“You live the words you tell yourself in your mind.” 

Selftalk is our internal dialogue. It’s influenced by our subconscious mind, and it reveals our thoughts, beliefs, questions, and ideas. Self-talk can be both negative and positive. It can be encouraging, and it can be distressing. It mainly depends upon our perspective about ourselves and the world around us. It’s the script that we use to frame our lives. If we constantly give ourselves negative messages, then we begin to develop automatic thoughts that take us from a particular incident to a negative emotional reaction.

Self-talk is very important as these are the messages that determine whether you should keep trying or not. The messages you send yourself can either help you succeed, or they can hold you back and keep you paralyzed in fear, not allowing you to try new things and progress.

Someone who has been exposed to negative talk about them in their childhood, the same voice becomes their internal voice and continues as negative self-talk as an adult. However, it is possible to change this with practice and effort.

Here are some techniques which you can use to replace negative self-talk with a positive one:

  • Use positive words while speaking about yourself – for example, instead of saying, ‘I don’t know how to write this report, you can say, ‘I am learning how to write this report.’
  • Be grateful- Finding things you are grateful for in life daily helps to improve your attitude, which will help you to have better, more positive self-talk.
  • Cut out negative people from your life- Attitudes of the people around you 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.
  • Stop doubting yourself- Commit to telling yourself that you can do it. You need to tell yourself you can do what needs to be done and you can succeed at whatever you put your mind to. If you don’t believe in yourself, then who will?
  • Visualise your success: Visualizing helps you think positively about your situation and encourages you to see that your vision of success is possible.
  • Help others: You can experience feelings of being more positive, empowered, and optimistic by helping others. These feelings will help you have better self-talk during your day and improve your ability to self-belief.
  • Dream and set goals- A great way to enhance positive self-talk is to dream about the future. Allow yourself to dream big and then set smaller goals towards reaching those end goals. When you reach these small goals, you will become more positive about your abilities and skills that help you achieve these milestones. This helps with your positive self-talk.

The more you work on improving your self-talk, the easier you’ll find it. It’s kind of like practising an instrument or going to sports training: it won’t be easy to start with, but you’ll get better with time. It might not seem like much, but self-talk is a huge part of our self-esteem and confidence. By working on replacing negative self-talk with more positive self-talk, you’re more likely to feel in control of stuff that’s going on in your life and to achieve your goals.

Ritu Sharma