The line between failure and success often comes down to something as simple as self-talk. Powerful and positive self-talk can change your entire mindset, which can affect your actions. That, in turn, can have a massive impact on how successful you are on any journey you take or any obstacle you face. What we tell ourselves, whether fact or fiction, reflects how we see ourselves in the world.
I remember reading a study where scientists studied anorexic women as they walked through their labs. I was astounded to read that these ladies turned their bodies sideways upon entering doorways, as if they were overweight and couldn’t fit through the door. Isn’t that just mind-boggling? This is because the way we view ourselves — and the nature of our self-talk — can shape the entire physiology of perspective.
Another interesting fact I read is that instead of using the word “I,” people who use their own name when referring to themselves have better feelings of self-confidence and acceptance. It may feel awkward, but it works. For example, instead of thinking, “I really nailed that presentation at work,” I think, “Kenrick really rocked that presentation…”. Referring to yourself in the third person can have some powerful effects, such as stress reduction and anxiety regulation, as well as put distance between you and the situation. It works better for some, may not work for everyone 🙂
Here are a few other ways to improve your self-talk
• Keep a gratitude journal. Write down at least four-five things you’re grateful for each day. This will help you recognize and feel the positive vibes already present in your life.
• Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison never leads anywhere good in your head; it only fills your mind with negative thoughts and self-doubt. Reaffirm how awesome you are, and that your awesomeness has nothing to do with anyone else.
• Use positive affirmations. Keep reminding yourself “I am good at…” or “I am special and unique because…” or “I am proud of myself for…” You can also queue up positive videos and watch or listen each morning or evening.
• Surround yourself with positive people. Not sure if you have heard the saying, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” As humans, we take on the perspectives and outlook of others, so it’s important to be with people who have an upbeat mindset and practice positive self-talk. Being with positive people will bring out the best in you and they’ll also give you great, constructive feedback.
• Exercise. Exercising increases a sense of well-being and creates a better base of self-confidence. Have you ever noticed how, after working out, your mood changes for the better and you feel great the rest of the day? That’s the work of all those awesome endorphins.
• Volunteer and help others. Helping others can help you see how much you matter and how greatly you can positively impact others. Volunteering also has the additional benefit of staving off any of your own feelings of sadness and depression. It’s hard to feel sad when you’re helping others feel good.
• Visualize successful things in your life. Visualize what you want to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it. Imagine reaching your goals and how you’ll feel when you finally get there. Visualization tactics change the wiring in your brain, as your brain doesn’t know when something you visualize is real vs. when it’s imagined. In other words, if you imagine success, your body will believe it!