What To Say When You Talk To Yourself
Do you talk to yourself? It is not as odd or uncommon as it might seem. And it doesn’t mean literally talking to yourself, but talking to yourself in your head.
This is something everyone does anyway. And, in this article, we are referring to pep talk, mantras, inspirational inner dialog, and self-motivation.
You might already do this. In fact, it’s common when you are nervous or anxious about something, struggling to get through a task or a difficult situation, experiencing self-doubt, feeling down and depressed, or overthinking.
The mind is a powerful tool, but a lot of us fail to use it to our advantage — it is always the mind that gives up before the body.
Because of this, some of the most important conversations you will have in life are the conversations you have with yourself.
In this guide, we give advice on what to say when you talk to yourself. Specifically, when you are nervous, doubting yourself, feeling depressed, or need mental strength.
It is natural to run through our weaknesses when we are feeling nervous about something or faced with a difficult situation. When this happens, we forget our strengths altogether.
All of us are strong in our own way. And it is important to remember these strengths when we are struggling, afraid, or experiencing self-doubt.
So, when you talk to yourself, cast your mind on your strengths and find power in them – even if those strengths are not relevant to the situation at hand.
You do have strengths and, therefore, you are strong.
Like our strengths, we can draw on our past achievements to find mental strength in any difficult situation or moment of mental hardship.
Big or small, our past achievements are sources of strength that we can recall to get through moments of weakness. And even if your past achievements seem small against others, consider what you went through to achieve them.
When you talk to yourself for motivation and strength, say “If I did ;”>that, then I can get through this.”
When we are faced with a difficult task or situation, it is natural to reel off what could go wrong. The mind goes into hyper self-criticism mode – a voice telling us that we can’t do it and we aren’t good enough.
This is natural, but we can also neutralize it.
It is important to train the other voice: your “opposite voice”. You do this by telling yourself the opposite of what you feel. When your mind tells you that you can’t, you tell it that you can.
In this way, you have to imagine the negative thoughts you are having as coming from someone else – a coach or a worst enemy. Tell them that you can and prove them wrong.
In the midst of struggle, difficulty, and hardship, we tend to forget the end reward or goal.
And whether it’s a new job, graduating, exercising, or getting out of a bad place, it’s invaluable to remember why we are doing it and what will come from it.
When you talk to yourself, remind yourself of why you set out to do something in the first place, why you wanted it so badly, and what you will get out of it by powering through. It might be something physical, or it might be something intangible, simple – like happiness.
Whatever it is, have a conversation with yourself about the rewards to inspire you to keep going.
There is power in the truth. The problem is that most of us cower away from the truth and carve out safe spaces that comfort and shelter us from reality. The result is we don’t grow.
It is actually liberating to mentally confront our weaknesses head-on and accept that we need to work on them. After all, the only way to overcome our weaknesses is to conquer them and put them to bed. And doing so builds confidence and resilience.
For this reason, it’s both empowering and liberating to tell yourself the truth. If you want something but are avoiding it because it makes you afraid, talk to yourself and tell yourself that you need to face it to overcome that fear.
In the end, if something scares you or makes you nervous, there’s a good chance it is something you need to do for yourself.
Strength In Failure
Most of us are scared of trying new things or putting ourselves out there because we are scared of failure or embarrassment. We are addicted to staying in the comfort zone and, as a result, we don’t grow, learn, or become mentally stronger.
What you should say to yourself when you are scared of failing is that there is incredible power in failure. Failure teaches valuable life lessons, presents new courses of action, and builds raw resilience.
In fact, it is for these reasons that we should tell ourselves to welcome and embrace failure. After all, you miss all of the shots that you don’t take. By allowing the fear of failure to dictate what we attempt or not, we are giving up before even trying.
When you are feeling like you can’t do something, or you can’t carry on, ask yourself two simple words: What if?
In other words: What if I can do this?
What if are two powerful words that, when you say them to yourself, tilt the balance in your mind. It presents an instant change in mindset that considers the real possibility that you can, in fact, do what you are attempting to do and will make it out the other side.
So, the next time you are talking to yourself, having self-doubt, and feeling like you can’t carry on, ask yourself What if?
The mind is a powerful tool when we learn how to harness it properly. We are who we think we are and, in the end, it is what we tell ourselves and believe about ourselves that matters when it comes to what we can achieve.
After all, life is a mind game and we are only competing against ourselves. The talks we have with ourselves can be our best friend or worst enemy, which makes them some of the most important conversations we will ever have.
Author: Michelle Landeros, LMFT
Michelle Landeros is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT). She is passionate about helping individuals, couples and families thrive.
Last updated: November 29, 2023