By: Mary Jo Slaybaugh
Positive self-talk means purposely giving yourself positive reinforcement, motivation, and recognition- just as you would do for a friend. Congratulate yourself when you do well, and remind yourself of your abilities, accomplishments, strengths and skills. Keep a to-do list, check off accomplishments, and review your progress periodically.
Make self-talk work for you. What you habitually say to yourself has a very profound impact on your self-image, your self-esteem, and your performance as well as eventual success. Remember that your subconscious triggers physiological responses to match the pictures and thoughts that you have of yourself to make them happen. Make this work for you by keeping your self-talk positive.
For example say to yourself either “I did a good job on that changing a friend’s oil even though I took a quart and ½ for myself” or “I did a good job of not paying a good friend the cost of supplies for the efforts he did for me.”
Stop negative self-talk. You may well be quick to nag yourself because your mother wanted you to be more than perfect. However, negative self-talk can be damaging because your subconscious believes what you say to yourself when you repeat that negative talk in your mind over and over. How is your subconscious to know otherwise? If you catch yourself using negative self-talk, stop and rephrase. Eliminate the negative words. Focus instead on the best course you can take and do it.
Make positive communications a habit. Focus on the positive in goal statements, self-talk, and all communications. Compare the following phrases and notice how the positive words convey confidence, commitment, and enthusiasm. For example instead of “I will try” substitute the phrase “I will.” Instead of saying to yourself “I should do (insert the phrase) “I will do.” try saying “I want to” or “I choose to” instead of the more common “I must.”
Focus with affirmation statements. Affirmative statements are positive self-statements or reminders to help you achieve goals. They are positive messages with a punch “mental bumper stickers” of sorts to motivate your subconscious mind to work for you. Here are guidelines to help you to use the powerful tool of affirmative statements as vital mental reminder technique.
1) Make the statements personal to yourself, not arbitrary or generic. Use the phrase “I”, your own name, or you.
2) Keep affirmations short. How can you use the affirmations if you cannot remember them?
3) Phrase your affirmations positively. The mind accepts as truth the words that you give it. Use positive words only as affirmations. Leave out any negative words. For example say “I will not be nervous during my interview with the warden” rather say “I will be calm and self-assured during my interview.”
4) Include a positive emotion. A phrase that triggers a positive emotion strengthens the affirmation. For example “my goals are valuable and it excites me.”
5) Phrase affirmations as fact. Phrase a goal as though it is happening even if you have not achieved it yet. Your subconscious believes mental messages and works to make them a reality.
6) Say your affirmation at least 6 times a day. Repetition is life. Repetition enhances self-confidence, acts as a reminder, and stimulates your subconscious to help you achieve your goals in life.
It cannot be overstated the impact that positive self talk and affirmative statements can help you towards the vital goals that you have identified in your life. Remember that without goals even if you work hard you are like a ship without a rudder. These powerful tools of positive self talk and positive affirmations can more than help speed you along to your chosen goals.
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