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Challenging your inner critic/pessimist: Positive self-talk

Engaging in positive self-talk might feel really cheesy at first, like you're a walking cliché... But if you're able to do it, it can greatly impact your self-esteem, confidence, and overall mental well-being. Our anxiety is often driven by these thoughts in our head that AREN"T EVEN TRUE! Think about all the times you convinced yourself that the exam, party, performance, etc. was going to be terrible... and then it wasn't that bad. Developing a positive self-narrator can improve your self-esteem, reduce anxiety, improve your relationships, and so much more. Check out some ways to help you develop this practice and reap its benefits:

Be Aware of Your Inner Dialogue: Start paying attention to the thoughts and words you use when talking to yourself. Are they uplifting and encouraging, or do they tend to be negative and critical? Recognizing your inner dialogue is the first step towards making a change.

Challenge Negative Thoughts: When you catch yourself thinking negatively about yourself ("I'm not good enough," "I always mess things up"), challenge those thoughts. Ask yourself if they're based on facts or if they're just assumptions. Replace them with more realistic and positive statements.

Practice Self-Compassion: We often go much easier on others than we do ourselves... Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would offer a friend. If you make a mistake, instead of berating yourself, remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes, and it's an opportunity to learn and grow. A trick to help do this is to use "you" instead of "I" in your self-talk.

Use Affirmations: Create positive affirmations that reflect your strengths, qualities, and goals. Repeat these affirmations daily to reinforce positive beliefs about yourself. For example, "I am capable" or "I am worthy of love and respect." Channel your inner-Rebecca and pose in front of the mirror. Don't be a Nate and spit on it... he had a great character arc but still, that was pretty gross.

Focus on Achievements and Progress: Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. Keep a journal where you write down your achievements, goals reached, and positive experiences. This can serve as a reminder of your abilities and progress over time.

Practice Gratitude: Regularly take a moment to reflect on things you're grateful for in your life. Focusing on the positive aspects can shift your perspective and help reduce negative self-talk.

Surround Yourself with Positivity: Surround yourself with supportive and positive people who uplift and encourage you. Avoid spending time with individuals who consistently bring you down.

Visualize Success: Visualize yourself succeeding in various situations. This can help boost your confidence and reduce anxiety by familiarizing your mind with positive outcomes.

Avoid Comparisons: Comparing yourself to others can lead to negative self-talk. E.g., when my twin brother compares himself to me he often feels bad. Just kidding! Remember that everyone has their own journey, and you are unique in your own way.

Seek Professional Help if Needed: If you find it challenging to overcome negative self-talk on your own, consider seeking guidance from a therapist or counselor. They can provide personalized strategies and support to help you develop a positive mindset.

Remember, developing positive self-talk is a skill that takes time and practice. Be patient with yourself as you work on changing your inner dialogue and cultivating a more optimistic mindset.

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