Self-talk is that inner voice you use to talk to yourself about a given situation. Your self-talk can often time affect how you react to a given situation and in turn to your stress levels. If you typically respond with negative self-talk, then you may be creating an undue amount of extra stress and anxiety.

You may be blaming yourself for outcomes that weren’t your fault or generally just looking at the negative as opposed to the positive side. Most people who experience negative self-talk have been creating the pattern for years, since childhood in many cases.  It is a condition that develops over the years and continues to get worse if you don’t try to change. This form of negative self-talk can create anger, frustration, guilt, and a whole slew of other emotions.

The good news is that it’s never too late to change your negative self-talk to positive self-talk.

How to get started on a road to positive self-talk

Listen to yourself

Take some time to listen to your inner voice. Do you spend time dwelling on negative thoughts, or are you supportive of your discussions? It’s good to take time to write down any negative thoughts so you can reflect on them and determine what made you feel the way you did and how you would change that going forward.

Think

When you have a negative thought and write it down, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Is this something that I am overreacting to?
  • How accurate is what I’m thinking?
  • Did I label myself negatively? (I’m stupid, fat, etc.)

If you say yes to any of the above, it’s time to change your thinking process.

Replace the negative

Now that you’ve written down your negative thoughts and asked yourself some questions, it’s time to replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. How you change your thought process from negative to positive will make all the difference in your life.

“I can’t believe how poorly I did in that sales presentation. There’s no way anyone will ever buy from me”.

Instead, replace the negative with a positive. “I need to do a bit more research before my next call to make sure I’m fully prepared moving forward. If I’m more prepared, I’ll sell more”.

Cut the negative people out

I call this getting rid of the “deadwood”. If you want to practice positive self-talk, then surround yourself with positive people. You can’t possibly be positive when everyone around you is complaining about one thing or another. If you can’t 100% remove them from your life (i.e., family members), then limit your time with them. In the end, you will be happier because of it.

Practice being grateful

Sometimes it just takes some perspective to “right the ship.”  Be thankful for what you have because many times, it is better than most people. Remembering what you are grateful for daily will create a more positive attitude and therefore lead to an increase in positive self-talk.

Don’t compare

I admit sometimes it’s hard for me to see people with more beautiful things than I, or a brand new car when I’m driving an 8-year-old Honda. Instead of comparing yourself to others and complaining about what you don’t have, be happy for what you do have! There is always someone worse off than you. I know that’s not easy to believe when you feel like things are not going well, but it’s the truth.

For more on how to stop comparing yourself to others, visit Psychology Today!

Believe in yourself

It is of the utmost importance to believe in yourself. If you set yourself up for failure, then you will fail. There are no two ways about it. If you have any doubt, then you will not progress forward. If you don’t believe in yourself, then no one will and never give up!

Remember it’s ok to fail

As much as not believing in yourself holds you back from succeeding, so does the fear of failure. People who are afraid to fail never challenge themselves and fail to grow. It is in our moments of failure that we learn our most important lessons. Instead of focusing on the negative of the failure, use it as a learning experience to mold your future.

“It is in our moments of failure that we learn our most important lessons.”

 

The past is the past

Yesterday is over! Focus on the future and don’t dwell on past mistakes. Take the negative experience, learn from it, build on it, and move on. Now focus on all things positive in the future. Don’t waste space in your heart and mind for the negative talk.

 

See yourself being successful

Imagine success and being positive. Tiger Woods would imagine his golf ball being in the hole already and then really just needed to figure out how to get it there. He sees himself as being successful and strives to achieve that goal. If you envision failure, you will fail. Imagining yourself being successful will create a positive mindset, therefore, increasing positive self-talk. And as always set goals to keep you aimed toward success.

 

FOR MORE READ 11 TIPS TO BEING MORE ASSERTIVE IN LIFE

 

By following the steps above, you can change your negative self-talk to positive self-talk. You will begin to see a change in your life, including increased happiness, focus, and success!

What do you do to keep your self-talk positive? Let me know in the comments below.

21 Comments

  1. Nicole Anderson | Camping for Women

    I just loved reading this post as everything you have shared here applies to all of us and is so true. A negative outlook can not lead to a positive outcome. The happiness we all strive for can only be achieved if we are positive about getting there and can visualize it. You can’t get there if you can’t imagine it and you can’t imagine true happiness or a positive result if you are in a negative state of mind. If only more people could openly embrace this, we would all benefit as communities.

    Reply
    • Scott DeNicola

      thanks Nicole. People just need to be nice and more positive.

      Reply
  2. Kelly Martin

    This is such a good post. If only more people knew the power of their thoughts and the effect your thoughts have on your happiness and anxiety levels. I’m working on monitoring my thoughts and if I feel myself going down a negative train of thought I make a conscious effort to focus on something positive. Being an eternal optimist helps!

    Reply
    • Scott DeNicola

      My wife is an eternal optimist! It’s a great trait to have.

      Reply
  3. DREAMS ABROAD

    Failure has taught me more than anything in life. People that don’t fail life a fake life and when it happen they seem to don’t know what to do. Self-talk is very important as it can also help with knowing the difference between right and wrong and what is ethical and unethical. What a great post.

    Reply
    • Scott DeNicola

      Thanks for the comment!

      Reply
  4. Melanie

    This is such a fab post. I think it is always best to try and stay positive and strong, as much as you can do xx

    Reply
  5. Sonia Seivwright

    I really enjoyed reading this post, Scott. Positive Self-Talk really does make a difference

    Reply
    • Scott DeNicola

      Thanks Sonia!

      Reply
  6. Norma

    Positive self-talk is so important. Many times we are nicer to other people than we are to ourselves. Excellent post and great reminders!

    Reply
    • Scott DeNicola

      Thanks Norma!

      Reply
  7. Thuy

    I’ve been being mindful about positive self-talk. Also, having a grateful mindset is a key to happiness.

    Reply
    • Scott DeNicola

      Being grateful helps tremendously!

      Reply
  8. Subhashish Roy

    I can so much relate to your thoughts. The last two days I was conducting a program on EI including the power of self talk. Great read.

    Reply
    • Scott DeNicola

      Thank you for the comment.

      Reply
  9. Lyosha

    I just love your post! I agree if you want to be positive you will be. Sometimes if I feel very down or tired I force myself to smile – even that helps. Your advise offers a lot more to the core. Great read!

    Reply
    • Scott DeNicola

      Thank you Lyosha!

      Reply
  10. Daphne Takahashi

    What a great post! loved reading this! I have been practicing positivity throughout this year and everything you said is soo true! Specially moving away from negative people, there negativity can really spread to you and those heavy feelings can cloud our mind too.

    Reply
  11. Kara

    I really need to practice being grateful. So many times I wish I did better or had more. But honestly it makes me crazy and I need to focus on how far I’ve come and all that I have!

    Reply
    • Scott DeNicola

      I know the feeling Kara! We are works in progress! Thanks for the comment

      Reply
  12. Lyanna Soria

    Amazing post! This is something we should all know about. Positive self-talk can do a lot more than you think. Those are some great points we should all remember.

    Reply

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