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Language and Self-Talk Matters - Kellee Waters Brisbane Psychologist
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Your Mind is everything!  Your mind is the holder of your beliefs, emotions, habits, behaviours, memories, fears, dreams, attention filters, and source of communication, including the language and self-talk you use.

The human mind tends to lean more towards negative thinking and engaging more deeply in negative self-talk. You may experience having a harsh inner critic, which traps you in worry, Stress, Anxiety or low-self worth.

This is normal for most people and if you experience negative self-talk in your day, you are definitely not alone.

Even though positivity is nicer to feel, negativity can be addictive. For people who have chronic negative thinking, or self-talk, you struggle to pull yourself away from this and it has a negative impact on your:

  • Mental and emotional health;
  • Physical health;
  • Relationships;
  • Work, and
  • Entire life experiences.

Your Language and Words Matter!

When you are creating change, and moving towards your goals, it is important to be mindful of the language and self-talk you use.

You may attempt to talk yourself up with affirmations or encouraging words. When you do this it is important that the words you are using aren’t creating an unconscious barrier to you moving forward.

Here are some examples of phrases that might have positive intentions behind them, but still have underlying tones of negative bias:

  • I should go for a walk today.
  • I shouldn’t eat this.
  • I need to stop procrastinating, and
  • I should get started today.

Language with negative bias denotes problems, complaints, rules or conflict, and without knowing it, you may be blocking or shutting down your progress with the language and words you are using.

Whereas, positive language is infinitely more uplifting and leaves a powerful optimistic impact on your achievements and encourages your Growth Mindset.

Related: Positive Language Improves Your Mindset

Use the following four (4) tips to turn your language and self-talk around to improve your achievements, success and goals:

Tip #1 – Optimism vs Pessimism

You can train your brain to unlearn pessimistic thinking and learn to have a more optimistic outlook. To be optimistic, you will have hope and confidence in yourself as you are today, and for your future.

Here are some examples of changing your self-talk and language from pessimistic to optimistic:

Pessimistic Optimistic
Things aren’t going my way today. I am grateful for today and the lessons I am learning.
I never reach my goals. I am on my way!
I should write down what I have achieved – it’s not much. I am acknowledging my progress. Every step forward, even if it’s a little step, is progress.
I didn’t achieve today. I am becoming who I want to be one day at a time.
I might as well give in. I need to be gentle on myself like I would with a friend.

Before going any further, just take a moment to notice what happens physically, mentally and emotionally, when you read the pessimistic or negative bias statements.

Now, read the optimistic and positive statements and notice these same things. How was the experience different? What did you notice?

You may have noticed that the optimistic statements changed your energy, created feelings of positivity and even hope and allowed you to feel like you can keep moving forward.

If you can shift your perspective and language into the positive, your quality of life and how you experience life, will improve.

Tip #2 – Positive Words Overcome Mindset Blocks and Barriers

When you focus on negative words or concepts, you’re stopping yourself in your tracks – creating unconscious barriers to you achieving your goals.

Using positive language will help you nurture your Growth Mindset and will allow you to keep moving forward towards your goals.

Overcome barriers and blocks by simply being kind and strong with your words. For example,

Old outdated negative language:

I ate a chocolate bar today when I was feeling stressed. I am a failure and should just go get another one because I’ve ruined today.

This type of language and self-talk leads to more binge eating, hating on yourself, and not getting back on track.

New positive and encouraging language:

I ate a chocolate bar when I was stressed. The day isn’t over. I will let this go with some deep breaths and use one of my healthy stress management options, to keep moving forward. My next meal will be what I packed for lunch. I am achieving my goals and I am learning new behaviours for managing stress. I can do this!

This new positive self-talk encourages you to accept that you might not have done what you really wanted to do however, you understand that you are not perfect and are human.

This means you can move forward quickly and get back on track.

You didn’t catastrophise and make this one (1) moment more meaningful and powerful than it was. You understood it and actioned your positive strategy. This meant that you didn’t spiral into a Binge Mindset or behaviour. . .

 

Tip #3 – Words and Language Matter!

Even if you tweek one (1) word in your sentence, you can make a big difference to your Mindset and perceptions. This will propel you forward and you will start to make leaps and bounds in your progress towards your goals.

Here are just a few examples of small words you CAN change:

Negative  Positive 
I shouldn’t I choose
I should I will
I never I sometimes
I always I do
I can’t I can
I won’t I will!

Tip #4 – The Power of Positivity

From the above examples you can see that Positivity is POWERFUL! And by using the power of positivity you can build behaviours and actions which are supportive of your goals, even if you have a setback.

This is a lot of information and I would love to hear from you what you WILL change to create a positive Mindset for yourself using optimistic, affirming and caring language.

Comment below – I would love to hear from you.