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Affirmations – Positive Self-Talk

Affirmations – Positive Self-Talk
By Audrey Marlene Klingeman

Affirmations - Positive Self-Talk
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Imagine that your friend is down on herself and you want to encourage her by saying positive things to buoy her spirits. What are some of the things you will say to make her feel better?

The same thing goes for self. When you feel down or begin to doubt yourself, you also need to find words of encouragement to redirect your focus and stimulate positive thoughts within you. Talk yourself into feeling better. Allow the continuous flow of positive talk to replace your negative inner critic at work. Positive affirmations and self-talk helps to produce positive thinking.

When you talk to yourself in positive ways, this does not mean you are crazy. It only means:

  • You have found a brilliant way to motivate yourself.
  • You know how to positively reinforce your own efforts.
  • You are constantly reminding you of how capable you are.
  • You are suppressing your self-doubts and accentuating your strength and skills.
  • You are boosting your self-confidence.
  • You are staying true to your goals.
  • You are a winner!

Logically and rationally explain situations to yourself. Do it continuously making it a daily habit. It will propel you to new heights.

Benefits of Positive Affirmations

Success in life depends to a great extent on a positive state of mind. In order to accomplish any goal you must be optimistic and motivated to take action. There are times when discouragements and doubts set in and you are the only one available to bolster your spirits and get you motivated again. This is where the positive self-talk comes in handy.

Let us examine some common doubts and self-criticism and how to counter them with positive self-talk.

Negative thought: I can’t make it to the gym today. I don’t; feel like it.

Positive self-talk: I can do this. I know once I get to the gym I will feel better. Come on, let’s go. I can, I can I can do this.

Negative thought: I’m never going to finish this project on time.

Positive Self-talk: I know I can finish this project on time. If I do 1 more hour each day, I can pull it off. I can do this do. I know I can. I will get this done.

Negative thought: I am not good at anything, I wish I were ______.

Positive self-talk: I am capable. In the past I have been able to do____ and ____. I know I’m good and I can do anything I want. Yes, I can.

These are just some ideas of how to go about feeding positive information to you. Do this as many times you can throughout your day. Let it become habit forming. By doing so:

  • problems will be seen as challenges and you will confront difficult situations with ease
  • your perception of you will drastically improve each day
  • your confidence in your ability will heighten
  • your self-esteem will improve
  • your state of well-being will improve
  • you will gain more friends and influence others
  • you will have more self-control and discipline
  • you will achieve more

Science Behind Positive Affirmations

Through positive self-talk, we feed positive recognition of self to our subconscious. Once the self-talk is continuous, over time our conscious mind takes action and our behavior changes. This is a conditioning technique that you can use to self-motivate, which can lead to constructive outcomes in your lives.

The same works for negative self-talk. The inner critic slowly feeds negative feedback to the subconscious and before long your start believing the negative self-talk. Your persona changes and a downward spiral begin to take place in your life. The doldrums set in, self-doubt, weakened self-confidence, and then it becomes even more difficult to climb out of it.

We become what we feed our minds. Positive self-talk only works if you truly believe what you are telling yourself. If your affirmations are not genuine, the subconscious knows and they would be ineffective. You must believe the affirmations! They must be spoken without any doubt and with complete sincerity.

Positive self-talk only works when it is consistent. If conditioning must take effect it has to be continuous. The neurochemical pathways in the brain are reinforced with daily repetition of positive feedback to self. The subconscious can let go of the negative beliefs and they become slowly replaced by the positive information received. Post reminders in your car, office, at home, or school. Allow the visual cues to trigger affirmative statements of your worth.

Your attitude is a reflection of your thought process. You are what you think. The mental food your feed the mind determines your actions and behaviors. Feed positive affirmations and reap positive results.

Give Positive Affirmations

The wonderful thing about positive self-talk is that is comes from within you. You get the credit for motivating you, which is an empowering feeling. It is an opportunity to use the power within you to bring about valuable changes in your life.

The following are tips on how to carry out positive self-affirmations:

1. Always use the first person singular pronoun “I” when giving self-affirmations. Remember the affirmations are only to self, so they must be subjective in nature and addressed to you. This personalizes the affirmation and allows more conscious awareness of the constructive feedback. This slowly replaces the negative beliefs lodged in the subconscious.

2. The positive self-talk must be brief, short, positive statements. It must be easy to remember, powerful, concise verbalizations that can be repeated continuously like a mantra. For example, I am a good person, I am positive, I am ambitious, and I am motivated.

3. Positive affirmations must be spoken in the present tense. This means the feedback is already occurring. It is not something that will occur in the future or has happened and continues to happen. For example, avoid statements that begin with “I am going to”, or “I would like to.”

4. Positive self-talk must be realistic and believable. You cannot trick your subconscious into believing something that is not so. You also cannot believe other peoples criticisms of you. You must be real and true to self. Be open to receiving the truth about you and believe it.

5. Give yourself reminders. Use small post it notes to remind you of positive self-talk. Every time you find yourself saying something negative about yourself turn it around and replace it with something positive. Let this be habit forming.

Begin today to empower yourself by using positive self-talk and affirmations. Observe the transformation taking place in your life and give yourself the credit.

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Develop a Healthy Self Image to Avoid the Pain of Depression and Loneliness

Your self image creates the way you look at and measure not only yourself, but also your role as a friend, spouse, parent, employee, and every other role you have in this life.

A Bad Self Image Puts Healthy Relationships at Risk

If your self image is negative – if you lack self love and self respect – it puts you at risk of ending up unhappy and lonely – no matter how many people are around you or love you.

Your self image is how you see yourself and your role in this life – and it can be incredibly hard to change if you have a negative sense of self because it is our natural reaction to (generally external) events that happen in our lives.

The Self Esteem Workbook: Create a Healthy Self Image
Click here to buy this book!

No one else can develop a more positive sense of self esteem for you, it requires determination and effort on your part, but it is worth the effort.

When you begin to increase self confidence, it feels like a window is opening inside of you, letting in sunshine and positivity.

(It’s not a real window – obviously – it’s just an emotional sense of well-being.)

A poor self image doesn’t blossom into full fledged self confidence overnight – and it is unlikely to happen in a big, life changing “zap.”

Your self image most likely didn’t get damaged from a single tiny incident, so it takes more than a single tiny incident to restore.

Depression Is Only One of the Dangers of Poor Self Esteem

According to the University of Texas Counseling and Mental Health Center, there are several consequences of poor self-esteem:

  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Problems developing friendships
  • Problem in romantic relationships
  • Impaired academic performance
  • Poor performance at work
  • Heightened vulnerability to chemical dependency

Avoiding the pain of these situations can give you a pretty powerful reason to want to increase your level of self respect, but knowing you need a healthy self image doesn’t tell you how to build confidence so you can get one.

Luckily, there are tools to help you recognize unhealthy patterns and to improve your self confidence.

Tools for Developing a Healthy Self Image

Mastering a Healthy Self Image: The Guidebook to Real Happiness and Enormous Success
Click here to buy this book!

You can use positive self talk, journaling, and visualization to help yourself from within, in addition to asking for help from others, to help increase your willpower and to keep you focused on building a better self image.

  • Positive self talk: Give yourself a break! Instead of saying negative, self-deprecating things about yourself, like, “I’m such a clutz,” or “I’m so stupid.”
    • Focus on the things you do well – and make a point to say something about your positive aspects, at least inside your mind, and never speak the negative.
    • If you catch yourself thinking or saying negative things about yourself, make a conscious decision to stop.
  • Journaling: Use the same approach to daily journaling that was mentioned above, but instead of speaking the positive words about yourself, write them – even if it’s only one positive sentence every day.
    • If you’re really depressed and down on yourself, to where you can’t think of one positive thing to say, you can seek help from a loved one or a professional, or find some positive self image quotes and write them in your journal.
  • Visualization: Visualization is a powerful tool in building a positive self image, or anything you want out of life.
    • You can use the positive things you write in your journal as the basis for visualization, or use a guided meditation, or plan out your own self guided visualization to increase your self confidence.
  • External help: While asking for help can be the hardest thing to do when you’re self image is damaged, it is a powerful tool if you feel able to ask for help – and there is always help available if you reach out for it.
    • Help can come in the form of a loved one who helps you see the good in yourself, or a professional counselor.

There are so many reasons to take action and avoid the risk of depression and loneliness that comes from having a damaged self image, but the real and best reason is that you will feel better if you build a healthy sense of self and increase your self confidence.