Self-talk is pretty universal. Though you may not be aware of it, we all have con- versations with ourselves quite naturally throughout our waking hours. How about you? What have you said to yourself today? Was it helpful? Was it kind? How did you feel?
“Creating a life of meaning and purpose requires listening to your own self-talk.”
At the beginning of each year we often write about our intentions for the New Year … the promises we make about how we’d like to improve. How have you done so far? Have you had any conversations with yourself about your intentions or accomplishments?

Moving into spring often brings thoughts of spring cleaning and de-cluttering. Since tax season is just around the corner, we may need to focus on financial concerns. And let’s not forget that summer and bathing suit season will be here in no time. What kind of vacation shall we have this year?

Whenever we choose to improve, to begin or to end, it’s impor- tant that we focus on the positive aspects of our goals and circum- stances. If we let our-selves down, self-criti- cism tends to creep in. Instead, let’s be kind and accountable with ourselves and just get back on track.

Words matter! The life you have now is the result of what you think and of the con- versations you have with yourself. Make it a point to be inde- pendent and not be defined by the opin- ions and judgments of others. Creating a life of meaning and purpose requires listening to your own self-talk. Is it helpful, encourag- ing and uplifting? If not, change your self- defeating thinking.

Speaking of conversa- tions, a good way to improve the quality of your relationships and your life is to engage in constructive con- versations with others. Focus on achieving positive outcomes. Optimistic self-talk will increase your self- confidence and self- respect, diminish fear and doubt, and reduce stress. You can coach yourself through most challenging situations with a positive atti- tude and supportive inner dialogue. Always show respect and kindness to yourself and others.


Listen to Yourself.

Notice whether your message is helpful or criti- cal, positive or negative. Think about and feel your pattern of self-talk.

Test Reality.

What would you say to a friend in a similar situation? Is there a more positive way of looking at this?

Challenge the Message.

Listen to your voice and replace the negative or unhelpful thoughts with positive ones. For example, if you are think- ing, “I’ll never be able to do this,” ask yourself instead, “Is there anything I can do that will help me to con- quer this task or project?”

Gain Perspective.

Ask yourself, “Is this situation as bad as I imag- ine? Is there anything good about it? Will this matter in five years?”

Your Inner Voice Includes Conscious and Unconscious Thoughts, Assumptions and Beliefs.

Some self-talk is positive and reasonable – “I’d better study for that exam.” Some is nega- tive or self- defeating – “I’m sure I’m going to fail.” Practice messages that are uplifting and validating. Say aloud what you would like to hear.