Consider the following 7 situations and see how negative self talk compares to positive self talk.
1. It's the afternoon, your mind isn't moving as fast and it's harder to focus:
*Negative self talk: here come my afternoon blahs. I’m not going to get anything done now.
*Positive self talk: I feel the afternoon drowsies coming, time to take a break and clear my head.
2. A client emails you with corrections for a project you turned in the day before:
*Negative self talk: oh no – she must think I’m an idiot.
*Positive self talk: Great, I can fix these up and get them back to her in no time.
3. You realize you forgot to put clothes in the dryer last night:
*Negative self talk: what is the matter with me? Why can’t I do anything right? I have nothing to wear!
*Positive self talk: oh well. Now I have an excuse to wear a nice dress to run my errands.
4. Your mother gives you a back handed compliment on your new hairdo with her usual criticism chaser:
*Negative self talk: nothing is ever good enough for her – I’m such a disappointment, why bother anymore?
*Positive self talk: as usual, mom can’t be pleased – oh well – I like it!
5. You find out a group of friends got together for coffee and you weren’t invited:
*Negative self talk: they must not like me. I wonder what I did to make them made at me?
*Positive self talk: bet they had a nice visit. I’m going to remind them to call me up next time.
6. You have worked really hard exercising regularly and eating healthy daily. You weigh in only to find the scale shows a gain:
*Negative self talk: what’s the point, why do I even bother exercising and eating healthy? Clearly it’s not working because I gained instead of lost.
*Positive self talk: the scale might not show a loss but I feel great, my clothes are getting looser, I have more energy, and like being active and all the nutritious healthy food I’m feeding my body.
7. You spent hours & lots of time & energy creating and putting together a new product for your market. The launch is a flop and you only sold one.
*Negative self talk: I knew it – I’m a failure at this. Nothing I do is working. I might as well throw in the towel.
*Positive self talk: hey, I put a product together and released it. I did it. I stepped out of my comfort zone and did it. So what only one person bought it so far? That just means I need to market it more and get some people to help me promote it.
Now that you’ve looked at these 7 examples, what did the negative self talk do? Did it make you feel worse and down and just blah? That’s what happens. Negativity breeds negativity. But when you looked at the positive self talk for each situation, didn’t it make you feel empowered, happy and better about yourself?
That’s the point! It’s crucial to our health (and sanity!) that we begin to practice a positive self talk track and replace the negative one. It’s not always easy to do but every time you catch yourself playing the negative track, stop and switch to a positive one instead.