Self-Talk and Self-Image

Self-Talk and Self-Image

Many of us are pretty rough on ourselves. We think things about ourselves we’d never say to family, friends, or co-workers. It’s a behavior that’s worth taking the time to change.

Self-affirmation is something we all need and a little self-reflection and positive self-talk can have a big impact. But remember to make sure that self-talk is based in reality. For example, you shouldn’t be telling yourself you’re a world class chef just because you made your first successful omelet.

Why is self-talk so important? How others see us is largely dependent upon how we see ourselves. If you are not getting the job promotions, the relationships, or respect you want out of life, it might be due to your own negative self-talk.

Know the Root Causes of Negative Self-Talk

Negative self-talk is often a carryover from childhood. Growing up can be a tough time with the stress of getting good grades, peer pressure, and the self-esteem challenges faced by most children and teens. Perhaps you were bullied at school, or shy and did not make friends easily, maybe your parents were hard on you or compared you unfavorably with an older sibling.

Whatever the case, the narrative of how we see ourselves is written well before we enter high school and is on standby each time we are faced with a new challenge or opportunity.

Be Your Own Biggest Fan

The next time you complete a project or assignment that you feel good about, don’t wait around for the boss to pat you on the back or throw you a party. Reward yourself.

  • Take yourself and your significant other out to dinner and celebrate.
  • Schedule some well-deserved time off.
  • Buy yourself flowers for your desk or bring in your favorite treat to share.
  • Be your biggest fan and tell yourself, “Hey, I did a pretty awesome job on that project!”

Take pride in your work and yourself. The way you feel about your contributions at work or personal goals will influence your outlook, your mood, and your energy level. Did you know that confidence doesn’t originate in how others perceive us, but in how we perceive ourselves?

Changing the way you talk to yourself can actually change how others talk to you. In other words, when we beat up on ourselves or we use any form of self-deprecating language – we actually open the door for others to not only see us that way, but to tell us we are that way.

Lose Self-Defeating Words from Your Vocabulary

Multicolor silhouettes of heads facing each other

Absolutist language closes doors to possibilities, while ambiguous language gives you an escape clause.

Remove the following words out of your conversation with yourself and others:

  • Never
  • Always
  • Cannot/Can’t
  • Try

You Can Self-Talk Your Way to Success

Whether it’s a job promotion, health or fitness goals, or improving your financial situation, the outcome depends on how you promote these goals to yourself. That doesn’t mean positive self-talk is a magic incantation. You may not get that job promotion, or meet that fitness or financial goal; however, the words you use in your self-talk about disappointments will have an effect on your confidence level when it comes to the next goal. Think of the “no’s” and the “thanks, but no thanks” in life as opportunities, rather than obstacles.

More Mental Fitness Topics

7 Strategies to Improve Mental Fitness

Bouncing Back After a Setback

Avoiding Mental Interruptions

Post-Traumatic Growth

Practicing “Learned Optimism”

Supporting Troubled Loved Ones

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