Quick Guide on Positive Self-Talk

Jun 17, 2021
Positive Young Woman Looking at Self in the Mirror

The way you talk with yourself can make a big difference in your happiness and health. You can put obstacles in your way, or you can empower yourself to achieve more.


Self-talk is what psychologists call the inner dialogue you carry on with yourself. It’s usually filled with conscious and subconscious beliefs that started in your childhood.


It’s also a habit that you can reprogram if you want different results. You can convince yourself that you’re inadequate or you can remind yourself that you have the potential to learn and grow. Positive self-talk builds your confidence and makes it easier to persevere.


Learn how to take control of your self-talk. Try these strategies for becoming a better friend to yourself.

Specific Strategies for Adjusting Your Self-Talk:


  1. Use present tense. The only time when you can take action is now. Keep your self-talk focused on the present moment instead of reliving the past or trying to anticipate the future.
  2. Say your name. Research shows that addressing yourself by name is often more effective than using pronouns. Maybe it encourages you to be objective or makes you feel like you have company.
  3. Look in the mirror. Reinforce your messages by looking yourself in the eye. Repeat affirmations while gazing into a mirror in your bathroom or in your car.
  4. Create reminders. Stay on track by surrounding yourself with cues to speak to yourself with kindness and respect. Spend time with family and friends who boost your spirits. Write inspiring quotes on sticky notes and put them on your office phone or closet door.
  5. Speak out loud. Repeat your affirmations out loud when you have privacy. It may be awkward to tell yourself that you’re amazing in the middle of a coffee shop, but you could record a message on your phone that you can listen to anywhere.
  6. Consider therapy. It can be challenging to change self-talk that you’ve been reinforcing for years. Talking with a professional could help you to gain more insights and ideas. Ask your doctor for a referral or consult the online Psychologist Locator at The American Psychological Association.


Enjoy a happier and more meaningful life by transforming your self-talk. That little voice inside you can be a powerful tool for reducing stress and helping you to reach your goals. Ensure that it’s lifting you up and guiding you toward success.