The Power of Positive Self Talk
The Power of Positive Self Talk

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.” Henry David Thoreau.

Self talk can boost you up or take you down. Athletes use positive self-talk to reach their personal bests. Some people use negative self-talk to justify the ruts they find themselves in. Mike and Eugene are examples. 

Eugene, an engineer with an aerospace firm that was terminating workers, kept telling himself and others that he was going to lose his job. Mike, on the other hand, researched options and sent updated resumes to potential employers. Eugene lost his job. Mike was offered a job the day he received his pink slip. When Eugene learned to restructure his thoughts, and updated skills he attained his desired position.

Several other people who learned the power of positive self-talk are described in award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life:

Pay attention to your "'self-talk" - the conversation you have in your head about yourself and the world around you. Is your self-talk positive, growth-oriented, or negative, constraining?

What does this quiz say about you?
Answer "yes" or "no."

  1. I learn from my mistakes.
  2. I'm too old to compete with younger job applicants.
  3. I know and accept myself.
  4. I prefer the tried and true ways of doing things.
  5. Career success is defined personally.
  6. I do what I "should" rather than what I want.
  7. I welcome criticism as a way to grow.
  8. I won't consider relocating for an attractive job elsewhere.
  9. My successes are the result of hard work, determination and some ability.
  10. I'll accept a promotion to a job I don't like for money or prestige.
  11. My job gives my life meaning and direction.
  12. I'm looking forward to retirement so that I can do what I want.
  13. I 'm flexible, self reliant and optimistic.
  14. Career success means having social standing and money to buy the good things.
  15. I'll take a salary cut to further my career.

Scoring: 1 point for each "yes" to odd numbered statements, and each "no" to even numbered ones. The higher your score, the more you possess positive, growth-oriented attitudes. A score of less than 6 suggests your life career could benefit from positive self-talk.

Self-Talk Tips

- Reevaluate your definition of career advancement. View career growth as a lifelong process of personal and professional development -- a continuing quest to maintain harmony between who you are and what you do.

- Know yourself and options. Identify your skills, major accomplishments, needs, purpose and other attributes. Explore options that are compatible with your personal characteristics. Specify your ideal job; include field or industry, title, tasks, type of company and location.

Don't choose an occupation because experts predict it will be in demand or to please others. Rather, select one that is congruent with your personal qualities. If you follow your heart instead of "shoulds," money may be a by-product.

- Restructure your thinking to that of creating a job rather than applying for one. Reevaluate your career goals periodically. Modify these as you learn more about yourself and your changing environment. Embrace and grow with change.

Recognize you do have options. Testing your options may mean tradeoffs, but usually they're worth the inconvenience. Know how to market yourself (your product) to prospective buyers (employers).

Continue to learn. Welcome opportunities to discover new technologies and enhance transferable skills, such as computer literacy and verbal communication.

- Think out of the box. Develop and use intuition. Take quiet time daily to tune into your inner self. Meditate on an object, such as a candle flame or mantra. Ask your dreams for direction before falling asleep sleep. Keep a journal. Communicate with nature.

Create a vision board with pictures of your self living your desired lifestyle so it's in your vision every single day. Affirmations can be excellent tools to keep you motivated towards attaining your goal. You must bring your desired goal into the present moment and fully, emotionally and positively believe that it can and does exist in your current reality.

- Enhancer optimism. Believe good things will happen. Every time you hear your inner voice criticize, stop and think of something positive to say such as "I'm making progress." Write down things you like about yourself such as "I'm flexible and creative."  Post the list where you can see it often.

- Exhibit flexibility and resilience. If you've been blocked from attaining a desired career goal, investigate other ways of achieving it.

View risk taking as a learning opportunity. Start with small risks in daily activities. Then proceed to more challenging ones. Think of an important risk you'd like to take. What's the worst thing that would happen if it turned out badly? Where could you get information and support to make the goal less risky? Break the goal into small steps. When can you take the first step?

- Live in the present. Don't worry about what might happen. Depersonalize failure. View setbacks as learning experiences. Persist.  Have faith that you'll achieve your goal.

- Be the best you can be. Thank the universe regularly for the positive energy you have to share with others to make the world a better place. You can only receive something positive when you give something positive.

Strengthen other Quester traits such as confidence, creativity, growth, independence and self discipline, described in Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life:

Author Bio
Carole Kanchier, PhD, is an internationally recognized newspaper/digital columnist, registered psychologist and author of the award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life and the forthcoming Arouse the Force Within You!  Carole Kanchier has taught at University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz and University of Alberta, and served as visiting fellow at Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, and other institutions of higher learning. Dr. Kanchier is known for her pioneering, interdisciplinary approach to human potential.