Self-talk is the act of talking to yourself either aloud or mentally. No matter good or bad, these are the messages that you are telling yourself all day long about yourself.
The messages you tell yourself will encourage and motivate you, or they will limit you because they are negative.
For example, if you go to a work party and make a joke in front of 10 colleagues and no one really laughs, just a few chuckles from those being nice, what do you tell yourself after the party? Do you drive home thinking “I should have just kept my mouth shut, now they think I am an idiot,” or do you tell yourself “No big deal, at least I put myself out there and tried.”
Version one of self-talk will make you question yourself at your next social event. You may even hold yourself back from saying too much out of fear of embarrassment or making yourself feel bad. Worse yet, you may develop an aversion to social situations because you feel insecure about your interactions with others.
Version two of self-talk allows you to give yourself a pass to try again, to just be human and interact with others. We cannot all be on spot with humor and social interactions 100% of the time, but it is worth the effort to at least try.
* Have a Purpose Higher Than Self
Having a strong faith in a higher power is helpful in having positive self-talk. Research shows that teens who had “regular religious service attendance, high subjective importance of faith and years spent in religious youth groups, are associated with higher self-esteem and more positive self-attitudes.”
Having faith in a higher power, along with involvement in a religious community, helps individuals have higher self-esteem. Self-esteem and self-talk go hand in hand.
* Cut Overly Negative People out of Your Life
Everyone can have a down day and be negative or moody. However, some people seem to have down days every day of their life. If you have some of these people in your life, it may be time to distance yourself from them.
Attitudes of the people you are around will have an effect on your own attitude. If someone has a negative attitude, they are likely to bring down those around them, especially if their negativity is pervasive over time and across a variety of situations.
* Be Grateful
A great way to find the positive in your life and create positive self-talk, is to recognize the things in your life for which you can be grateful. Finding things you are grateful for in life daily helps to improve your attitude, which will help you have better, more positive self-talk..
One way to practice gratitude is by starting a gratitude journal. Use it to write the things you are grateful each day.
* Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
When you are constantly comparing what you lack to what others have, you can easily get down on yourself.
It is easy to become negative about your life if you are playing the comparison game. Instead, find gratitude in what you do have, rather than concentrating on what you don’t have.
For example, you may have a casual friend who is always getting a new vehicle every two years. They are always top of line, beautiful vehicles. You, on the other hand, are driving a ten year old minivan. You have kids the same age, the same educational background, and you both are married to successful husbands. You compare yourself to what she has and wonder why you can’t also have a new vehicle each year.
* Use Positive Words with Others
If we are negative with our words with others, then we are likely to be negative about ourselves as well.
Having negative thoughts leads to negative self-talk. If you are in a negativity rut, then stop now.
Start speaking life and affirmation to the people in your life that you love, including yourself. Doing so will help improve the attitude in your heart.
For example, when you get to work in the morning, do you start your first conversation by complaining about all the things that went wrong with your morning? Or are you grateful that the sun is shining and that you have a job to pay the bills and you express these sentiments to your co-workers?