Positive Self-Talk: What Should You Say?

Does positive self-talk really help? Does saying, "I always have this problem" motivate you as much as, "I'll do better next time"? While self-criticism is important, a degree of positivity in your outlook can have fantastic results. A negative outlook blames you for everything that goes wrong and external events for everything that goes right. Find out how to turn this around.

By Steven Gillman

How do you explain things to yourself? With positive self-talk or with negative self-talk? What we say to ourselves radically affects the quality of our lives, and our ability to do things effectively. How useful is it to always tell yourself, "impossible", "more problems", "never" and "I can't"?

Below are some of the things that positive and negative people say. Look at the difference, and start talking to yourself in constructive ways, if you don't already.

Negative Self-Talk

When negative people explain bad things, they internalise them ("It's me again"), consider them permanent ("It's always this way"), and generalise ("Life sucks"). When they explain good things, they externalise them ("That's just lucky"), consider them temporary ("That went well today"), and see them only in a specific context ("At least this went right").

"I screwed up again."

"This good weather won't last."

"It's always a mess when I meet someone new."

"This party is great, not like mine."

"This is fun for now."

"Well, that went okay, I guess."

Positive Self-Talk

When positive people explain bad things, they externalise them ("The weather caused it"), consider them temporary ("That was a rough couple hours") and see them as isolated ("that part of the plan didn't work, but..."). When they explain good things, they internalise them ("Life is great!"), consider them to be more or less permanent changes ("Now I know how to do this"), and generalise from them ("Things are working out well").

"That just went bad due to the weather."

"It was rough for an hour or two."

"The car broke down, but the trip was fun."

"I've done well with this."

"This has become a great business to be in."

"I like the way things are going."

Explain things to yourself differently, and you'll see a difference in your attitude today. Make positive self-talk your normal mode of operation, and you'll see a difference in your life.

Steve Gillman writes on many topics including brainpower, weight loss, meditation, habits of mind, creative problem solving, generating luck and anything related to self-improvement. Learn more at, http://www.SelfImprovementNow.com.

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