The Power of Positive Self Talk
‘Your mind believes every word you say.’
We all are in constant interaction with the people around us and with ourselves. The interesting fact is that both these interactions shape our lives in a way which we don’t tend to notice on a daily basis.
Our social conversations are completely contrary to our personal conversations, but what makes them so different? When in a social setup, you tend to be more focussed on what you are saying, how you are behaving, what impression are you creating and most importantly how to come across as someone who is sorted in life and seems ‘perfectly’ happy.
It is surprising how one can fall into the trap of saying the right words in front of the ‘right’ people, but skip implementing it on ourselves. Often the role of personal conversations or self-talk is neglected. Just as one needs ‘Me time’, similarly, one needs a ‘me talking time’ as well. This is essential because your mind is listening to all that you speak to it, so you might as well keep it motivated throughout.
Positive Self-talk is what one should practice more. It is very much like a self-fulfilling prophecy – something you think about so much that you can make it happen. Positive self-talk gives you the permission to go ahead and accomplish your goals, whereas, negative self-talk makes you give up easily and not even try to succeed.
You can certainly lose your confidence depending on the way you speak to yourself. Confused? For instance, you are unable to do a task, which as per others is a cake walk. Now, this thought kills your motivation and you think you are ‘stupid’ enough for not getting it. Or, maybe you couldn’t crack an interview and consider yourself ‘not worthy’ of it. Most people do this self-talk without realizing how it is hampering their success.
Your thoughts are directly linked to your behavior. If you think, ‘I know I can do it,’ you will be more willing to do it. But, if you manage to convince yourself of not being capable enough to do it, then you make it almost impossible for the mind to change your decision. Don’t believe it? Try it now!! Think of any act you have been wanting to do, but kept delaying it so far by presenting some excuse or the other. Say this- ‘I can’t do it.’—-and now try telling yourself, ‘I don’t have to do it perfectly. I can at least try.’
HOW IT EFFECTS YOUR PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
Positive self-talk and negative self-talk enjoy the game – Tug of war. You must decide who do you wish to support. Negative self-talk will leave you with almost no hope of trying as compared to positive self-talk. It can encourage you to behave in a not so helpful manner and damage yourself more emotionally. For instance, when you say, ‘No one cares about the way I feel, maybe I am not worth it.’ This statement can be replaced by saying, ‘It’s okay if they are not able to understand my concern right now. Maybe I can try and explain it once again or think of some alternative.’ Positive self-talk will surely boost your confidence!
THE WORDS USED BY YOU MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
Positive affirmation has been practiced by the self-development industry for ages, as a way of programming your mind to help you achieve things that you want. For example, you see how your friend is way ahead of you. You feel demotivated and plan to quit or probably to just go with the flow. You eventually start comparing yourself with this friend; you part ways and are not willing to change the way you perceive the situation.
Now, seeing all this, you tell yourself, ‘I can’t do this. It’s just so difficult. I don’t even know the basics of it…!!’ However, why not talk to yourself in a different way? You could say, ‘Look at this challenge. This task, regardless of how difficult it is, gives me a chance to learn new skills.’ To be able to change the results, it is very important to change the strategy!
Mitashi Pawar, MA in Applied Psychology, PG Diploma in Counselling and Family Therapy is at present working as a School Counsellor with The Shri Ram School, Aravali. She has done her schooling from DPS Vasant Kunj. Her expertise lies in working with kids, parents and teachers. Over the years, she has worked for several schools such as DPS Ambala, DPS Panipat, Apeejay School Kolkata, Bal Bharti School to name a few. She is passionate about creating awareness about mental health and help people understand the benefits of counselling. Her interest also lies in doing workshops for students and adults.