Self-talk and affirmations change your life.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Positive self-talk

Positive Affirmations
Self Talk makes you who you are.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Self-talk makes you who you are.

Not all self-talk is positive. You may tell yourself positive things or you may criticize and belittle yourself. What you say to and about yourself, both out loud and in that running dialogue which takes place in your head determines who you become. What you repeat to yourself becomes your worldview. Having adopted that self-belief either positive or negative and with daily reinforcement, your brain heads your request.

Your unconscious thought processes will work overtime to make what you predict for yourself come true. It is natural to believe yourself. Would you lie to yourself? Your brain will believe you even when you tell it lies.

You may be programming your mind to believe you are incapable of better things. You can easily convince yourself that things will never be better for you. Ask yourself how sure you are about that. Could you be creating your own low self-esteem by trying to convince your brain that there is no use in trying?

Positive affirmations can create a happy successful life.

People who have used positive affirmations find that it changes their outlook on life. Telling yourself positive things makes them come to pass. There are a number of positive affirmation sites out there on the internet. Sundays I publish an inspirational post, many of which would make a good positive affirmation.

Many people find that they are working on one specific area of their life and they adopt an affirmation that attracts the feelings they need to set them on the right path. Whether you pick an affirmation from a ready-made list or you write a self-statement these things you tell yourself can help you create the life you would like.

Two times affirmations are most effective.

Personally, I have found that there are two times of day when affirmations and negative self-statements for that matter, are especially potent. Use affirmations when you are starting and when you are stopping an activity, especially your day.

Early each day, get things started in a positive direction by repeating your affirmation. This sets the stage for doing and feeling things that are consistent with the sort of life you wish for. If you leave home looking for the bad things in life you will easily find them If you prime your brain to notice those patches of sunshine, those moments of happiness, those will become more frequent.

Ending the day with a positive affirmation can also be useful. Avoid negative self-talk. Tell yourself something at bedtime and your brain seems to occupy itself all night with planning to create these things. Dwelling on what could go wrong tomorrow will keep you up all night and may be the cause of an awful next day.

You will sleep better if you slip off to dreamland thinking about the good that you may do and experience tomorrow. For those of you with a particular religious bent, prayer, telling your higher power, whom many of you call God, about your troubles and asking for help in overcoming difficulties can show significant benefits.

A word of caution about prayer as an affirmation.

When using evening prayer as a way to clear out the negative and create the positive be very careful to not ask God to fix something and then after saying “goodnight God” take that worry back from God and spend the rest of the night trying to fix it yourself. You can’t give something away, particularly a problem given to God, and then keep taking it back.

Remember to end these prayers or meditations with a thank you to the universe or that higher power for the help you expect to receive. Withholding that thank you will suggest to your brain that you have some doubts that the particular force you have requested help from can or will be able to help you.

Negative, critical self-talk become a sort of anti-affirmation.

If you tell yourself you can’t then you won’t be able to. Those who consistently tell themselves they are too old, too stupid or too fat, become or stay in those conditions. If you were put down or bullied as a child and you continue to repeat those negative things others told you, you have become your own life bully and are creating failure.

Negative affirmations can be the self-handicapping that keeps you stuck.

A common misconception is that self-criticism will make you work harder. Telling yourself you are a failure will not inspire you to work harder. It is likely to make you feel helpless and uninspired. You can learn to be helpless from what others told you and you can also teach yourself to be helpless by the put downs you repeat to yourself.

Don’t lie to yourself.

In creating affirmations a common mistake is to start by telling yourself things you can’t believe. Don’t say “I am the most beautiful, smartest person on earth.” You either won’t believe this and will give up on affirmations all together, or you will believe this and become delusional.

Begin by telling yourself you are a beautiful person just the way you are. You are smart enough to create a happy life. You can set your course for a goal and accomplish that goal. Pick goals that you can and will believe, if not now then eventually. Positive affirmations should be things you can believe in.

Here are some examples of positive affirmations that have helped people transform their lives.

I deserve to be happy.

I can do this.

I am getting better every day.

I deserve a good life.

I am learning to love myself.

There are many more powerful positive affirmations. Which ones will you adopt, tell yourself daily and take with you on the journey to a happy life?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

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I could never do that – Talking yourself out of success

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Success

Success.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

When we talk to ourselves our brain believes us.

Ever wondered how someone achieves something great despite overwhelming obstacles? The secret to those high achievers is that they believe in themselves.

Tell yourself that you can’t do something and the chances are you won’t be able to do it. Tell yourself that you can be successful and the chances you will become successful increase dramatically. Tell yourself you “are a failure” and you will become one.

Tell yourself often enough that you can’t accomplish anything in your life, that you don’t deserve success, and your brain will start believing you. It will make sure to pull back just as you get close to your goal.

Your brain can actually begin to protect you from success. It knows you “can’t do this” and it makes sure you can’t. Since you have trained your brain to serve you it is hard for it to disagree with the “fail” instruction.

The salesman who goes to work thinking he will make a big sale that day has a better chance of making a sale. It may not be the big sale he expected, but it is something.

The salesman who expects to fail will probably fail to make a sale most of the time. More than once in my life I have gone to a store expecting to buy something and left without making a purchase because the person who was supposed to be helping me was so negative about everything they deflated my desire to buy.

Negativity can be contagious. So can positivity.

One way to improve your chances of success is to begin to believe that you can do it. You also need to believe that you deserve it. We all deserve to have a happy life. The important thing is to define what that success, that happy life, would look like for each of us individually.

When we don’t feel worthy, that this last success was an undeserved fluke, we can stop trying, not expecting anything to go our way again. We can also self-sabotage because we don’t feel that we deserve this benefit.

Many of us learned these negative “fail” messages early in life. We were told we were “stupid” or “worthless” and we began to believe these messages. We repeated them over and over and eventually our brains stored them away as a way to explain life. We avoided trying because we expected to fail.

Sometimes people break out of this trap of negativity and self-doubt because someone else believes in them. One teacher or counselor who believes in a child can make a world of difference in that child’s life.

Other times people find they have to become their own cheerleaders. They begin by telling themselves positive things each day. We call those thoughts positive affirmations. Giving the brain the same message over and over will cause it to believe that message.

Repeatedly I have seen older students who didn’t believe they were that smart, return to school out of desperation. They needed to get a degree that would lead to a job, any job. Along the way, to that degree, they discover that they are a lot smarter and a lot more capable than they ever thought.

They had stopped telling themselves they couldn’t and started telling the brain they had to and the brain came through for them. They did succeed.

Every therapist could tell you stories of clients who came to therapy defeated and discouraged. They believed they couldn’t. Over the course of therapy the client’s perception changed first to maybe I could, and then to I think I can.

As a result of that change of thinking people have gone on to achieve great things. They have finished school and gotten a degree, found jobs or established and improved relationships all while staying clean and sober and out of their depression.

All these things happen when you begin to believe in yourself.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.