Positive Self-Talk--Examples

>> Thursday, February 24, 2011

Yes, I know, I'm late.  I promised Tuesday and it's Thursday.  Life--it's my only excuse.

This is the third post in the theme of utilizing your subconscious in writing and life.  While the posts layer upon each other for a deeper understanding, they each stand alone as well.  For more information check out the previous posts:
Today I'm sharing a bunch of great examples of positive self-talk you can adopt, alter and make your own. 

I'm the type who always wants to know why something works.  If I get a crap answer, I'll doubt the premise.  If I get a logical or scientific answer, I'm apt to believe.  Or, at least believe until something happens to make me doubt.

So...why does self-talk work?
  • Self-talk affects the subconscious mind.  It is the type of talk that chatters constantly in the back of our minds without specific, conscious thought.  Things we think, but don't say.  Things we tell ourselves about ourselves or about our job or our life, but don't rationalize or justify before we say them.
  • The subconscious mind is programmed similarly to the way a computer is programmed, so like a computer the subconscious mind will only perform the tasks it is programmed to perform.
  • Information presented to the subconscious mind causes both a psychological and a physiological response.
  • The subconscious mind does not hold any biases or beliefs other than those that have already been programmed in.
  • The brain records exactly what it receives without regard to where it comes from or how it get the information.  The brain doesn't care whether the information is true or false, right or wrong.
  • The programming you accept from others and the conscious and unconscious directives, pictures, feelings and thoughts that you transmit to yourself in your own control center of the brain--the subconscious mind.
Those are just some of the reasons.  If you want to get down to the nitty-gritty, I suggest reading The Self-Talk Solution by Shad Helmstetter, which is one of the main sources of my information.  I've gathered other supporting information on this topic from various other experts in the field of psychology.

Before we get into the examples of what we should be saying to ourselves, it would be beneficial to recognize what types of phrases we should not be saying.

What NOT to say:
  • Nothing ever goes right.  (a.k.a. Could just one thing go right?)
  • I'm no good at ... (fill in the blank)  (a.k.a. I'm not that creative/smart/ambitious)
  • Why should I try?  It won't work out anyway.
  • I can't get caught up.  (I don't have enough time. This is too much work.)
  • I've tried, I can't. 
  • What is wrong with me today?  (a.k.a. Why isn't my mind working?)
  • It's just not my day.
  • I'm so tired.
I've been guilty of just about every one of these in one form or another -- for the better part of my life.  Hence, my generally negative/pessimistic personality for the majority of my years.

Now, I consciously make the effort to change my thoughts around by restructuring my sentences. 

Mini personal story:  At my work, there is one particular doctor who is incredibly challenging to work with.  My self-esteem always seemed to take a hit after a shift with her.  I developed my own "mantra" for self-talk repetition whenever we worked together.  I am enough. I do enough. I know enough.  This short, quick, easy little string of words greatly enhanced my working experience with her and reduced the stress during those days.

Things TO say:
  • I'm making progress.
  • I can handle this.
  • I'm willing to try.
  • I am in control of this.
  • I am excellent at ... writing/singing/problem solving
  • I have a fantastic ... mind/talent/ability with people
  • I keep trying.
  • I'll get it.
So, here are a few examples for different parts of your life, although they are heavily weighted toward creativity/writing because that is my main audience here.  But you can take the base of any statement and change it to fit your specific situation and/or need.

Most of these are generalized.  I've put options related to how you could tailor them toward your writing life in (parenthesis).

**Remember, the key to making self-talk work isn't simply repeating the words over and over.  But, visualize, feel it, live it and infuse gratitude

Creativity: Because creativity is the essence of writing.
It's not a question of whether you can be more creative. The question is only whether you will allow yourself to exercise the creativity you already have. ~Shad Helmstetter
  • I see my own creativity as the key that unlocks my true potential (as an author).
  • I admire and respect others who use their own imagination to benefit themselves and others (their characters).
  • I know others see me and respect me as a creative, resourceful individual (writer).
  • I am not afraid to try the untried, walk new paths or search for new or better alternatives in my life (writing).
  • Today, I am more creative then ever before.
  • Since my imagination has no limits, my creativity knows no bounds.
  • The more I practice using my creative mind (writing), the more creative (successful) I become.
  • My own creativity allows me to unlock the source from which all ideas flow (bestsellers are born).
  • I am a bestseller. I am a bestseller.  I am...oh, sorry.  Got a little carried away there.
Overcoming the fear of failure: Because even multi-published authors fear this with every book.
  • I am never afraid to try. I enjoy staying with it and moving forward.
  • I give myself freedom to fail and reap the success those attempts have brought me.
  • I prepare myself with the knowledge and skill I need to succeed.
Getting more done: Because we writers are consummate procrastinators.
  • I place great value on taking action. I see what needs to be done and I do it.
  • Both the quality and the quantity of what I do (my writing) is important to me. The rewards I achieve are worth the investment I make.
  • I look forward each day to increasing my effectiveness (word count) and accomplishing more.
 Perseverance (and hope): Because no author would succeed without it.
  • I have faith, I have courage, I have belief--in myself and my writing.
  • Each day I have more hope and conviction in my ability to solve any problem (craft a novel worthy of the bestsellers list).
  • I never give up.  I am a winner, and I give myself the energy and belief to come out on top (of the bestsellers list).
Dealing with problems: Because in the publishing industry, there is no avoiding them.
  • I like challenges and meet them head on.
  • My will, my strength, my determination are always stronger than any problem I face.
  • I know every problem holds within itself the keys to its own solution.
Speaking and Writing with Confidence: Self-explanatory.
  • I have good ideas and I am able to express my ideas in a clear and interesting way.  (I'm a killer storyteller.)
  • People like the way I express myself, and they enjoy hearing my thoughts and ideas. (People love my writing and enjoy reading my novels).
  • My mind gives me the words I need, right when I need them.
Positive risk-taking: Because every new character, new plot, new story is a risk.
  • To me, a good risk is a bridge to my success and a doorway to greater opportunity (the next contract).
  • I am willing to accept those risks which are necessary for the fulfillment of my goals.
  • Any risk I accept is a healthy new force in my life.  A challenge and worthwhile goal.  Another win in the making.
  • I have the courage to do what I need to do (write on the edge) to get where I want to go (to the best seller's list).
Improving your career: Because if you stagnate in the publishing sea, you get eaten by sharks.
  • I enjoy seeking and finding new opportunities in my life (publishing).
  • I never allow the word "no" to stop me or even slow me down.
  • I look forward and never look back.
  • I am creating a bright, positive, successful future for myself.
  • I know where I'm going (I will be a bestseller), and I'm well on my way.
Learning to say no (a.k.a. protecting your writing time): Essential skill for every author.
  • I carefully guard the time I set aside for things which are important to me (writing).
  • My time and energies are gifts which I protect and give by my choice, not the dictates of others.
  • Saying no is easy for me.  I am confident, self-assured and in control of my life.
I could go on and on, but I'm sure you get the idea.

I would love to hear some of your own positive self-talk. 


Carole St-Laurent 1:38 PM  

What a post, Joan! Just what I needed.

Joan Swan 7:15 AM  

Thanks, Carole. It's about what I need today...will be using my own advice.

Sivakumar Reddy 12:59 AM  

Superb Joan..I really enjoy it.

dorothea 11:01 PM  

Thanks for your insights. I so agree that our self talk plays a major part in how we see and experience life.

Anonymous,  7:02 PM  

Dear Carole,
I am reading a book called Conquer Prostate Cancer. There is an entire section on self talk (not called that) as relates to preparing for, during, and recovering from. I have read self talk and referred back to it several times over the years. It has always helped me. Tomorrow I am going to make a tape of the above issues and listen to them as I prepare for my radical prostectomy soon.

Julie Mogford 7:15 AM  

I found this today and really needed to see it. Thank you so much for these great words and I will be reading my version of them daily!Just writing them down has given me a vision of what is to come.

Andrea Laura 12:03 AM  

Very Informative! This blog is great source of information which is very useful for me. Thank you very much for sharing this!

read more

Ann T,  12:17 PM  

I just heard a statistic that was surprising. That is, 80% of the conversations we have in a day are with ourselves. (Pause for audience to ooh and ahh.) If true, and our feelings are guided by our thoughts, that explains a lot.

Materi SMA 11:46 AM  

Very Nice...Thank you very much for sharing this!

Proxyintech 5:24 AM  

I like this article..thank you

Anonymous,  12:22 PM  

Nice post!

Anonymous,  12:10 PM  

This is what I will term "food for thought".

Anonymous,  5:55 AM  

When I came across your post I was surprised at the lens your words came from. I work as a registered nurse and these principals are a key piece of teaching for children and youth who are affected by mental health issues. Positive self talk is a part of the tools and skills that young people learn to assist them in change. The negative talk can take over youthful thoughts and drag down their spirits. It takes much effort and practice to TRY the opposite. It is often the first big hurdle for change. Thanks for sharing your words.

Anonymous,  3:09 PM  

I'm not a writer, but this was very useful to me anyway. Thanks!

Anonymous,  9:54 PM  

example I will be using for my self talk: what I see, hear, touch, smell and taste goes into my memory, being able to recall what I have memorized is good for me, understanding what I have recalled from my memory is good for me, so I am good because I understand and use very well what I have recalled from my memory. etc... M>

Anonymous,  6:31 PM  

Great help Joan, will apply to everyday life..

AmazingTarun 3:07 AM  

Thanks Joan! You wrote really well and helpful.

raja ji 8:58 PM  


raja ji 8:59 PM  


Pedro el Mexicano,  4:03 AM  


Ramesh 2:08 AM  

Thank u Joan

Anonymous,  10:12 PM  

this helped me a lot joan. thank you

Damanjeet singh 4:42 PM  

Thank you for compiling very beautiful soft writing.

Anonymous,  2:43 PM  

Positive self-talk and positive expressions comprise a positive frame of mind critical to the generation of the positive activity that manifests itself in positive behavior, emotions, thoughts, and positive-ways-to-relieve-stress while depriving, suppressing, neutralizing, and preventing negative activity that is caused by misdirected energy. Write a book with more examples please. They are a critical element for the genuine creation of positive activity, behaviors, emotions, thoughts, and positive decisions. Thank you! Pedro

Anonymous,  8:06 AM  

I Googled Positive Self Talk because of my own history of negative thinking and mental disorder. Your positive statements are easy to use to assist my thinking and to give me courage. My plan is to develop a daily habit of journaling using some CBT and other prompts to help me overcome feeling overwhelmed with the way I am living this one and only life that I have to live. I want to feel more joy:) Thanks!!

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Unknown 8:47 PM  

thank you it is my assignment

Anonymous,  2:35 PM  

Thanks for writing this I'm not a writer as of yes but I know this will help me with my crafts reason being writing a captivating description to draw in my clients I've known about self talk but never put it into action cuz of my mental state I've tried taking my life 15 times in my life time happily to say I'm still here

Unknown 12:35 AM  

Amazing self talk. Seeing results while writing itself. In hours of time I became so productive. Thankyou so much.

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