It’s pretty well known that positive thinking and maintaining an optimistic mindset can play a key role in how successful we are in pursuing and achieving our goals. On the other hand, endless streams of negative thoughts can leave us stressed out, exhausted and unproductive.
A good indicator of whether your thinking is primarily positive or consistently negative, is your self-talk. Self-talk is the constant inner dialog we have with ourselves throughout the day. This dialog can be positive or negative, and can have a huge impact on your mood. Most of the time we’re not really conscious of it and don’t realize when we’re being negative, or even downright disrespectful, to ourselves.
When self-talk is mostly negative we tend to be irritable, less productive and possibly even have feelings of anxiety or depression. On the other hand, when self-talk is mostly positive, we tend to be more productive, feel better about ourselves and those around us, and are more likely to make healthy choices for ourselves.
What does your inner dialog look like? Are your conversations with yourself encouraging and uplifting, or do you have a tendency to second-guess yourself, put yourself down, or limit yourself due to negative self-talk?
Some tips for improving your self-talk:
•Listen for negative self-talk. Start with something you know you are typically negative about and focus on one way to approach it more positively.
•Check your self-talk to see if it is in line with your goals. For example, if you are backsliding from your goals, rather than being overly critical, “ugh, I did it again,” “I’ll never get this right,” trying giving objective, instructional self-talk that is specific to the task, “chin down, hips back.” Motivational self-talk is also helpful, “keep at it,” “you can do this.”
•Learn to find humor in things. There is so much freedom in learning to laugh at yourself. It promotes self-acceptance, and is a great stress reliever.
•Surround yourself with positive people who are supportive of you and your goals.
•Practice, practice, practice. The more you practice positive self-talk, the easier it becomes. Follow this rule: Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to yourself.
It won’t happen overnight, but eventually you’ll find that your self-talk bcomes less critical, and more accepting of yourself.
Positive feelings about yourself can promote an overall optimistic outlook, improve your productivity, avoid unnecessary stress and anxiety, and help you make healthier choices for yourself and stick with your goals!