June 18, 2023

Self-Talk to Build Your Best Life: 9 Tips

"Self-Talk to Build Your Best Life: 9 Tips" from Build Our Best Lives blog

      If you missed my posts about how your thoughts have created your reality, and how you can rewire your mind to change your life, check them out.  You should now understand that, whether you're aware of it or not, the way you talk to yourself determines what you experience in life.  No matter what area of your life you'd like to improve, you can work on changing it by changing your self-talk.

     Here are some tips to help you make the most of your self talk (and your life):

1.   Use affirmations.  Affirmations are statements that, when repeated often, train your brain to move you toward your goals.  (No, this is not a bunch of BS or a waste of time.  This actually works.  There's science behind it.)

     For whatever it is in your life that you'd like to improve, come up with an affirmation to help you get there.  You can start with focusing on one thing, or create multiple affirmations that correspond to different goals.  Keep the following tips in mind when forming your affirmations.

2.   Use the present tense.  This tells the subconscious mind what is happening right now.

     You don't want to say "I'm going to __" or "I will __."  Using the future tense tells the subconscious mind that you're not currently doing it; you'll do it another time.  It doesn't move you.

3.   Affirmations should be easy to remember.  Keep them as short as possible.  Anything that has a rhyme or rhythm to it, or just rolls off the tongue, would be great.  You want them to easily pop into mind when you need them.

4.   Avoid saying "I have to __," "I should __," or "I must __."  Not only do these not move you (as said in tip #2), but they imply you're coming from a place of guilt or pressure, or that you're not in control.  This will kill your energy and hinder you.  Whatever it is you have to do, remember that you GET to do these things. You're lucky to be alive and able to.  You're choosing to do them because you want to improve your life.

5.   Speak in the positive, avoiding negative wordsIf you say "I'm not lazy," the subconscious mind forms an image of laziness.  If you say "I don't procrastinate," the mind sees procrastination.  Tell yourself what you do want:  "I am productive" gives an image of productivity.  "I am strong" gives an image of strength.  You want to form mental images of your goals achieved.

     Wire your brain with the things you want, not with the things you don't want.

6.   Use "I am."  These are widely regarded as the most powerful words you can say.  The subconscious mind will get to work to make these statements true.

7.   Avoid phrasing that sounds way too far-fetched.  If "I am in good shape" feels unrealistic, try something like "I am getting stronger" or  "I exercise regularly."  If "I am successful" feels like a complete lie, you can try "I am making progress" or "I am taking the right steps."  As you improve, you can "upgrade" your affirmations.

8.   Review your affirmations often.  Aim for at least daily.  Reading them or just saying them in your head is great.  Saying them out loud or writing them down is even better.  You can use reminders on your phone, sticky notes around your house, or any method you can think of to remind yourself to repeat your affirmations frequently.  They will soon become your automatic thoughts, and you'll be on your way to reaching your goals.

9.   When you have a thought that works against you, stop yourself, and redirect your thoughts.  If you catch yourself thinking "I'm messy," you can replace it with "I am working toward keeping a cleaner home."  If you catch yourself thinking you're lazy, you can tell yourself "I get things done."

     Review these tips as needed, or to dive deeper into self-talk, check out Shad Helmstetter's What to Say When You Talk to Yourself(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)