You know that negative, nagging little voice inside your head? Let’s put it in its place, yeah?
The next time you’re getting ready for work, preparing for a big presentation, or heck – just even making breakfast, take a second to actually listen to what thoughts are going through your head. Do your thoughts build you up or tear you down?
When you listen to the inner monologue inside your head, you may be surprised at how hard on yourself you can be.
It may seem trivial, but the reality is that what we say (think) to ourselves matter. Getting to a place of joy and optimism requires that we work on the thoughts that we repeat in our heads 24/7. If we’re constantly talking down to ourselves, how can we ever become the best version of ourselves?
“Whatever you believe about yourself on the inside is what you will manifest on the outside.”– Unknown
One of the ways to remove doubts and negativity is to intentionally practice positive self-talk. While completely removing negative thoughts isn’t realistic, we should know how to reframe those thoughts to help boost self-awareness, confidence, and self-belief.
Here are a few ways to finally get a grip on that nagging voice and help you practice positive self-talk.
To make it even easier and help positive self-talk come naturally to you, I created a FREE Self-Love workbook with positive self-talk exercises to help you see your worth and think more positively about yourself. Download it below!
What is positive self-talk?
Positive self-talk promotes positivity throughout our daily inner thoughts. When we practice it, it makes a huge difference in how we feel about ourselves, other people, and life’s circumstances.
On the other hand, our inner critic is the opposite of positive self-talk. It’s always looking to judge and criticize us and tends to always pick at everything that may be going wrong. To our inner critic, we’ll never be good enough and we’ll always have a reason to doubt ourselves.
The importance of positive self-talk
Thanks to our inner critic, we tend to focus on our weaknesses and the negatives. When we don’t speak to ourselves with kindness, our self-esteem suffers. If you’re constantly telling a child that they’re not good enough they’ll believe it. The same thing happens with your own thoughts. The more you repeat something, the more you’ll start to believe it.
When we speak to ourselves with compassion and love our confidence rises, we become happier, and are able to navigate stress easier. Positive self-talk helps us believe in ourselves, do better, and keep moving forward.
“Self-talk is the most powerful form of communication because it either empowers you or it defeats you.” – Unknown
How to practice positive self-talk
1. Bring awareness to your thoughts
When I first started paying attention to what was going on in my head, I was pretty amazed at how much I say to myself without even noticing. It’s like we say things to ourselves out of habit and our subconscious just processes it.
I tend to be in my head a lot so to make sure I’m actually paying attention, I take moments to breathe, slow down, and process what I’m thinking about. It may help to keep a journal so you can keep track of your thought patterns.
Listen for words like “always” and “never” that indicate a thought that you’ve had for a while.
The first step in reframing your thoughts is to listen and be aware of them so you can better understand them.
2. Challenge your beliefs
Remember, not all your thoughts are true. Create a space between you and your reaction. Don’t just accept what you think just because your mind goes there – your thoughts don’t define you. Try to make it a habit to replace criticism with praise.
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”– Henry Ford
Start to see self-talk as a way to bring awareness to why you’re speaking harshly to yourself. Maybe you made a mistake at work and all you can do is beat yourself up. Challenge your thinking.
- Why is your mind going to that place?
- Is what you’re saying 100% true? (hint: no!)
- How does the thought make you feel?
- How would you feel if you didn’t have this thought?
- What can you choose to think to go towards that positive feeling?
If you have a hard time believing the positive, start by being realistic with yourself and being neutral. Remind yourself that setbacks and mistakes are normal, and reflect on what you can improve on the next time around.How to Practice Positive Self-Talk to Feel Happy & Confident Click To Tweet
3. Choose one thought over another
When you bring awareness to your thoughts, you’re able to notice patterns in your thinking. Often, you’re able to pick up triggers that make you anxious and provoke negative thoughts.
To avoid a downhill spiral of negativity, you can start by disrupting old thought patterns. Choose to put a positive spin on a challenge you’re facing.
- I get mad at everything turns to: I’m in full control of my emotions and I am calm and patient in every situation.
- I’m no good at this turns to: What am I missing? I’ll tackle it from a different angle
- I never do anything right turns to: I am powerful and can do anything I set my mind to. What can I do to get this right?
- I never catch a break turns to: There are so many good things in my life and I’m grateful for the lessons I’m learning right now.
Be aware of the negative thought, then choose to change your perspective on it to shift it into a more positive one.
Read this next: How to Start Your Day With a Positive Mindset
4. Check your environment
Your environment can have a big impact on the way you talk to yourself. How are you supposed to practice positive self-talk when you’re constantly being reminded of the negativity that surrounds you?
Some easy ways to check the energy that your environment brings you:
- Cut back on tuning into fear-based news, TV, talk shows, etc.
- Clear the clutter in your house (clear space = clear mind)
- Surround yourself with people who motivate and support you
I know a lot of the time separating ourselves from negativity completely is out of our control. Some of us work in a toxic environment, while others have close friends and family that are negative.
When you don’t have control over your environment, the best thing to do is to be mentally prepared to not let their negativity affect you. Positive energy will always trump negative energy. Lead by example and remind yourself that you have the power to choose what thoughts you let in.
Read this next: 12 Tips on How to Make The Most of Every Day
5. Practice it daily
The truth is that we all feel negative emotions no matter how hard we try not to. Practicing positive self-talk doesn’t mean a negative thought won’t ever cross your mind again– it means you will be able to recognize it, move through it, and conquer it much easier.Practicing positive self-talk doesn’t mean a negative thought won’t ever cross your mind again – it means you will be able to recognize it, move through it, and conquer it much easier. Click To Tweet
Remember we’ve been talking to ourselves a certain way our whole lives. The negative recurring thoughts that affect us emotionally are there because you repeated and repeated them to yourself and they became beliefs that you accepted as true.
You can use that same thought process to create positive self-talk and beliefs. Even if you don’t believe it right away, by repeating and repeating positive thoughts, you develop a gentler and kinder way to talk to yourself.
Recognizing that our thoughts have so much power over how we feel is the first step in getting to a happier place. Once we learn to listen to our thoughts and make the necessary changes so that they don’t negatively affect us, the good moments become even better and the challenges seem that much easier to navigate.
Don’t forget your free workbook before you go!
Now over to you … did you know how powerful your self-talk is? What do you do keep the negative thoughts in check?