Self-talk is something we all do. We are always explaining things to ourselves, and making comments to ourselves. The question is what are we saying? What we say to ourselves radically affects the quality of our lives, and our ability to do things effectively.
Are you using positive self-talk or negative self-talk? Below are some of the things that positive and negative people say. Look at the difference, and start talking to yourself in more constructive ways, if you don’t already.
Positive people explain bad things by externalising them (“The weather caused it.”). They consider them temporary (“That was a rough couple hours.”). They see them as isolated (“THAT part of the plan didn’t work, but…”). When they explain good things, they internalise them (“Life is great!”), consider them to be more or less permanent changes (“Now I know how to do this.”), and generalise from them (“Things are working out well.”).
“I’ve done well with this.”
“This has become a great business to be in.”
“I like the way things are going.”
“That just went bad due to the weather.”
“It was rough for an hour or two.”
“The car broke down, but the trip was fun.”
Negative people explain bad things by internalising them (“It’s me again.”). They consider them permanent (“It’s always this way.”). They generalise (“Life sucks.”). When they explain good things, they externalise them (“That’s just lucky.”), consider them temporary (“That went well TODAY.”), and see them only in a specific context (“At least THIS went right.”).
“It’s ALWAYS a mess when I meet someone new.”
“This party is great, not like mine.”
“This is fun for now.”
“Well, THAT went okay, I guess.”
“I screwed up again.”
“This good weather won’t last.”
If you start to explain things to yourself differently, you’ll see a difference in your attitude today. Make positive self-talk your normal mode of operation, and you’ll see a difference in your life. One of the fastest ways to change your experience of life is to change your self-talk.
Positive self-talk means purposely giving yourself positive reinforcement, motivation, and recognition – just as you would do for a friend. Congratulate yourself when you do well, and remind yourself of your abilities, accomplishments, strengths and skills. Keep a to-do list, tick off your successes and accomplishments, and review your progress regularly.
Make self-talk work for you. What you habitually say to yourself has a very profound impact on your self-image, your self-esteem, and your performance as well as eventual success. Remember that your subconscious triggers physiological responses to match the pictures and thoughts that you have of yourself to make them happen. Make this work for you by keeping your self-talk positive.