“I’m a born failure. There is no way I can get that job. I can’t carry that dress off – I’m too fat. Why do these things happen to me? Why am I so unlucky?” Are your conversations with yourself along these lines? Do you find yourself reprimanding yourself every time you make a mistake or wallowing in self-pity?
If the answer is yes, you need to pause, breathe and show yourself some love. We spend a lot of time with ourselves and in that span of time, it really matters what we are feeding our brains because your internal dialogue plays a massive role in your motivation and productivity levels.
Why Practice Positive Self-Talk?
Positive self-talk is not just another ‘self-help’ term. It’s real, powerful and it works. When you have positive conversations in your head and treat yourself with compassion, it boosts your physical and mental well-being. It fills you with hope and optimism, encouraging you to set aside your fears and put your best foot forward.
Here are the three key ways positive self-talk can benefit you:
1. Boosts Confidence
Practicing positive self-talk is a surefire way to elevate your confidence. It’s an instant uplifter because it comes from a place of self-love and hope. When you tell yourself with conviction that you can overcome anything, you are bound to get a renewed sense of confidence which enables you to do your best.
2. Improves Mental Health
If you are prone to feeling anxious and depressed, you might just need a shift in the way you talk to yourself. Your mental health matters and a crucial part of taking care of it comes from becoming aware of your thoughts and self-talk.
When you bombard yourself with all sorts of negativity, there is no way you can wake up feeling good about yourself. You need to take control of your thoughts and be kind to yourself. The day you do that, you ought to see an improvement in your mental health.
3. Enhances Performance
Imagine being nervous about an interview or demotivated to write an essay and not being able to come out of that mindset because the only thing you are telling yourself is how incompetent and useless you are. How can you expect yourself to excel if you don’t believe you can?
When you challenge your negative thoughts and choose to feed your brain with positive affirmations instead, you realize you are much calmer and are able to approach matters more pragmatically. This enhances your motivation and overall performance.
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh
How to Make Self-Talk More Effective?
Positive self-talk is not something that happens overnight. It’s a practice that needs to be developed over time, and it starts with making a shift in your perspective through embracing a positive mindset.
Here’s how you can transform your internal dialogue and uplift your outlook:
1. Be Mindful
Words are powerful – they determine your actions. To eradicate negative self-talk, you need to become aware of the way you talk to yourself. Identify problematic words that disrupt your confidence and damage your self-esteem. Notice if you are being too hard on yourself.
For instance, if you blame yourself for everything that goes wrong or set impossibly high standards for yourself, chances are you are being overly self-critical. While you cannot suddenly put a stop to that, being mindful of your thoughts and words is the first step towards changing that pattern.
Negative and self-deprecating thoughts tend to keep getting bigger and ultimately become your default thought process. Try this – every time a negative thought crosses your mind, challenge it and convert it into a positive and encouraging one instead. Make this a practice until it becomes a way of life.
The next time you find yourself saying, “I won’t crack this interview”, ask yourself “why not? The least I can do is give it my best.” It’s simple and gradual changes that can improve the way you talk to yourself and transform your mindset.
“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” – Willie Nelson
3. Draw Boundaries
In spite of trying hard to be kind to ourselves, there are instances when people around us don’t let us make that change. From being sarcastic and passing derogatory remarks to being plain discouraging – toxic people exist. Identify such people who affect your mental health and draw boundaries to keep them out. Surround yourself with positive people who you can draw strength and inspiration from.
4. Believe in Yourself
Positive self-talk is more than just saying positive affirmations for the sake of it. It’s way deeper than that. It’s about believing in yourself because when you instil that belief in yourself, nothing can stop you from attaining success and being happy. Believe in your capabilities and you will eventually see the difference it makes in your thoughts, words and actions.
Practicing positive self-talk is powerful enough to change your life. So, the next time you find yourself being too hard on yourself, stop right away and learn to look at the bright side of things because sometimes, all we need is hope.
What do you think about engaging in positive self-talk? Does it work or not? Share your thoughts with us below!