It is not uncommon for us to be in constant mental chatter. We talk to ourselves from the moment we open our eyes to the moment we fall asleep at night. Unfortunately, for many of us this self-talk is negative and self-sabotaging. The voice in our head is a conditioned, programmed tape of the past. We find ourselves riddled with guilt or shame about past leaving us feeling depressed or we forecast too far into the future leaving us struggling with anxiety. We get caught up every day in this vicious cycle and struggle to achieve our dreams.
Our thoughts create our beliefs, our beliefs create our habits and our habits form our actions. If we can get to the source and change the way we think we can positively influence our actions. Daily practice of positive self-talk is a great way to combat the negative.
Here are 7 steps to creating positive self-talk.
- Changing habits is not an easy task but awareness can help get us off of autopilot and deal with the issues we desire to change. It is important to be patient with yourself through this transition as you didn’t get this way overnight and it will take some time undo. Your negative self-talk may be a result of various factors over the years and may sound like “I never do anything right” or “why am I so stupid?” or “I’m never going to get a promotion, I’m not smart enough”. Sound familiar? When you constantly bully yourself you actions will reflect that of low self-esteem. Turn your “I can’ts” into “I can” or “why can’t I?”. I have even go so far as to tell myself out loud “That’s enough of that talk” to snap myself out of the negative downward spiral.
- Positive affirmations. These affirmations can be short, sweet and very effective. When you begin to replace the negative affirmations with positive, slowly over time you begin to believe them. Think about it, if it works with negative thinking why can’t it work with positive thinking? Repetition is the key here.
- Positive content. In between the work you do with positive affirmations you are going to need to continue to feed your thoughts positively. This is where I highly recommend having a good self-help book handy, or watch inspirational videos, listen to podcasts or have a great app you can access. There is an unlimited amount of resources out there for you to access whenever you are struggling.
- Replacing negative influences with positive influences. Negative talk builds momentum quickly. You begin with one bad thought and before you know it you are disliking on all kinds of things around you. It is important that you identify the factors or triggers that begin to influence your thoughts. Perhaps the trigger is a toxic friend or a family member. If you are not in control of how people affect your space and thoughts you can easily adopt their thoughts as your own. Be cautious who you spend your time with. If you are in a good vibration and you are with someone who is negative you will not feel comfortable in their presence.
- Live in the now. When you are trying to implement change into your life it is easy to get consumed by the large to do list most of us have. We get an idea, we get motivated, we start strong but we don’t have a digestible plan and then we fall right off track. One of the key factors in implementing change is keeping your focus within the day. Small action over time equates to big change. So ask yourself “what can I do right now”.
- Confront your fears. Fears can hold us back from accomplishments and successes. We are so afraid of judgement, failure or losing security that we don’t take chances. We convince ourselves that we are comfortable and satisfied and talk ourselves out of some great opportunities. When confronted with my own fears I always ask myself “what’s the worst that could happen”. Nothing bad happens to you and you’re certainly not going to die. The world forgives and the world forgets. I have had some of my most incredible opportunities for growth be presented from my so-called failures and adjusted things in my life accordingly. Great things have been forged through the bad. I love the saying, there is no failure, only learning.
- Enjoy the moments. It is nearly impossible to be in a negative mood when you are focusing on gratitude and enjoyable moments. This takes a little conscious effort but with practice it becomes a habit and before long you will become aligned with joy.
Remember change is an action word and the rewards are plenty. If you follow these simple steps you will improve the quality of your life and feel empowered and continue to strive for greater change.