Mastering Self-Talk To Gain Confidence!

Cordell Davenport

Self-talk could be done out loud or in your mind.  Since we talk to ourselves constantly, then successful self-talk is the starting gates to success. 

This "self-talk" is how we explain the events of our lives to ourselves, and how we direct ourselves. What you tell the brain the most, it will accept it as truth. 

Realize that all your habits are learned and that your past and current thoughts/self-talk will influence your future.  Some explanations we give ourselves are positive and empowering. Others arouse anger, feed our frustration, or lead us to depression and despair.  

When the mind talks, the body listens.  We literally talk ourselves into and out of every victory or defeat in the game of life.”  Dr. Denis Waitley.

Most people don’t stop and think about how they talk to themselves.  If you listen to your self-talk, you can then change that talk as necessary to help you improve/change your behavior/results, accomplish your goals, and form new beliefs to affect your behavior.   

Self-talk is like a song that is burned into your mind.  When you are unconscious about different events, it’s as if you hit the “play button” for a song that is already stored.  By paying attention to what is going on in your head, you will be able to decipher your thoughts, then sing and live a new song filled with more effective thoughts.

 Whenever you say to yourself any of the following things, you inhibit effective action through procrastination or negative thinking:

  • “I have to…”
  • “I should…”
  • “I need to…”
  • “I am trying to…”

    To get what you really want, change your thinking and words to:


  • “I choose to…”
  • “I will…”
  • “I must…”
  • “I am…”


      Two of the most classic self-defeating self-talk quotes are, “I need to’ and “I am trying," as in  

  • "I need to lose weight."
  • "I need to spend more time with my friends."
  • "I need to get better grades."
  • "I need to control my temper."
  • "I need to make more money."


  • “I am trying to lose weight.”   
  • “I am trying to get better grades.”
  • “I am trying to be more polite.”
  • “I am trying to be better organized.”   


Stop fooling yourself!  Either you are doing something or you are not. Plain and simple.  The word trying as most people use it implies doubt and the possibility of failure. If you are really trying, you'll do something to deal with doubt and fear, then you'll just do it in spite of fear and doubt.


As you first become aware of your personal self-talk, you will start to see more about how others interact with you and how they use self-talk in their conversations.


When you ever say to yourself, “I can’t,” you automatically put barriers up that will prevent you from finding solutions.  You are defeated even before you start. 


Have you ever told yourself, “I can’t afford this?”  When you say this as if it were eternal reality, without checking your assumptions, all doors to new (or just undiscovered) options are shut.  All creative ideas are blocked out.  It is like you have closed the book and put it back on the shelf.     

What if you changed your thinking and self-talk to say, “How can I afford this?”  This thinking will present you with ideas.  You may go through several scenarios on how you could actually afford it.  Then maybe, after going through all the options, you might truly say “I can’t afford this.”  You may also discover how to afford what your want or you might find something that is a better value for you at a lower cost than you originally imagined!


What you say out loud to yourself gets registered in your brain and at times can act like a Genie in the bottle who says, “Your wish is my command.” 

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