What do you expect?

Use Positive Self-Talk

to Reduce Stress

Positive self-talk is vital for stress reduction. In fact, I often remind people that it is critical to use positive self-talk to master one’s mind in order to reduce stress. But what exactly does that mean? In short, it’s about using positive self-talk to focus your expectations. Do you expect success? Or do you expect failure? While most people claim to expect success, the reality is that their negative self-talk is setting them up for failure, which in turn leads to stress.

When you expect failure, you communicate your expectations to your subconscious mind. Your brain accepts the notion and prompts your mindset as if you will fail. You actually program yourself in a negative way. This negative thinking creates anxiety that contributes to stress. Have you ever caught yourself saying things like, “I’m not good at.…” or “This will never work” or “I’m wasting my time. I should just quit now”? These are all phrases that set you up to fail. 

In contrast, when you expect to succeed, you use positive self-talk to empower your subconscious to prompt success. This kind of self-talk sounds like this: “I’ve got this” or “I’m not sure how to do this, but I can surely figure it out” or “Yes, I can make this work.”

Notice the difference?

Positive Self-Talk in Action

To this day, I vividly recall my positive self-talk as I sat to take the written examination for my post-graduate degree. I studied and reviewed all my notes, studied and reviewed again, and then studied and reviewed a third time. I recall saying to myself something that sounded like, "Okay, let me show you what I have learned and why I am qualified and deserve to receive this degree." I have often reflected on what a great feeling I had taking that final exam for my doctorate.

Optimism and positivity can lead to the extra effort that could be the difference between success and failure. In short, your subconscious expectations can be the spark that leads to success.

Tip: Positive self-talk plays a substantial role in your success and happiness. Negative self-talk has the opposite effect. So indulge in positivity—rather than listening to your doubts. Remember that how you think and what you think about are your choices.

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