We have enough challenges out and about in our daily work and personal lives to sabotage ourselves with negative self-talk. Last week we looked at negative self-talk, the 4 main types of talk, and shared some real-world examples that these may play out in. 

Today we are going to look at some tips to instill some needed positive self-talk in your life. 

Positive Self Talk Tips

Positive self-talk is not about constantly being positive, because that’s not possible at every moment. It’s also not the pursuit of a “good-vibes only” vibe where you push away any negative emotions because failing to acknowledge the negative, or challenges, also is counterproductive.

Dr. Judy Ho describes positive self-talk as, “the study of what makes humans flourish and operate at their best. It’s about leaning into strengths, rather than focusing on weaknesses and using our strengths to solve problems in our lives.”
Here are some tips as you strengthen your own self-talk:

  • Ensure that it feels true: Taking the steps towards positive self-talk won’t progress very far if it feels forced, or if it feels like you are lying to yourself. Some days are just hard. Instead of saying “I’m a great leader,” try, “I’m working on becoming a great leader,” or “I will try to be a leader worth following.” Even the best leaders aren’t great all the time. Level set your positive talk in a way that is affirming and realistic for you.

  • Put the words into action: Saying positive things to yourself is one thing. Putting them into action is what really brings transformation. Ask yourself how you can act on your affirmation. Using the previous example, if your affirmation is to work on becoming a great leader, what daily actions are you taking to progress in a positive way?

  • Start small: Change can be hard. Going all-in on a massive change can lead to an ambitious failure. Instead of trying to turn your inner voice into a fountain of positive talk and encouragement, start with one area of your life first. Maybe it’s your confidence, health, body positivity, or relationship building. Start with the hardest area and build momentum from there.

  • Information over judgment: In tough times, or feedback, we sometimes have a bias towards what’s not working. Instead of casting immediate judgment on yourself, take time to gather more information. What’s working well? What was the positive impact or intent? Having more data gives you a more balanced perceptive. It doesn’t change the situation, but it can change how you approach and navigate the situation or circumstance.

  • Take yourself out of the equation: When things go wrong or plans change, especially in social settings, you may have a tendency to blame yourself. For example, if your group of friends cancels a planned outing, you may think that it has something to do with you, or if you go with a couple of weeks with less than regular communication with a close one, you may feel like you did something wrong. Remember that life happens. It’s highly likely that something has come up in their own lives that has caused the change and has nothing to do with your relationship dynamic. Rest assured they have their own problems to deal with too!

  • Give yourself permission to change your mind: It’s ok, and actually quite healthy, to give yourself permission to change your mind about topics of discussion, other people, and even yourself. You’ve likely seen people who have had heavy personal consequences because of their lack of willingness to change their minds or opinion. (Maybe you’ve been that person!) The ego can be a huge source of negative talk as it seeks to feed itself. Let go of pride, ego, and a source of negative self-talk by simply allowing yourself the ability to change your mind. You’ll not only help yourself, but you’ll be a better person and friend to others as a result. 

Take control of your self-talk. Turn that inner critic into a positive supporter that cheers you on as you make progress. We are worth it!

Make a better tomorrow.