Positive Thoughts lead to positive lives and Positive Self Talk and Positive Thoughts go hand in hand. I remember Al Franken’s “Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley” skits on SNL.
Every time I think about positive self talk I crack up a little and think about Stuart Smalley. ‘I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!”
Those skits were hilarious and I think you’re lying if you say you haven’t at least whispered some of Stuart Smalley’s affirmations under your breath once or twice in life because we all need to boost ourselves up now and then.
Some days I would take just a drop of what Jessica here has running through her veins.
“I can do anything good!” Right? Go, Jessica! I think most of us start out like her, but then life gets the best of us.
When I was growing up I was a positive self-talker and I put affirmations, motivating quotes, and positive self-talk up all around me to read. Then, I got older and forgot about that practice. Basically, I quit encouraging myself and eventually I quit believing in myself. It wasn’t because I didn’t have Go You! up on my bathroom mirror, but the lack of encouraging words and thoughts wasn’t helping.
Finally, a few years ago, in what I thought was probably a lame attempt to improve my life, I subscribed to Daily Truth emails from the Brave Girls Club. They’re basically daily affirmations, pretty much mushier and sappier and touchy-feelier than Stuart Smalley could have ever imagined.
Funny thing–the lame attempt to improve my life pretty much saved it. I read those emails every day. Every Single Day for more than two years straight because I started to believe them. They reminded me how I felt when I was a kid and thought I could conquer the world because I was constantly convincing and reminding myself that I could.
And why not? And why not now?
We talk to ourselves all the time. Some of it is good, caring, and supportive like, Hey, not bad. or Lookin’ good. or OK, let’s go! or I am totally rocking this. Some of it is not so good like, I will embarrass myself. or I’m such a loser. or This sucks. or I can’t do this. Research has shown that what we say to ourselves has a direct impact on our success.
Why? Because eventually we believe it! If you tell yourself that you are not good enough for long enough, you probably won’t be. I guarantee that if you tell yourself you’re capable in any situation, it’s more likely that you will be.
Here are some ideas for starting to talk to yourself more positively.
Tips for Positive Self Talk
Pay attention to how you talk to yourself. Most of us don’t do this. We get used to our internal chatter and don’t think about it, but pay attention to the voices in your head. Are you mostly awful to yourself? I wonder what I can squeeze my thunder thighs into today. Or are you pretty good to yourself? I’m going to put on my brand new shoes, because they make me look . . . brand new! Being aware of your behavior is the first step toward changing it.
Decide what type of self talk is not useful. If you’re in the habit of being snarky and negative more than anything else, it’s probably time to rethink your methodology. For example, Brene Brown writes about a culture of scarcity where who we are and what we have is “never enough”. We start our day telling ourselves, I didn’t get enough sleep. I don’t have enough time. I don’t make enough money. This kind of self talk starts us out on the wrong foot in the morning and sets the tone for the day–life is already bad and we’re already lacking! Instead, try changing your self talk to more useful messages like, The sleep I got will be enough. I’ll get more tonight. and I am really glad I have a job right now. Also, don’t get mad at yourself about the negative self talk, because that’s negative too. Acknowledge it and switch gears.
Pick go-to mantras. Girl, you’ve got this! I am one hot tamale today. I know my stuff. I can do this.
You’ll get into the habit of saying simple, encouraging, positive things to yourself and it will become normal. Instead of looking in the mirror and sighing, you’ll probably give yourself a compliment instead. It’s ok if you feel silly–you’ll get over it.
Create trigger words to get or keep yourself on track. Sometimes, when I catch myself using negative self talk, I just tell myself to cut it out. Stop–just stop. or That’s enough! Really, it works.
Post nice messages to yourself. I hang them up on my bulletin board.
Some people put them on their computers or desks like Kelly Rae Roberts did here. Other people put them around their house. Whatever works for you, put up nice messages and reminders to yourself, read them, read them again, read them out loud, and believe them!
What tips do you have to practice Positive Self Talk?