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How to Replace Negative Self-Talk With Affirmations

Listen to this episode of the Focus with Marlene Podcast:

Get caught up with all episodes in the Developing a New Focus series.

This is part 2 in my series, “Focus on Where You Want to Go.”

Part 1: What Do I Want to Do With The Rest of My Life?

“You always fail.”

“You are too stupid to learn.”

“You will make a mess of anything you do.”

Negative messages repeated over and over make it difficult for us to believe in ourselves. We soon personalize them and repeat them in our self-talk:

I keep failing.

I can’t really trust myself.

I have to be careful, or others will find out just how inept I am.

I can’t risk being rejected again.

If others don’t believe in me, how can I believe in me?

When we look at ourselves through a negative lens every day, our thinking and beliefs become skewed, biased, and irrational. We cannot problem-solve because we believe there are no solutions.

We develop tunnel vision that sees things in only one way. We diminish anything positive and embellish all things negative. We screen out possibilities and alternative options. This soon becomes a vicious cycle, repeating itself, growing with intensity, and eventually becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

How do we stop it?

Here is a strategy that replaces the cycle of “I can’t” with, “I will make mistakes but that is how I learn. I trust myself to learn.”

How to implement this strategy

Imagine you are holding a remote in your hand. When you hear yourself repeating negative thoughts over and over again, push the STOP button.

Then do a quick analysis of what triggered those negative thoughts. Is it something I need to attend to, take care of, or get more information to properly process?

You hold the remote control of how you choose to respond to life. Tell yourself you are in control – that you can discern real danger from imagined danger.

Because you are capable, you can consider every situation logically and calmly.

To help reduce constant negativity, challenge and alter negative emotional responses and change your ongoing self-talk.

Include affirmations

Affirmations are a way to replace old messages that hurt instead of help. They are positive statements that are stated in the present tense, as though they already exist. They are personal, simple, and realistic.

Repeat affirmations throughout the day. Write them down on sticky notes and place them around the house: bathroom, refrigerator, computer.

Carry them with you in your purse, place them on the car dashboard, etc.

Here are some examples of positive affirmations. Choose five to start.

  • I like myself unconditionally.
  • I am in charge of my life.
  • I am flexible and adjust well to change.
  • My mind is calm, and my breathing is relaxed and effortless.
  • I remain calm under pressure and stress.
  • I am responsible for all my responses to all people and events in life.
  • I can make wise choices.
  • I am prepared to meet all challenges.
  • I am happy and healthy.
  • My thoughts are positive and optimistic.

Next week, we will work further on taking an inventory of what we do and how it fits with what we want to do.

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