“You need to talk positively to yourself.”
This advice was one of the many suggestions that my mindset coach gave me in the first meeting we had. He didn’t tell me that directly but definitely suggested it through affirmations. Not to mention emphasizing the skills I’m good at. That I know I’m good at.
It’s not to say that I talk negatively to myself all the time or anything. But this past month, I’ve come to realize how little I’ve talked positively about myself.
But what’s worse is that I know I’m not alone in this. Not to mention people do talk negatively about themselves as well.
So use this as a reminder.
Take some time to show some appreciation for yourself. And here are some effective ways to show that.
Have A Purpose Greater Than Yourself
Religion and self-improvement have a tendency to mingle together and one way to see that is through belief. Studies show that when youth spend time at church or in religious youth groups, they tend to have higher self-esteem.
Part of that reason that happens is so often religious groups stress that God or Jesus loves them. And as that study showed, when people believe in a higher being and be aware that this being loves us, we tend to be kinder to ourselves in the process.
But what if you don’t believe in God or Jesus?
Then I’d suggest taking a more realistic approach like myself. One thing that I found that has helped me this past month is to ask myself a simple question:
What sort of world do I want to build?
From my understanding, believing in some purpose that is bigger than who you are or where you are at right now helps significantly. It might be easier if you are religious and have a lot of faith, to begin with.
Regardless, believing in some larger force can inspire us and show gratitude towards other people and events in our lives. This, in turn, will affect our attitude and how we speak to ourselves.
Cut Out Negativity And Things That Hold You Back
Now that you have a higher purpose for yourself, the next thing to do is to cut off what’s dragging you down. Even if you are in my particular situation – where you lacked talking positively to yourself – there is clearly something holding you back.
And in most cases, you’ll need to dig in deep. After all, people can have bad days or be in a foul mood. But those are temporary. Being in a negative state for several days, weeks, or years suggests there is something external affecting you.
For me, it was making petty excuses for things or not thinking I needed it.
Either way, it’s key to find the source and to make some changes. It might be as simple as talking positively (in my case) or maybe you need to handle some mindset shifts. That or perhaps you have to deal with a negative person. There are plenty of ways to handle that.
Once you move away or limit negative people’s influence on you, the faster you can get to appreciate yourself on a deeper level.
Even under the belief that you are working with a higher force, it’s important to be continuously grateful. Along with the few affirmations, I have been practicing, I’ve also been tasked to listing off what I’m grateful for.
The idea behind this is to show appreciation for the things in our lives that we love. When we do this, it’s acknowledging that there are many good things about our lives.
This is essential because we often get so fixated on what’s ahead we forget what we have right now. Take my life for example. I’ve been so fixated on work and making money that I’ve failed to realize I have a fair bit of money. In fact, I could treat myself a little more than I have been.
My point is that while this step seems obvious…
We often forget these things and lose sight of what brought us to this spot.
And if you’re already feeling down, showing this gratitude can cheer you up and prompt positive self-talk. After all, it’s hard to think negatively if you express gratitude towards all kinds of things.
But one other aspect I’d challenge others on is to express gratitude for the things that haven’t happened yet.
Lately, I’ve been focusing on events, but I want to be working in other areas. Goals or other ambitions I have that have yet to happen. I say this because according to Psychology Today, individuals who keep a gratitude journal – or in general express gratitude – boost their determination, enthusiasm, attention, and energy.
I believe that this energy can lead to a powerful force in making changes in our lives or taking active steps.
One example of this is me getting back into improving my health. I’ve been seriously slacking on it and since expressing gratitude for my future healthier figure, I’ve started working on it. I make a point of walking or biking around.
Be A Positive Force Around Others
One reason I suggest to not cut off negative people immediately is the fact people can change. It might not be instantly, but being around someone positive can help significantly. If you’ve been expressing gratitude and have been working on being positive to yourself, this attitude can rub off on other people.
It won’t take long until people notice your positive self-talk and start to change as well. Especially if you turn that positive self-talk into positive words directed to others.
What we say to ourselves and to others is profound. By extension of that, we need to learn what to say to others.
In order to be a positive force to others, you need to speak a certain way. One of the most effective ways is focusing on the good of that person rather than the negative.
When we focus on the negative, our speech is geared towards that. If they made a mistake, or failed to do something, pointing that out time and again can bring negativity.
“You never help me with this” or “you always act like this.”
Phrases like that have negative aspects that drag people and relationships down.
When we focus on the positive aspects of people we begin to show appreciation for those areas and remind people of that as well. I make a point of telling people things they’re doing differently that feel nice.
Even if the person doesn’t need to hear it, being reassured feels good and helps people think better of themselves.
Have Positive Affirmations
Reinforce positive self-talk is to have affirmations in your life. Right now I only have two, but I want to push myself to have a few others.
But what’s more important is having these affirmations posted or written out somewhere that you can see. Positive mantras or affirmations can be extremely powerful and reinforce areas in our lives.
But more importantly, they help with shaping positive self-talk in our minds. We get a better sense of what makes us feel good and what we need to say to get into that mood. Here are some simple ones that you can use:
- I am healthy. I feel great about the way I look.
- Money is not an issue. Opportunities come to me.
- I choose to be happy and grateful today.
- I love you and appreciate everything about you.
- Value is something I always provide.
What I find with affirmations is even if they aren’t part of your reality, they can shape it. If you tell yourself you are healthy, you are priming yourself to take active steps towards better health.
If it’s something that you truly value or want to happen, you’ll feel more inclined to seek it. You’ll put in the time to make things happen. All the while believing in yourself and your skills.
Don’t Sit In The Past
The last step I have is to put an effort into living in the present. One of the first steps is to move beyond your past – which is no easy task.
Even though we all have a past – and some past events are less than ideal – we all have to come to terms with it. Whether that’s now or when you’re dead is up to you.
From my experience, the skeletons that we have in the past can weight on us significantly in various ways. From flashbacks to us never coming to terms with an aspect of ourselves, these things can hold us back to an extent.
As such, it’s up to us to wrestle with it and we need to do more than tell ourselves the past is in the past.
In some cases, it’s doubling down on our appreciation for ourselves. Since I’ve been telling myself how much I love and appreciate myself, I’ve had less negative flashbacks. Even if those situations are resolved and I have fully moved on from them.
Some other tactics are forgiving those behind those events. Even if you can’t do it physically, forgiving them in your head has a significant impact as well.
And on that note what also helps is thanking yourself for that pain as well. While it sounds unusual, it’s surprisingly effective. It’s realistic to handle that situation by saying this:
“Thank you so much for reminding me of that. But that was then. And this is now. Here is what I’ll do to change that. I’ll…”
Talk Positively Is Visualizing And Believing
To talk positively is to be full of hope, goals, aspirations, and to convey that in words to yourself. When we have a purpose, goals, and a mindset to push ourselves forward, we will go to great lengths to stay there.
And who wouldn’t want that?
Positivity is infectious and feels great. And with the right amount of it, we can use it to bring forth spectacular things.
So even if your life right now is great and going the way you want, shower yourself in love and gratitude. It can make a difference as I’ve certainly noticed in my life.
And if you are feeling down, I hope that this post has helped you breath new hope and happiness into your life.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon