15, 2024

Positive Self-Talk

If I asked you who you talk to the most, what would you say?

Your mom? Your brother or sister? Your best friend? Your dog?

Nope. . . None of the above.

The person you talk to the most is. . . YOU!

It’s true!

Whether it’s a silent soliloquy in the shower, a quick conversation with yourself during a solo stroll in the park, or the internal banter that accompanies your morning coffee, your self-talk is a constant companion.

But it’s not always a GOOD one. . .

Most of us are dimly aware that there’s a little voice on our head, but we don’t pay much attention to it, which is a mistake, as it’s one of the most influential factors in our lives

As Gandhi wisely said:

Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

And that’s a scary thought, because self-talk is a very powerful force indeed. 

In this post we’ll look at how to become more mindful of our inner voice, master the art of self-talk and discover the profound impact it can have on your journey to a more confident, optimistic, and empowered version of yourself.

Negative Self-Talk

Our internal dialogue can be either supportive or negative and self-defeating.

Which do you think is most common?

Yup. The negative stuff. 

Why? Because left to its own devices the mind is like water: It automatically runs downhill

Take a moment to think about some of the iterations of your own mind lately. 

For me, it was in the gym about an hour ago.

I noticed a little battle break out in my mind as I was contemplating doing a final set on the chest press.

Just as I was reaching my max a little voice said, ‘That’s enough. . . You’re not strong enough to do more.’

But I managed to override it with ‘Of course I can!’ and pushed through a few more final reps. 

And that’s just one of HUNDREDS of little conversations or monologues that have happened today.

You’ve had hundreds, too, of course — but have you NOTICED them? 

Given the fact we have approximately 60,000 thoughts per day, I doubt it. 

But don’t worry: You don’t have to be mindful of them all.

Just try to notice when your inner voice starts being pessimistic.

If you can do THAT, you’ll not only be able to escape the trap of negative self-talk but also begin transformative journey that will help you be happier and healthier.

Sounds pretty good, right?

Benefits of Positive Self-Talk

Positive self-talk can make a MASSIVE difference to how you perceive the world, how you approach challenges and how you react to set backs.

The research clearly shows that people who use positive self-talk strategies tend to live healthier lifestyles, manage stress more effectively and foster a more positive outlook on life in general.

There are various important positives. Here are a few of them:

  • Living longer
  • Feeling less depressed
  • Dealing with less pain and stress
  • Fighting off sickness better
  • Being mentally and physically in good shape
  • Having a healthy heart and lower chances of heart or stroke
  • Lower risk of cancer 
  • Less chance of respiratory problems 
  • Lower risk of getting knocked out by infections
  • Handling tough times and stress like a champ

No-one’s quite figured out why positive thinkers seem to have better health outcomes.

A possible explanation is that they cope with stress more effectively, reducing its negative effects on their body.

Whatever the reason, the facts are the facts, and that’s a good enough reason to get serious about your own self-talk!

How to Stop Negative Self-Talk 

Positive self-talk has amazing effects on your mental health and happiness.

But It’s not just about saying endless positive affirmations — that can only get you so far.

It’s about developing mindful awareness of the voice in your head, then cultivating an internal dialogue that supports and uplifts you rather than depresses and damages your mental wellbeing. 

When you consciously choose positive over negative, you empower yourself to feel more confident and capable. 

Hand holding a piece of paper with a smiling emoji on it

Practicing Positive Self-Talk 

Like any skill, positive self-talk can become ingrained with time and practice.

The bottom line is: Your inner voice is malleable.

Over time and by using effective strategies, you can train your self-talk to be a motivational force that helps you navigate challenges and build a level mental resilience you never knew you had.

So, how, exactly, do you actually PRACTICE positive self-talk?

Positive Affirmations

Well, as I mentioned earlier, first you need to be mindful — you have to notice when you’re being negative.

Then you need to take ACTION.

When you catch the inner critic in your head and identify negative thinking, you need to immediately flip the script right away. 

For example, let’s imagine you have a big presentation at work and you’re feeling nervous as you stand outside the presentation hall.

You might realize that little voice has started saying stuff like “I’m going to mess up”, “Everyone will laugh at me”, or “I’m not good enough for this job”.

These negative thoughts can obviously make you feel worse and affect your performance (and possibly get you fired. . .), so you need to jump on them right away.

Instead of letting them cascade and turn into a waterfall of negativity which is hard to stop, use positive self-talk to boost your confidence in the moment instead.

Tell yourself things like “I know I’ve prepared well for this presentation — and I’m gonna smash it!”, “I know I have valuable insights to share. They’re lucky to be listening to me”, or “I’m competent and confident. I’ve got this!”

This isn’t lying to yourself or deluding yourself; it’s simply a strategy for cutting through the automatic negative layer that the mind fabricates whenever you get out of your comfort zone and take a significant risk.

It’s the results of continually applying that strategy that give you the power to make significant and transformative progress in your life.

The Body Language Bonus

As well as practicing positive self-talk, you should practice using positive body language, too.

Why?

Because when thinking turns negative, it often takes over our physiology as well. 

Think about it: How is your physiology different when you’re over-the-moon about something compared to when you’re really depressed?

You might not have ever noticed how, when you’re feeling down, your head lowers, the corners of your mouth droop or your shoulders roll forward, but it happens to all of us.

On the other hand, when you’re excited about something or feeling energized and confident, your body is much more erect and open, right?

So, next time you’re getting negative or feeling down, be mindful of how your body is reacting — then flip that physical script. Straighten up, smile and, if you can, get up and move.

Recalibrating your body can help recalibrate the mind, especially if you engage in positive physicality at the same time as positive self-talk.

Do it enough times over and over again and you’ll notice some pretty amazing changes happening pretty quickly. 

Embrace the Transformative Power of Self-Talk

The way you talk to yourself matters — a LOT — so it’s worth investing in some positive self-talk (and thinking about the physical stuff, too).

Will it seem weird at first? Possibly. 

Will you doubt it works? Probably. 

Will you be wrong? Of course!

Try it for 21 days and see for yourself. . .

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