What Is Self-Talk?

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How you speak to yourself can influence your confidence. This influence may be positive or negative. But what is self-talk? Whether you realize it or not, you practice self-talk. It’s your inner voice. The voice that narrates throughout your day, whether you say it out loud or not. Often, we don’t realize how powerful that running commentary is. It’s constantly running in the background, and it significantly influences how we feel about ourselves.

 Positive Versus Negative

When you practice positive self-talk, you will feel good about yourself. It will make you feel optimistic about what’s going on in your life. It’s a voice guiding you to find the silver lining on every cloud. You’ll think, thoughts I can do it. I am capable, and I am worth it.

Whereas negative self-talk tends to make you feel negative, it makes you capable of putting a downer on even the good things in your life. You’re likely to think thoughts like you should be doing better, that everything sucks, and that it won’t get better. Negative self-talk makes us miserable.

More importantly, negative self-talk can influence your mental health.

How can you adopt positive self-talk when it’s impossible to be positive constantly?

 Practicing Positive Self-Talk

The more you practice, the easier it becomes to talk positively to yourself.

It might not seem much, but how you speak to yourself heavily influences your self-confidence and self-esteem. When you replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk, you impact your life. You are the only person who can control how you respond to life, and positive self-talk will help you achieve your goals.

 Types of Self-Talk

As you go about your day, you should ask yourself what’s on your mind. Do you think in words? Images? Or both? When you become aware of a thought, ask yourself what will come next. Be curious enough about your thought process to recognize what thoughts are coming, why you judge yourself, why you judge others, and how these images change constantly.

There are different types of self-talk. Typically, that falls into four key categories.

• Rehearsing

Your mind is playing every possible way a future event may unfold, and curiosity about how your mind works can help you manage self-talk like this. Being able to label your thoughts puts space between those thoughts and awareness. That space is where you find your freedom and choice.

• Blaming

The blaming self-talk is a trap. You feel uncomfortable for some reason, and as a result, you find a way to blame yourself. Sometimes, it’s others you blame. The problem with blame self-talk is that you are removing your power (or possibly someone else’s). When you blame others, you perceive issues as out of your control. When you blame yourself, you are giving yourself too much credit for how much power you have.

• Catastrophizing

What if? A game that snowballs to the worst-case scenario in every situation. This type of self-talk fuels depression and anxiety.

• Rehashing

Rehashing self-talk is when your thoughts keep looking back on past circumstances. This type of self-talk is often an attempt to figure something out.

If you want to break the cycle of negative self-talk, then you need to be aware of your self-talk, you need to question yourself as to whether it’s true (it rarely is), try to put those thoughts into perspective, and ask yourself what thought would be more helpful. It takes time to recognize negative self-talk. Especially when it’s allowed to proceed unchecked, you can improve your self-talk and think more positively about yourself by practicing positive thoughts. Identify your strengths and learn to talk yourself up.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.

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