How to Self-Talk Your Way Out of a Tough Spot

We have somewhere between 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts every day, and 85 percent of those thoughts are worrying, fearfulness, or putting ourselves down.

Most people aren’t aware of it, but an internal voice within us determines how we think and how we deal.

Psychologists call our internal voice self-talk. Often it’s distorted in negativity–not because we want it so, but because we don’t know how to manage it.

Here are 10 smart ways to manage your self-talk if you need to talk yourself out of tough spots.

1. Remember that all of us do it. We all have voices in our head that talk to us on an almost constant basis. Whenever you think about something, you’re essentially talking to yourself. But if your thoughts frequently contain words like never, should, and can’t; complaints; whining; or thoughts that diminish your own or another’s self-worth, they may be keeping you from the success you deserve.

2. Take care when you’re evaluating options.
Self-talk can help you evaluate your options–a time when it’s especially important to summon positive thoughts.

3. Let it serve as a reminder. Self-talk often supplies reminders of things you need to think about or attend to. Sometimes, however, self-protection leads to a kind of denial in which self-talk may lead you to erroneously think you have things under control.

4. Don’t let it run away from you. Self-talk can sometimes run at the mercy of circumstances, berating you for mistakes and being self-congratulatory when something goes right. But since your thoughts affect your emotions, it’s always best–especially if it’s taking a turn for the negative–to keep your self-talk on an even keel.

5. Shut down the personal critic. Most of us have a personal critic at close call in our head, but tempering its voice is important if you want to be free to achieve great things.

6. Change your limiting beliefs. The good news is that if you can recognize a negative or limiting thought, you can consciously choose to change it. The main application of controlling self-talk is to change limiting and self-defeating beliefs–especially those that deal harshly with you as an individual.

7. Be open to positivity and encouragement. It’s possible to have self-talk and inner dialogue in which thoughts are positive and beliefs are encouraging and open to the possibilities. Positive self-talk leaves you feeling capable and in control. Use that force as fuel to go for that promotion, work toward your goals, and live your best life.

8. Constantly listen and revise. If you find yourself saying negative things to yourself, give yourself a pep talk and shift your view to become more positive.

9. Practice effective affirmations. Effective self-talk affirmations are not offhand sentences that you mouth off randomly. They focus on the end result and help you deal directly with any issues and problems that may be holding you back. Remember to keep affirmations concise, positive, and in the present tense.

10. Stay with it. We have on average between 50,000 and 70,000 thoughts a day–about 35 to 48 a minute. That’s a lot of messages. Be constantly mindful of what your self-talk is saying, with a focus on keeping it positive.

Remember, success comes to those who believe in themselves and know the things they tell themselves to be true.

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R


What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR,, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

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