An essential aspect of our mental health is the relationship we have with ourselves. Consistently negative self-talk can lower self-esteem and make you more likely to accept that kind of treatment from others. We must be kind to ourselves and part of that is the way we speak to or about ourselves. With that being said, here are 5 ways to practice positive self-talk:
- Accept compliments
When somebody compliments you, don’t just deflect it or act like it isn’t true, simply say thank you. If a person has something nice to say about, you own it and be happy, it is in no way conceited or awkward to do so! You can also compliment them back to take some of that attention off of yourself if it makes you feel uncomfortable.
- Don’t attribute mistakes to your character
Making mistakes is normal and in no way does it mean you are a lesser person because of it. While it is still important to own up to our mistakes and take responsibility for them, mistakes are what make us human and it is totally ok to make them. If you make a mistake, don’t say it’s because you’re bad at something or incapable, say “Ok I did something wrong but that is ok because I will fix it and learn from it so I won’t do this moving forward.”
- Don’t polarize your thinking
When you think in a polarized manner, it means you think about things in sort of a black and white or all or nothing mentality. This can be harmful because with this form of thinking, you don’t give yourself leeway and it leads you to create unrealistic standards for yourself. For example, if you are a straight-A student but get a B in a class, polarized thinking may lead you to believe that you are not as smart as you thought you were and that you must not be a good student. However, that is not true and there exists a grey area where you are still a great student but maybe having an off semester or an extra hard class.
- Positive affirmations
Practicing affirmations is the best way to sort of fake it till you make it. Affirm the positive qualities about yourself, even if you don’t necessarily believe them to be true because if you say them enough and surround yourself with as much positivity as possible you will start to see them as true and be more appreciative of your positive traits.
- Believe in your success and don’t fear failure
Your successes are achieved because of your skills and hard work so don’t try and attribute them to chance or luck. Believe in yourself and your abilities, tell yourself that you can do it, and when you do succeed, make sure to remember that it was your genuine efforts that got you there. That being said, it is also important to note that on the way to success, you cannot fear failure. Not making it on the first try does not mean that you can’t or won’t make it but instead of being harsh, you must keep believing in yourself. Don’t stop yourself from trying things because you don’t think you can do it and don’t let failing once or even a couple of times turn you away from your goals. Be kind to yourself and motivate yourself with the same excitement that you would a friend.
At the end of the day, one of the most important relationships we have is with ourselves and the way we speak to and about ourselves really makes an impact. It is hard to constantly be positive, especially during more difficult times, but consistency is much more important than perfection. Being nice to yourself and not using negative self-talk 4 out of the 7 days of the week for years is a whole lot better than being nice to yourself 7 out of the 7 days of the week for only one week. Keep trying to implement these practices into your life and believe in yourself. You are your own greatest ally!