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Positive self talk

How you talk to yourself can have a huge impact on your mood, self-confidence, and how you respond to people and situations.

Self-talk is an internal dialogue influenced by your subconscious mind. It can be either positive or negative. Generally, optimistic people will experience more positive self-talk. But it’s not always the case. Sometimes it’s hard to be positive with yourself after failing an important test, experiencing embarrassment, or seeing a few extra kilos on the scale.

Knowing when you’re thinking negatively

According to Healthline.com there are four different ways people can fall into negative self-talk, including:

  • Personalising: when you blame yourself for everything
  • Magnifying: when you focus on the negative aspects of a situation and ignore any positives
  • Catastrophising: when you expect the worst whilst ignoring logic or reason to persuade you otherwise
  • Polarising: when you see the world in black and white, or good and bad. There’s little in between and no middle ground for processing and categorising life events.

Examples of when your self-talk might be negative

The first step to improving your self-talk is to identify when you are thinking negatively. Some examples of changing your self-talk from negative to positive include:

“I was the reason my team lost because I couldn’t defend that pass”
Instead: I am part of a team, we win and lose together. Next week I’ll work on my defending.

“I got a Pass on this assignment when I thought I’d do better. I’m going to fail this unit now”
Instead:  I tried my best with this assignment, and I’ll improve on the next. If I fail, I can always repeat it.

“They are going to hate me if I change my mind”
Instead: I am allowed to change my mind, and I am not responsible for others’ emotions. They will understand.  

Creating positive self-talk habits

Did you know you can reprogram your mind to change your thinking? Positive affirmations have incredible power in speaking to your subconscious and can help in changing your way of thinking during certain situations in your day-to-day.

Affirmations to say to yourself every day

Say them enough, and they will begin to stick.

  1. I am in control of my life. Things can happen out of our control – 2020 definitely taught us this – but what you are in control of is your actions, your responses, and your inactions.
  2. I can handle anything that comes my way. This goes hand-in-hand with the first affirmation. If you are in control of your response to a situation, then you can most certainly overcome it too.  Siri play “stronger” by Kelly Clarkson”you’re welcome.
  3. I have all the strength and confidence within me that I need to succeed. When was the last time you focused on your accomplishments? Big, or small – performance comes from within, and so it’s important you remind yourself of the times when achieved something.  #yougotthis
  4. The important thing is that I’ve learnt something. You learn something new everyday right?!  Did you notice how some of our examples on positive thinking had a focus towards improvement?  We learn from the mistakes we make because it’s the only way you can improve.
  5. I’m going to make today count. Whether it be making your bed before you leave the house, finishing that assignment, making it to the gym, or buying your friend a coffee. Whatever may happen during your day, you have the power to do something that helps you towards the things that help you grow – so make it count.
  6. I am enough. One of the biggest reasons for negative self-talk is not believing you are enough. Comparing your appearance, status in life or personality to others can have detrimental effects of your mental well-being and confidence. Block the self-judgement and see yourself as simply who you are.
  7. My past is not a reflection of my future. We’ve mentioned you learn from your mistakes. Whoever you were in the past does not impact where you are in the present. It’s the now that you have to make them count!

Being positive all the time isn’t always possible. But there are some ways, as we have shown, that can help to build your resilience, and seek the brighter side in life.


If what you are feeling has been impacting your well-being and you need someone to speak to support is never far for our staff and students at UNE.
Our team at Advocacy and Welfare offers confidential support to students! You can contact us here.
Student Success also has confidential counselling for students, you can find them here.
Lifeline is also a 24/7 hotline and you can call them on 13 11 14