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5 tips to make self-talk work for you

Master the art of positive, constructive self-talk that will spur you on to success. By Priya Prakasan

Self-talk, also known as intrapersonal communication, is your inner voice that provides opinions or commentary on things as you’re doing them. It can work wonders if used in a positive manner. You can use self-talk to build a wide range of skills, improve on performance and keep stressors at bay. Here are some tips on how to make the most out of those internal conversations.

1. Stick to positive self-talk
The first step to make self-talk work for you is to challenge negative self-talk. Become aware of your act or practice of talking to yourself and ask if it is negative most of the time? Stop the process whenever you see negative thoughts reoccurring. Once you have figured out the pattern you have to challenge these thoughts, think through them and replace them with positive self-talk. It will take some time but you can tweak your pattern by being compassionate with yourself.

2. Use action-oriented self-talk
Negative thoughts can directly affect our well-being and self-confidence, leading to self-doubt and stress. In order to keep the negativity at bay and project great confidence you need to focus on weeding out the negative and replacing it with action-oriented self-talk. By giving yourself concrete actions (positive) to perform you’re distracting your mind from the negative, finding something useful to do and bolstering your self-confidence. This is also a great way to increase productivity, as it will help you overcome procrastination and get on with the task at hand.

3. Use positive affirmations
Self-affirmations can help you develop a more positive projection of yourself. Use positive affirmations to change harmful behaviours and accomplish your goals. Start your day with positive affirmations; think about your positive attributes or think about what negative statements you would want to counteract with positive goals you want to accomplish. Write them down and work towards matching up your positive attributes with your goals. Keep affirming your contributions with self-talk to succeed.

4. Discipline yourself kindly
Self-disciple and determination are crucial to achieving success. Once you have a goal in mind, create an action plan for the same with measurable milestones along the way. Make it a point to keep them realistic. Unrealistic goals can lead to stress and self-doubt. If you’re unable to meet your goals, examine your actions and plan to see what doesn’t sit right. If you’ve made mistakes admit them, learn from them and correct your behaviour. Do not be too hard on yourself and let failure spread negativity in your life. Come up with a new action plan and work towards the new self-discipline goal. Also, anticipate potential problems that will arise and strategise to overcome them.

5. Be consistent
Consistency is a trait that leaders need to cultivate. It also provides a great positive boost to your self-talk routine. Make sure your actions match your words or affirmations because it won’t work if you say one thing while actually doing something else. Also, make gradual changes, otherwise you will overwhelm yourself and it will become a lot harder to be consistent. Hold yourself accountable and increase your motivation when necessary to make those changes in your life that allow you to be consistent. 

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