You may have wondered at some point of time why success comes easily to some and eludes others, despite the same inputs and efforts. Well, much of the time it has to do with the person’s beliefs and positive self talk. All people who succeed have one common characteristic – they all believe that they will be successful and they are confident of this fact when they set out their goals.
1. Pay attention to your feelings
If you want to create positive self-talk, start paying attention to your feelings. Why? Because it’s hard to keep track of what’s going on in your head. An easier way to become more present and aware of your inner dialogue is by listening to your emotions. You see, your thoughts create your emotions. When you feel good, your thoughts will most definitely be uplifting and positive in nature, but when you feel bad, the voices in your head will have a negative ring to it. This means that the only time you need to pay attention to your thoughts is when you are feeling negative emotions. So, when you feel bad, stay alert!
2. Talk to yourself like you would to a friend
Now that you are aware of your negative emotion, what’s next? Be objective! If you are like most people, you are probably too hard on yourself when you are subjective. A healthier approach is therefore to look at the situation from another person’s point of view. This will help you to get some distance to the situation and to your ego! Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love. This will definitely help you choose thoughts that are positive in nature!
3. Be encouraging and focus on the solution
So how would you talk to a friend? You would probably choose words that are more tolerant, supportive, and positive in nature. Be kind to yourself and feed your mind with encouraging thoughts, like: I can do this. It may be a little challenging, but it’s not that hard.
If your friend had doubts about himself, what would you say to your friend? You would probably say something like: “There is another way of handling this situation. Let’s see how we can overcome this challenge”. You would focus on the solution, not the problem.
4. Instead of saying ”I can’t do this…” say ”What can I do to…”
But what if you get stuck on the problem and can’t see the solution? A helpful tip is to re-frame your thoughts. If you say things like ”I can’t do this”, or ”I can never get that job” – re-frame that negative thought with a positive one: ”What can I do to improve my skills”, or ”What can I do to get that job” etc.
5. Replace the words ”I should have….” with ”I could have, but I chose not to”
Stop criticizing yourself. Stop using the words ”I should have…” because it is only pointing out that you are not good enough, and that you have done something wrong. Instead, use the words ”I could have…but I chose not to”. This is an empowering statement that declares that you have choices in life and that you are not a victim. And remember, that our decisions are based on the knowledge we had at the time. When we know better, we do better.
6. Say ”Stop it!”
If you have a strong negative momentum going on, the best thing you can do is to command yourself to be quiet. Say silently to yourself ”Stop it!”. If you are alone, you could even say it out loud and then laugh about it. Don’t be hard on yourself, just remind yourself that you are off track. Say something like ”Here I go again with that thought” and then smile about it. Be proud that you are present enough to notice when a negative thought ”pops up”. Now that you are aware of your self-talk, it can no longer control you!
7. Ask yourself: What is the worst thing that could happen?
Don’t let fear or insecurity hold you back anymore. Confront your fear by gently asking yourself what you actually are afraid of. If the fear is about a new job, then ask yourself: ”What is the worst thing that could happen to me if I took that job?”. Write down the answer on a piece of paper. This will help you to become more objective about the situation and it will give you some distance from the things that you are scared of.
8. Next, ask yourself: What is the best thing that could happen?
Now that you have imagined the worst-case scenario, it’s time to switch to the best-case scenario. Write down all the good things that could happen if you took that new job, or if you went on that date, or made that speech etc. This change in your ”inner dialogue” will change how you think and respond to scary situations.
9. Be present
Positive self-talk is created in the present moment. It isn’t a skill that you can learn once and then hold on to forever. You get to choose new thoughts every day, every hour, every second. This means that no matter what has happened in the past, or what might happen in the future, you create with your thoughts here and now. So, stop worrying about tomorrow or what might have been, and live in the present and focus on what needs to be accomplished today.
It takes a little bit of practice to create positive self-talk. There are no quick fixes. How you think and feel about yourself is a belief that you have practiced for a long time. However, you can change your belief by changing your thoughts. You see, a belief is just a thought that you keep thinking – and you can change your thoughts! The good news is that it will get easier and easier to create positive self-talk, the more you practice. So, be persistent – the reward is well worth the effort!