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The Power of Self Talk

By Dr. Ivette Russo

“Words are powerful. Be careful how you use them because once you have pronounced them, you cannot remove the scar they leave behind,” Vashti Quiroz-Vega. Have you ever talked to yourself while engaging in an activity? Do you find it strange when you or others engage in private self talk? Well, the truth is, it is a normal human experience to engage in a private inner dialogue. Most people may think that they have no control over their self talk and often experience it as a nuisance rather than a way to achieve their dreams and goals. The good news is that we actually do have a lot of control over how we talk to ourselves, and it all starts with being aware of what we are telling ourselves.

Self-talk is powerful. It has the ability to either lift you up or bring you crashing down. It has a tremendous impact on our lives. The good news is that we have a choice in how we talk to ourselves, which also means we have a choice in how we feel and behave as a result. The first step is becoming aware of your self-talk. Then you can start replacing your self –talk with more positive and realistic thoughts. Below are some tips to challenge your self-talk.

Using goal-directed thinking

  • Is thinking this way helping me to feel good or to achieve my goals?
  • What can I do that will help me solve the problem?
  • Is there something I can learn from this situation, to help me do it better next time?

Reality testing

  • What is my evidence for and against my thinking?
  • Are my thoughts factual, or are they just my interpretations?
  • Am I jumping to negative conclusions?
  • How can I find out if my thoughts are actually true?

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