The science behind positive self-talk
All the way back in 1937, Napoleon Hill was writing about the human mind. In his book, Think and Grow Rich, he set out the idea that success truly starts internally. According to his book, we can think ourselves rich by having the right mindset and following certain guidelines in regard to how we think about success, money, and our lives going forward.
Over the years, the concept has been revisited several times. For a long time, the idea that our thoughts could affect our physical lives seemed almost a joke or wishful thinking. In more recent years, studies have shown there’s more to this line of thinking than was originally believed. Science has effectively proved positive self-talk (and in counterpart negative self-talk) affects both mental and physical health. Even more startling… Our success, growth, and development can all be attributed to how we think and the things we tell ourselves.
How does it work?
In a research study done at the University of North Carolina, various participants were asked to react to a variety of stimuli. The results were intriguing. It was shown over and over again that those who had positive experiences were able to see possibilities in a way that those who reacted to negative or even neutral situations could not. The positive influence was seen to lead to problem-solving, confidence, and the ability to see choices in difficult situations.
Now think about what happens when you apply this thinking to positive self-talk and self-esteem building. You quickly discover individuals with the most upbeat inner dialogue will not only see possibilities but are more likely to engage in positive action. Here’s where you see a long-lasting effect of building new skill sets and compiling resources for future activity.
Even more important is how this impacts the state of mind. Positive self-talk and the long-lasting impact of being able to see the big picture, and then to develop the resources to make dreams a reality leads to even more important mental growth. The study further went on to show that a positive person is more likely to experience joy and contentment in their lives. In short, positive self-talk leads to healthy self-esteem, which leads to happiness.
These studies are just the tip of the iceberg. But they demonstrate how our self-talk impacts every aspect of our lives. Keep in mind that next time you catch yourself thinking you’ve not able to accomplish something, or you start berating yourself for some mistake or another. Here’s where you need to stop and reword criticism into something constructive. Your future success depends on it.
Here are six practical steps to improving your self-esteem and confidence with positive self-talk.
Negative self-talk impacts your life in more ways than you can ever imagine. Without realizing it, we become our own worst enemies, stripping ourselves of self-esteem, self-confidence, and peace of mind. Left unchecked, this lack of positivity in our lives can start affecting our health, leaving us worried and stressed, unable to relax.
Fixing it? This is actually easier than you think. It all starts with postiive self-talk and following these six practical steps.
You start by catching yourself in the act. The following three steps will put the brakes on negative self-talk before it can gain a foothold and due to further damage to your self-esteem and confidence:
WRITE IT DOWN – Keeping a journal is a great way to get a handle on what you’re thinking. Try writing down your impressions of the day before bed. This allows you to let go of feelings that might fester if allowed to run unchecked when you’re trying to sleep. Re-reading those entries later will give you a picture of just where you are. It might be you’ve been more negative lately than you thought.
JUST SAY “NO” – When you catch the negative statements in your head, your job is to stop them before they form. The moment you recognize your self-talk shifting to something less than uplifting, you need to say ‘no’ to it immediately. Say the word “Stop” out loud if you need to.
SNAPBACK – Psychologists have advised this therapy for years to stop negative thoughts. You simply place a rubber band around your wrist (one that doesn’t fit too snug). Simply snap the rubber band whenever you have automatically just to avoid the “punishment’.
Next, try following these three steps to put positive self-talk into action
TONE IT DOWN – What word can you change in the negative thought to take the sting out? Instead of ‘stupid’ perhaps you were ‘mistaken’. Instead of ‘slow’ maybe you’re ‘thoughtful’. By paying attention to your words you’ll automatically start shifting your self-talk to the more positive.
SWITCH SIDES – Make a game of it. Every time you hear yourself making a statement in your head, ask yourself if you can somehow reword things to make your words neutral or even positive. See how many of these thoughts you can change.
QUESTION EVERYTHING – Instead of listening to negative assumptions, turn them into questions. for example, “That’s impossible” can become “How can I make that possible?” Questions look for solutions while statements are already decisive.
By tracking what you do and acting with intentionality to change the situation, you’ll discover life looks different. You’re feeling more relaxed and can even embrace optimism. You start liking yourself a little more. It’s here where you start discovering optimism. You start liking yourself a little more. It’s here where your self-esteem grows and your confidence begins to show. It’s here where you start discovering the potential you’ve been holding all along.
If you want even more self esteem tips, I think you’ll like my ebook 100 Tips to Boost Your Confidence and Build Your Self Esteem. Get instant access to download your free copy of the ebook here.