The way you talk to yourself is just as, if not more, important than the way you talk to others. Wait, what? It’s true! Research shows that the way we speak to ourselves has a huge impact on our emotions, motivation, and potential accomplishments.
Unfortunately, most our self-talk is negative, which leads to feelings of anger, irritation, frustration, and disappointment. Imagine all the good that could happen if we focused on turning this around and speaking to ourselves as kindly as we strive to speak to others.
It’s been said that you are your own worst critic. Psychologist Ellen Hendrik believes that a little bit of self-criticism is healthy, as it helps us monitor ourselves and our behavior. She often says, “We doubt ourselves in order to check ourselves.” However, there is a big difference between a healthy dose and constantly nagging yourself until your self-confidence is non-existent.
Are you ready to ditch the negatives and start focusing on the incredible things about you and your life? Here are a few tips to help you get started!
Believe in yourself.
Positive self-talk is nearly impossible if you have no faith in yourself. Constantly believing you’re not good enough or you don’t have what it takes to achieve your goals will almost certainly ensure those things come true. For example, running 3 miles on a treadmill without stopping is a great goal, but if you tell yourself you’re incapable of doing it before you even step foot in the gym, you’re bound to fail.
The same is true for any challenge you set out to overcome. Your brain will believe what you tell it to believe.
Check in with yourself.
The journey to positive self-talk is a long one, especially because years and years of defaulting to negativity leads us to fall right back into our normal patterns if we aren’t checking in with our emotions often.
Positivity comes easier when things are going well, but what happens when things start to go south? When challenges arise, take note of your reaction. Is this when your positive self-talk tends to go away? If so, don’t be afraid to take a few minutes to yourself for some positive affirmations or to do a 5-minute meditation. If you have a lot going on, taking a break to do these things might seem like a waste of time. But is it a waste of time if it turns your whole mindset around?
Identify what you love about yourself
“I like your new haircut,” “You’re really funny,” “I appreciate you,” “Your outfit looks great!” It is so easy for us to point out the things we like about others … and that’s not a bad thing at all. Giving others compliments is usually seen as a way to humble yourself and strengthen your relationship. Plus let’s be honest, it’s always fun to make someone else feel good!
Why do we have so much trouble doing the same thing for ourselves? It’s like we’re wired to magnify the strengths we see in others while downplaying our own. The truth is, we could all use a little more self-love, so try out this simple exercise from Jennice Vilhauer, PhD, the next time you lose sight of the things that make you awesome!
- Keep a pad of paper next to your bed and every night before you go to sleep, write down three things you liked about yourself that day.
- Read the list before you get out of bed the next morning.
- Keep adding three new things to your list every day to keep the list growing.
- Do this every day for 30 days.
This practice is simple, but by looking at a list of things you love about yourself first thing in the morning, you’re training your brain to continue looking for more things like this throughout the day.
The way you speak to yourself determines your success, more than anything else. Work on improving your internal narrative by using our tips … it’s more important than you think.
Have you been feeling a bit stressed lately? We’ve got a solution! Read our blog post here for three mental break tips that can help you hit the restart button.