“I shouldn't have eaten that dark chocolate ice cream cake!” “My romantic life is hopeless.” “My boss stresses me out and undermines my self-control.” “I'll never get down to a size 10. I should just give up!”
Does this type of talk go on inside your head? This kind of thinking is called "negative self-talk." It sounds pretty pathetic, doesn't it? You don’t want to sound like that. After all, negative comments bring about negative results. You need to spin things around. Let’s redo these phrases with positive self-talk. "I really shouldn’t have eaten that dark chocolate ice cream cake! I was stressed out and I ate it to feel good in that moment, but now I realize it was not the best choice for me. I need to release my stress in a positive way.”
Which way do you think will motivate you more, negative or positive self-talk? You can change your negative self-talk with awareness and practice. For the next week I would like you to write down every time you catch yourself using negative self-talk. Write the day, date, and time along with the comment you made. Next, re-phrase your comment to be more positive and then repeat that to yourself several times. The next time you are in the same situation, you should be able to use the positive statement over the negative one. It’s all about attitude; positive words, thoughts, and actions will lead to positive results. What you put out to the “universe” will come back to you. So, if you consistently use negative self-talk you are not going to have very good self-esteem. If you have low self-esteem, your outlook on life is going to be negative. If your outlook on life is poor, you are only going to have poor relationships / poor health / low energy / etc.
If you change your words you will change your thoughts. If you change your thoughts you will change your attitude. And if you change your attitude you will change your results. It’s a simple formula: words -> thoughts -> attitude -> results. If you want different results you need to work backwards in this formula and make the appropriate changes.
To maintain positive self-talk you need to fill your mind with uplifting ideas. Recognize your strengths. Comfort yourself when things go wrong. Let your self-talk be like the soothing, supportive words of a counselor, friend, or mentor. As you improve your self-talk; commit to changing your actions accordingly. Lasting accomplishments come when we change our behaviors as well as our thinking.