How often do you hear that little voice in your head tell you that you aren’t good enough? I know I have heard it on many an occasion. Negative self-talk can hinder your progress in life and hold you back from achieving your dreams. There are ways to turn your inner voice into a positive one. Follow the nine tips below to create a new, positive and helpful voice that will build your confidence and change your life for the better.
Affirmations are positive statements written in the present tense. For example, “I am happy with how confident and happy I am”. They may sound a bit silly at first, but using positive affirmations can help program your mind to speak in a positive voice more often. You should say them out loud first thing in the morning when you wake up and just before you go to sleep at night as these are the times when your brain is at its most receptive. Regular repetition throughout the day will reinforce the positive messages and help them to become second nature. Carry them with you in your wallet and/or hang them on the mirror in your bathroom. Napolean Hill speaks a lot about affirmations in his book “Think and Grow Rich” which has also been reformatted for women – “Think and Grow Rich for Women” by Sharon Lechter.
If you’d like some inspiration, you can also find affirmation cards from several sources, including Gabby Bernstein. Mindful Mornings and these beautiful Affirmation Cards for Women. Pick a card each morning to guide you through the day creating positive change.
It’s important to be aware of that voice in your head. Listen to what and how it is talking to you. If it is constantly negative, then you need to take action to turn it into a supportive and positive voice. Listen carefully and when you catch a negative thought turn it into a positive statement instead.
Regular meditation can help you develop greater control over your thoughts and emotions. You will learn how to listen carefully to what is on your mind and to quieten your inner voice. This will help you create a sense of calm and peace, lessening stress and anxiety. As you gain greater control over your mind you will be able to silence the negative voice when it starts to speak. Meditation has lots of physical benefits, as well.
4. Be Grateful:
Take time every day to think of at least three things you are grateful for. It’s all too easy to lose yourself in the negative aspects of the day and to give in to the negative voice in your head. Instead, focus on the positive and list the things for which you are grateful. I set my smartphone timer for 12:34 each day so that I can stop and be grateful for a few seconds. I also write them down in a journal so that I can remember them and revisit them if needed. Another way to do this is to write your gratitudes on a slip of paper and throw them in a jar. On New Year’s Eve, open them all up and recall the great little things that the year brought to you. Oprah had one on her Favorite Things list a couple of years ago. This is a really cute one too!
5. Change Your Perspective:
Catastrophic thinking can be all too easy and can take over in times of stress or anxiety, especially like the times in this past pandemic year. Instead of thinking of all the negative outcomes, stand back and look at the situation from a different point of view.
6. Distance Yourself:
Create some distance between yourself and your emotions. An effective yet simple way to do this is to think in the third person. So instead of saying to yourself, “I’m really angry with myself because…”, say, “You’re really angry. Why?” By creating psychological distance, a study by Ethan Kross, PhD of the University of Michigan found that participants were able to regulate their emotions and reduce discomfort.
7. Say, “I don’t”:
One simple change you can make is to use the phrase, “I don’t,” instead of, “I can’t”. I’ve always loved this practice. By saying “I don’t” you are taking responsibility and ownership of your thoughts. If you are trying to lose weight then instead of saying, “I can’t eat cake” say, “I don’t eat cake”. You can also use it for positive things such as “I always arrive on time.”. The power of this approach was found in a study by Vanessa Patrick at the University of Houston.
8. Use NLP, Coaching or Hypnotherapy:
Several of my colleagues are studying and becoming certified in NLP (neuro-linguistic programming). By investing in this type of coaching, you will have the benefit of mentoring and accountability. These professionals are able to use a range of tools to help change your subconscious mind and remove blocks, change language and thought patterns and create new positive habits and behaviour.
9. Body Language:
Changing your body language can change your outlook and increase your sense of positivity and self-confidence. Stand or sit up straight with your shoulders back, hold your head high and smile.
Stand up straight, hold your head high, shoulders back and smile. Feel your self-confidence grow.
Contact a coach, Neuro Linguistic Practitioner or hypnotherapist. Many give a free initial consultation.
Take a break, sit, breathe and enjoy the moment. Finish by saying, “I can and I will.” Take action.
Most of these titles can also be found on Audible.
- What to Say When You Talk to Your Self: Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D
- 365 Days of Positive Self-Talk: also by Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D
- Self-Talk for a Calmer You: by Beverly D. Flaxington
- Positive Self-talk: A little journal book with BIG talk: Sharon Shannon
- The Power of Positive Thinking: Norman Vincent Peale
Practicing these positive self-talk tips can help you improve your life and create more joy. I hope you will try them.
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