April 30


Talk to Yourself? Make it Worthwhile!

By Sue Ingebretson

April 30, 2013

Affirmations, encouragements, inner voice, motivational quotes, positivity, self-talk


Talk is cheap. It’s also mean, vindictive, spiteful, and malicious. At least that’s what I’d think if I were to base my opinion on what others tell me.

When I work with clients, we often get into conversations about how they talk to themselves. What’s their self-talk like? How’s their inner game?

I make it a point to let them tell me – in their own words – the phrases that keep them up at night. What sentences run on autopilot? And … whose voice do they hear? A mother? Father? Grandparent? Former boss or spouse? The answers can be very surprising, enlightening, and often disconcerting.

When I hear them recite phrases such as “I knew you’d never make it” or “You’re such a loser!” it simply breaks my heart. Clearing out the clutter of what we say to ourselves is important, but it’s equally important to fill that newly “remodeled” space with powerful words that are supportive and helpful.

Let’s take a look at three simple ways to do just that. Try these to improve the internal vocabulary of what flits through your mind on a daily basis.

Gratitude Journal

           Affirmations and Encouragements – these are easy to come up with, but may be hard to say and repeat. Sometimes, it’s hard to say positive things about yourself . It takes practice, but I can only point out that the value of this exercise far exceeds the momentary discomfort you may experience. Make a list of positive words and phrases such as: I’m a good person. I care for others and I care for myself. I do my best to live a healthy lifestyle. I’m open to trying new and different things such as natural foods and exercise routines. Write down these phrases and carry them with you or place them where you’d see them often.

            Gratitude – it may sound strange, but being grateful for people and things (outside your own daily life) is one of the best ways to empower yourself. It helps to set a standard for new behavior. Gratitude builds as it’s recognized. As you look for things for which to be grateful, you’ll find that you’re more grateful in general. To learn about keeping a Gratitude Journal read this post.  

           Motivational Quotes – reading positive quotes can be very helpful, especially when they’re particularly meaningful to you. Did you know that you can search online for quotes on any given subject? (I spent FAR too much time researching the quotes that I included in my book, FibroWHYalgia, but that’s another story!). From my experience, simply reading several positive quotes on a subject of concern can make me feel validated and supported. Select one that’s a favorite, write it down, and commit it to memory. That makes much better use of your mental skills!

Try all three methods and let me know your favorite ideas on the subject. How have you improved your self-talk? What are your favorite words or phrases to repeat?  

  1. I do all of these …and the searching for quotes the most. It IS hard to say something positive about yourself …easy to do that for others. Practice, practice, practice…

    1. Isn’t it easy to lost in the “quote searching” process? I have to set a timer, so I don’t completely lose an afternoon 😉

  2. I do thank God for all my blessings, my family, my friends, the roof over my head etc…and I do try and read positive affirmations daily….the self-talk…well not always so good…but will try harder…and I already keep a journal of my thoughts and feelings…thanks for your thoughts on this Sue x

    1. Val – you’re on the right track and it’s the effort and the focus that counts. Bless you!

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