5-Minute Guide on How to Talk with Yourself

Positive self-talk can make a huge difference in your happiness and well-being. You can hinder yourself, or you can motivate yourself to achieve more.

Psychologists call self-talk what a person talks to internally when they are inside their own heads, mostly filled with the subconscious and conscious beliefs learned in childhood.


The habit is one that you can reframe if you want to achieve different results. You can convince yourself that you are inadequate, but you can also remind yourself that you have the possibility to expand your skills. Positive self-talk helps build confidence and can make it easier to strive for a goal.

Here are seven ways that can help you to control your self-talk. Use the strategies in this article to help you become a better friend to yourself.


A general guide to using your self-talk:


  1. Have alternatives ready for certain behaviors you intend to change. Make a list of positive affirmations to use in place of the negative ones. You can explore sources of encouragement online or invent your own.

  2. Consider your options. Don't limit yourself with negative self-talk. Read self-help books or observe others to learn different responses to your setbacks and conflicts.

  3. Differentiate between taking personal responsibility for your actions and beating yourself up. Many events have multiple causes. Distinguish between blaming yourself for things that you cannot control.

  4. You should not blame yourself for things that you do not control. Don't beat yourself up over things outside your control. Distinguish between taking responsibility for your actions and blaming yourself.

  5. Build empathy, be kind to yourself! With compassion, speak to yourself as if you were conversing with a friend. Avoid harsh remarks or insults.

  6. Be careful not to reinforce distorting self-talk. Exaggerations tend to increase over time, so check the accuracy of your statements and stick with the facts.

  7. Be patient. It often takes considerable repetition to replace your old messages with more constructive wording. Hang in there. Eventually, your new affirmations will seem natural and authentic.


You can adjust the way you talk about yourself by:


  1. Consider what you need to do in the present. You can only take action at this moment, so keep your mental chatter focused on the present moment rather than looking backward or anticipating the future.

  2. You can gain more credibility by calling yourself your name because using pronouns may encourage you to be biased or make you feel like you are alone.

  3. Looking into the mirror is a great way to reinforce what you've been telling yourself. Repeat affirmations while glancing into a mirror in the bathroom or in your car.

  4. Create reminders. You can remind yourself to stay on track by surrounding yourself with cues to speak to yourself respectfully. Spend time with friends and family members who make you feel alive. Write inspirational quotes on sticky notes and post them in your office or on your closet door.

  5. Speak out loud. Make sure to tell yourself these affirmations in private when you have the privacy you need. Although it may be awkward to say that you’re amazing while sitting in a coffee shop, you could record an audio message to listen to almost anywhere.


By transforming the way, you talk to yourself, you can enjoy a happier, more fulfilling life. That little voice inside you can reduce stress, motivate you to reach your goals, and improve your quality of life. Make sure it’s guiding you toward success and lifting you up.


© Copyright 2021. Actualization of Self Institute, LLC. & Denise R Dunkley. All rights reserved.

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