Research has shown that negative self talk can profoundly impact your self-confidence. Positive thinkers tend to have higher levels of self-esteem and general life satisfaction than those who don’t think positively. Suppose you want to improve how confident you feel in any given situation. In that case, you must eliminate negative automatic thoughts from running your life.
Most thoughts are subconscious and automatic.
Most of our suffering comes from our ordinary thinking. Ordinary thinking is often referred to as the monkey mind. The average person has around 12,000-60,000 thoughts a day, and 80% are repetitive and negative. Often they are about past regrets, fear, self-criticism, and blame.
And the worst part? You start to identify with those racing negative thoughts. Thoughts are what cause emotions. What you feel is a product of what you are thinking about, even if you aren’t aware of it.
Unchecked automatic negative thinking causes intense, chaotic energy and really distorted thinking. That distorted thinking leads to difficult and painful emotions. Can you imagine if you reminded your best friend or your child 20,000 a day of all the things that are wrong with them?
You would never do that!
Your thoughts and beliefs influence how you talk to yourself. Is your inner dialog primarily positive or negative self talk?
Why your self talk matters.
Your thoughts and beliefs are intertwined. Your self talk reinforces your belief system. And in turn, your beliefs influence how you look at yourself and the world. They go hand in hand.
The problem is that negative beliefs, just like thoughts, are most often unconscious. Almost 95%, actually. We are only conscious of about 5% of what we believe!
This is REALLY important because what you believe becomes your reality.
We aren’t asking you to believe in manifestation or law of attraction or even agree with us spiritually on this point. You might think it’s all crap, which is totally up to you. This is your life. However, there is scientific evidence to support this. Your brain will seek out information to validate and support what you believe—it’s called confirmation bias. If you believe that you aren’t good enough or are totally unlovable, your magnificent brain will purposely gather evidence to prove you are right.
So what do you do? Start with changing they way you talk to yourself—it’s much easier than changing your beliefs. Be more conscious in the thoughts you choose to have—and that’s where positive affirmations come into the picture.
What are positive affirmations?
Affirmations are the practice of repeating positive statements to yourself. While affirmations have been represented in comedy and may seem a bit corny, they are straight-up backed by science. You can literally rewire your brain by repeating affirmations.
Rewire your brain to think different thoughts.
Neural pathways are created in the brain based on our habits and behaviors. The more often you repeat something, the stronger the pathways become. They form paths or roads that are commonly traveled. With enough repetition, the behaviors become automatic.
The great news is that just because we have formed neural pathways that might be negative doesn’t mean you are stuck with them! Your brain creates new neural pathways as you practice new activities, behaviors, and thoughts. The brain literally can change! It’s called neuroplasticity.
By repeating affirmations, you are creating new ways of thinking that become so natural and engrained that, over time, they become automatic. When you consistently think good thoughts about yourself, you consistently feel good about yourself!
Positive affirmations literally rewire your brain so that negative self talk becomes a thing of the past. You experience:
- Increased confidence
- More self-love
- Improved mental and emotional health
- Better sleep quality
- Less stress and anxiety
- More positive outlook on life
- A greater sense of control over your life
Sounds fantastic, right?
How do you create affirmations to overcome negative self talk?
Creating affirmations is an easy process but requires some self-reflection. Sit down with your journal and answer these journal prompts:
- Describe a situation or event that makes you feel insecure and lowers your confidence. (ex. “My partner left me for someone else.”)
- Write down some thoughts you said to yourself at the time. (ex. “I’m not lovable.” “No one wants me.”)
- Now, turn each of those thoughts around into positive statements (aka. affirmations). Choose positive statements that make you feel good. You should have a strong positive emotion when you read your affirmation. Here are some examples:
You did it! You’ve created a list of positive affirmations that are tailored just to YOU!
How to use affirmations to achieve your goals.
Repeat your affirmations OFTEN. Remember, you are trying to silence the 12,000-60,000 automatic thoughts you have a day that makes up your negative self talk. You’ll need to remind yourself to do them. Read and repeat them in your head or out loud as often as possible. Our favorite times are first thing in the morning, a few times at lunch, and then right before we go to sleep.
Here are some suggestions for reminding yourself to use your affirmations:
- Write down positive statements on a post-it and then tape them to your bathroom mirror.
- Write them on a piece of paper and put them on your nightstand so you can read them first thing in the morning and right before you go to sleep at night.
- Type them in your Notes app on your phone and set a reminder to read them.
- Say your affirmations while you go for a walk or exercise. (Studies have shown that when you are learning something new while also moving your body, your brain remembers the new skill. You are quickly creating those new positive self-love brain pathways!
And that’s it! Affirmations are so powerful. They are the cornerstone of positive change. We encourage you to make them a daily practice.
Give them time, remember you are literally rewiring your brain! We promise that over time your negative self talk will be replaced by life-affirming automatic thinking that will give you unstoppable self-confidence and totally transform your life.
Having problems? Read about the 6 reasons affirmations don’t work.