Today we continue with a look at ways to boost confidence with directive #4. (HAT TIP: I found this list on the Twitter feed Health & Wellness.)
Practice positive self-talk
I’ve said this numerous times before, but we have a ton of negative influence in our lives. The news broadcast (every channel) seems to be about 90% bad news. Social media disagreements quickly devolve into feuds with tons of hateful language. And there is plenty of genuine injustice we observe in our day-to-day activities. This leads us to want to go to the negative first when something unexpected happens. And if something negative happens multiple times in your life, you will face a huge temptation to blame yourself, even when there is clearly no possibility that the negative thing is anything you said or did. If this continues over time, your confidence will be shattered. That’s where a lot of us are right now.
So what do we do about it? We must practice positive self-talk. Psychology Today defines self-talk as “the process that allows you to discover the obscured optimism, hope, and joy in any given situation.” The folks over at Life Hack have a list of 15 tips on positive self-talk that was originally written by Dr. Magdalena Battles, a Doctor of Psychology. We will focus on 3 of them:
Use Positive Words With Others. If we are negative with our words with others, then we are likely to be negative about ourselves as well. Having negative thoughts leads to negative self-talk. If you are in a negativity rut, then stop now. Start speaking life and affirmation to the people in your life that you love, including yourself.
For example, when you get to work in the morning, do you start your first conversation by complaining about all the things that went wrong with your morning? Or are you grateful that the sun is shining and that you have a job to pay the bills and you express these sentiments to your co-workers? What comes out of your month can be positive or it can be negative. The choice is up to you. If you choose the negative, it will not bring about anything positive for your day or life.
Another example is how we treat our loved ones. Do you constantly nag or find fault in your spouse or partner? Or do you focus on the positives and speak encouraging words?
If you find yourself focusing on the dishes sitting in the sink, leaving wet towels on the floor, and failing to walk the dog once again, you will speak these words to your loved one. When you speak words of negativity, nagging, and fault to your loved ones, they begin to feel negative around you. Their response to you is likely not going to be positive. They will probably respond with a negative remark such as “you always nag me” or “you never help with the laundry.” Thus begins a pattern of negativity.
If you can let the little things go and instead, focus on the positive and use uplifting words, your home life will be much happier. For example, say “thank you for taking out the trash” and “thank you for helping put the kids to bed”. Even if you expect them to do these things, it still feels good to get a compliment and words of praise. These positive words will bring positive words in return and likely more positive actions from them.
Your relationships will become more positive because of your focus on their positive actions. Your willingness to take the time to recognize these things and verbally provide praise and thanks will enhance your relationships. Positivity breeds positivity, and negativity breeds negativity. Choose the positive for yourself and others.
Replace Negative Thoughts With Positive Ones. Negative thoughts happen. It’s hard to provide yourself with positive thoughts all the time. However, you can start replacing negative thoughts with the positive ones. There is always a flip side or upside to any situation. It’s up to you to start finding the positive in order to begin changing your negatives into positives.
For example, if you have a tendency to tell yourself that you are fat, you will feel fat and bad about the way you appear. If you aren’t fat, then stop telling yourself this message! If you are overweight but are working to improve your physical health, then focus on those thoughts. When it pops into your mind that you look fat as you wash your hands at the bathroom mirror, replace those thoughts immediately. Instead, tell yourself that you are working to make positive changes in your physique and are making strides in being healthier every day. Say “job well done” when you get your workouts done. Give yourself a mental pat on the back and feel good about what you are doing for yourself.
If the message that you are feeding yourself is false, then stop. Replace the thoughts with correct messages such as “I am fit, in shape, and I should be proud of how hard I have worked to get to my physical fitness level”. If you concentrate on the negative, you are mentally holding yourself back from trying again.
Post Positive Affirmation. A great way to provide positive self-talk to yourself is to write it down. Have positive mantras, scriptures, and affirmations written and posted for you to view throughout your day. Post them on your refrigerator, your bathroom mirror, next to your computer screen, or wherever you can see them often on a daily basis.
Having positive messages around you helps to shape positive self-talk in your mind. Here are some examples that you can post on your bathroom mirror today:
- I am adventurous and I am embrace all that life has to offer.
- I feed my spirit daily.
- I am in charge of how I feel today.
- I am grateful for _____.
- I will choose happiness and gratitude today.
- I am special and unique, nobody else in the world is exactly like me.
- I am proud of myself for _____.
- I show love to myself and others daily in all that I do.
- I find joy in all situations.
- I am kind to others and to myself.
- I am of value and have purpose in this world.
As I stated, there are 15 tips in that article, and we will probably visit some of the others as we keep exploring ways to build confidence.
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