12 Techniques | How to Practice Positive Self-Talk

 Positive self-talk is a powerful tool that can greatly impact our lives. The way we talk to ourselves internally influences our thoughts, emotions, and actions. 

a person viewing him self in a mirror

When we practice positive self-talk, we cultivate a supportive, encouraging, and optimistic mindset.

This can lead to increased self-confidence, improved mental well-being, and a more optimistic outlook on life.

Understanding Negative Self-Talk

Before we dive into the benefits of positive self-talk, it's important to recognize and understand negative self-talk. 

Negative self-talk is internal dialogue that focuses on flaws, mistakes, and shortcomings. It often involves self-criticism, self-doubt, and distorted interpretations of situations. 

This type of self-talk can damage our self-esteem and overall well-being.

A sad person seating on a desk

Benefits of Practicing Positive Self-Talk

Practicing positive self-talk has numerous benefits for our mental and emotional well-being. Firstly, it builds self-confidence and self-esteem. 

By replacing negative thoughts with positive and empowering ones, we can boost our belief in ourselves and our abilities.

This increased self-confidence can have a significant ripple effect in all areas of our lives, from our careers to our relationships.

Related: How to Practice Gratitude and Mindfulness

12 Techniques for Practicing Positive Self-Talk

Now that we understand the benefits of practicing positive self-talk, let's explore some techniques that can help us incorporate this empowering habit into our daily lives.

  1. Mirror Work: Stand in front of a mirror and speak positive affirmations out loud to yourself. For example, say things like, "I am confident," "I am worthy of love and respect," or "I believe in myself." Seeing yourself saying these affirmations reinforces their positive impact.
  2. Identify Trigger Situations: Pay attention to situations or environments that tend to trigger negative self-talk. When you recognize them, be prepared to counter those negative thoughts with positive affirmations or statements.
  3. Use the Third Person: Instead of using "I" in your positive self-talk, refer to yourself in the third person. This subtle shift can make it feel as if you're talking to a friend or offering encouragement to someone else.
  4. Create a Positive Affirmations List: Write down a list of positive affirmations that resonate with you. Keep the list handy on your phone or in a notebook, and read through them regularly, especially during challenging times.
  5. Visual Reminders: Place post-it notes with positive messages around your living or working space. These visual reminders will prompt you to engage in positive self-talk whenever you see them.
  6. Transform Negative Thoughts: When a negative thought arises, immediately reframe it into a positive one. For instance, if you think, "I always mess things up," change it to, "I am learning and improving with every experience."
  7. Practice Gratitude Daily: Each day, write down three things you're grateful for. Gratitude cultivates a positive mindset and helps counterbalance negative thinking.
  8. Record Your Positive Self-Talk: Use a voice recorder or a smartphone app to record yourself saying positive affirmations. Listen to these recordings regularly, especially during times when you need a confidence boost.
  9. Associate with Positive People: Surround yourself with people who uplift and support you. Positive company can reinforce positive self-talk and discourage negative influences.
  10. Use Humor: Sometimes, a lighthearted approach can work wonders. Laugh at your mistakes or find humor in situations instead of being overly critical of yourself.
  11. Set Realistic Goals: Set achievable goals for yourself, and celebrate your progress. Acknowledging your accomplishments fuels positive self-talk and motivation.
  12. Practice Daily Positive Intentions: Each morning, set a positive intention for the day. For example, "Today, I will be patient with myself and focus on my strengths

Positive Self-Talk Affirmations and Their Role

Affirmations are positive statements we repeat to ourselves to foster positive beliefs and thoughts. They can be used to counteract negative self-talk and replace it with more empowering and supportive messages. 

For example, if we find ourselves thinking, "I'm not good enough," we can replace that thought with an affirmation such as, "I am capable and deserving of success."

To make affirmations more effective, it's imperative to personalize them and tailor them to our own goals and aspirations. Writing them down and saying them out loud can also enhance their impact. 

By incorporating affirmations into our daily routine, we can gradually rewire our internal dialogue and cultivate a more positive mindset.

Challenging and Replacing Negative Thoughts

Another technique for practicing positive self-talk is to challenge and replace negative thoughts. This involves becoming aware of our destructive self-talk patterns and actively questioning their validity. 

For example, if we catch ourselves thinking, "I always mess things up," we can ask ourselves, "Is that really true? Have there been times when I have succeeded?" By challenging these negative thoughts, we can shift our perspective and replace them with more balanced and realistic ones.

Identifying Negative Self-Talk Patterns

To effectively practice positive self-talk, it's imperative to identify and understand our negative self-talk patterns. These patterns are often deeply ingrained and can be triggered by specific situations or events. 

When we become aware of these patterns, we can interrupt them and replace them with more positive and supportive ones.

One way to identify negative self-talk patterns is to keep a journal or record of our thoughts and emotions throughout the day. 

We can identify recurring negative thoughts or themes by reviewing these entries. We can then challenge and replace these patterns with more positive and empowering self-talk.

Identifying Negative Self-Talk Patterns

5 Examples of Positive Self-Talk

To illustrate the power of positive self-talk, let's explore some examples of positive statements we can incorporate into our daily lives:

  1. "I am capable of achieving my goals."

  2. "I am worthy of love and respect."

  3. "I embrace challenges as opportunities for growth."

  4. "I am grateful for the abundance in my life."

  5. "I choose to focus on the positive aspects of every situation."

Using these positive affirmations regularly can shift our mindset and cultivate a more positive outlook on life.

7 Steps to Creating a Positive Self-Talk Routine

To make positive self-talk a consistent habit, it's imperative to create a routine that works for us. Here are 7 steps to establish a positive self-talk routine:

  1. Set aside dedicated time each day for positive self-talk. This could be in the morning, before bed, or during a break in our day.

  2. Find a quiet and comfortable space where we can reflect and engage in positive self-talk without distractions.

  3. Start by taking a few deep breaths and centering ourselves in the present moment.

  4. Begin repeating affirmations or engaging in positive self-talk, focusing on empowering and supportive messages.

  5. Take note of any resistance or negative thoughts that arise and actively challenge and replace them with more positive alternatives.

  6. Practice gratitude by reflecting on the positive aspects of our lives and expressing appreciation for them.

  7. End the routine by setting an intention or goal for the day ahead, reinforcing our positive self-talk and mindset.

How to Overcome Obstacles to Practicing Positive Self-Talk

While practicing positive self-talk can be transformative, it's also necessary to acknowledge and address obstacles along the way. The following are some common obstacles and strategies for overcoming them:

  1. Negative self-talk habits: Breaking long-standing negative self-talk habits can take time and effort. Be patient with ourselves and continue practicing positive self-talk consistently.

  2. External negativity: Surrounding ourselves with negative people or environments can make it challenging to maintain positive self-talk. Seek out supportive communities and limit exposure to negativity when possible.

  3. Self-doubt: Doubting our ability to practice positive self-talk can hinder our progress. Remind ourselves that change is possible and focus on the benefits we have already experienced.

  4. Setbacks and failures: When faced with setbacks or failures, it's easy to fall back into negative self-talk. Treat setbacks as learning opportunities and use positive self-talk to reframe the experience.

Resources for Further Learning Positive Self Talk

If we are interested in delving deeper into positive self-talk, there are many resources available to support our journey. Here are some recommendations.

  1. Books: "The Power of Positive Thinking" by Norman Vincent Peale and "You Are a Badass" by Jen Sincero are great starting points for exploring positive self-talk.

  2. Online Courses: Platforms like Udemy and Coursera offer courses on positive psychology and self-improvement that can provide valuable insights and tools.

  3. Therapeutic Support: Counseling or therapy can be helpful if negative self-talk is deeply ingrained or causing significant distress.

Conclusion: Embracing the Power of Positive Self-Talk

In conclusion, practicing positive self-talk is a transformative practice that can enhance our well-being, boost our self-confidence, and improve our overall outlook on life.

So let's start today and rewire your internal dialogue for a brighter and more fulfilling future.

Start incorporating positive self-talk into your daily routine and witness the transformative power it holds.

Remember, change takes time and practice, so be patient with yourself and celebrate each small step forward.

10 Best Positive Self Talk Quotes

  1. The Way You Talk to Yourself Creates Your Reality
  2. Talk to Yourself as You Would Someone You Love
  3. I’m Not Perfect, But I’m Doing My Best
  4. Don't be a Victim of Negative Self Talk, Remember You are Listening
  5. Self-Suggestion Makes You Master of Yourself
  6. Our Deepest Fear is That We are Powerful Beyond Measure
  7. Remember That Positive Self Talk is an Intrinsic Part of a Healthy Mind
  8. Everything You Attract Into Your Life is a Reflection of the Story You Believe and Keep Telling Yourself
  9. Sometimes Nothing is Happening and All That Disaster Just Happens in Your Mind
  10. A Strong, Positive Self Image is the Best Possible Preparation for Success


Why is positive self-talk important?

Positive self-talk is crucial because it shapes our mindset and influences how we perceive ourselves and the world. It boosts confidence, resilience, and overall well-being.

Can positive self-talk reduce stress and anxiety?

Absolutely! Positive self-talk can calm the mind, challenge negative thoughts, and promote a sense of control, reducing stress and anxiety levels significantly.

Will positive self-talk improve self-esteem?

Yes, positive self-talk enhances self-esteem by reinforcing self-belief, acknowledging achievements, and nurturing a compassionate inner dialogue.

What challenges may arise in practicing positive self-talk?

Some challenges include breaking old negative thinking patterns, staying consistent, and being patient during learning.

How long before I see results from positive self-talk?

Results vary, but with regular practice, you may notice improvements in your outlook and emotional well-being within a few weeks.

Can positive self-talk overcome fears?

Absolutely! Positive self-talk empowers you to challenge and reframe your fears, giving you the confidence to face and overcome them.

How can I make positive self-talk a habit?

Make it a daily practice by catching negative thoughts and replacing them with positive affirmations. Use reminders, journaling, and self-compassion to reinforce the habit.