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What To Say To Yourself To Be Happier And More Successful

What To Say To Yourself To Be Happier And More Successful

Do you have negative beliefs about yourself? Statements you tell yourself before you try something new and potentially rewarding?These negative self-talk scripts are convenient excuses to avoid change. They serve as limiting beliefs, naysayers in our heads – mental myths.

Sometimes we don’t even realize the influence they have on our mindset and decisions.

You may be quick to say to yourself, “I’m shy, introverted, and socially awkward. There’s no way I’ll ever speak in front of a crowd.”

But because of this, opportunities can pass you by. And it is up to you to flip this script around to destroy the negative thoughts, turning them into positive self-talk script.

Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus, who believed in self-responsibility and self-discipline, was an early proponent of positive self-talk:

“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.”

Think about your limiting beliefs and how you can flip them around to become positive self-talk scripts. Smash through your mental myths and use these positive scripts to guide your behavior.

Then, talk in the second-person (“you”) instead of the first-person (“I”). Psychologists in this study found that – counter-intuitively – using the second-person increases your chances of success.

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To inspire you, here are 10 positive self-talk scripts from successful people.

1. “You are enough.”

Before going on stage, actress and singer Demi Lovato tells herself: “I am enough.”

She uses this to silence her limiting beliefs about both her achievements and her body image. For Lovato:

“‘I am enough’ means being comfortable with your body, with what you have achieved — and with what you haven’t. It means accepting who you are without caveats. It means rising to the bar you’ve set for yourself instead of conforming to the outlandish expectations of others. It translates to a confession of self-acceptance, and it’s something we could all stand to say to ourselves more often.”

2. “You make it happen.”

Aarthi Ramamurthy, founder of Lumoid, borrows this self-talk script from a Michael Jordan quote: “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”

It’s simple as that. Tell yourself to go out and take action.

3. “You give of your talents freely, and you are wonderfully blessed financially.”

This script is from the classic book The Power of the Subconcious Mind by Dr.Joseph Murphy.

The idea is to assume that success is inevitable, especially if you constantly help others using your talents. Wealth is a by-product of your effort to provide value in the world.

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4. “You are possible.”

Actress Audrey Hepburn was quoted as saying, “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”

Except where it violates the laws of physics, anything is often possible. But most people wait until they’re “ready”.

Instead, tell yourself “You are possible” and take the first step. Then the second. Don’t let perfection paralyze you. Just put one foot in front of the other and you’ll achieve success.

What other negative beliefs can you flip around just by re-arranging letters? How about this: instead of “No Way”, say “Now, ay!”

5. “Stay focused. Stay positive. Keep your chin up and your feet on the ground.”

Amy Sacco, founder and partner of the Bungalow 8 nightclub chain in New York City and London, tells herself this script every day while blasting her favorite songs.

Borrow this idea yourself and take your self-talk to a new level by playing the high-energy tunes you love while verbalizing the script out loud.

6. “Trust yourself and your gut rather than conventional wisdom.”

This script by Linda Boff, an executive director at GE, reminds you to be skeptical of the experts, to test everything, and base your decision on what you think will work for you.

Like Amy, Linda also accompanies her self-talk with music:

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“I love the theatre and often have a song going through my head. One that I frequently turn to in the morning as a motivator is the song ‘Defying Gravity,’ from ‘Wicked.’ It always picks me up and reminds me to trust myself and my gut rather than conventional wisdom.”

7. “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

Steve Jobs delivered this line during a commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005. He said that he was inspired by the final issue of The Whole Earth Catalog magazine:

“It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

And I have always wished that for myself.

And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.”

This script reminds you to keep pushing while being open to new ideas and opportunities.

8. “Failure is your stepping stone to greatness.”

This is a modified version of a quote by the super-successful Oprah Winfrey, who is no stranger to ups and downs in her life.

Obstacles and adversity are your best path to success and greatness, according to The Obstacle Is the Way. Only by trying and failing repeatedly and relentlessly will you develop a growth mindset, rather than a fixed one.

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9. “You are the greatest.”

Muhammad Ali said, “I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.”

Tell yourself you are the best at what you do, and let that inspire you to take action to get there.

10. “What good shall I do this day?”

Benjamin Franklin asked himself this question first thing every morning.

The message is to first think about doing good. If you can solve other people’s problems, they will value you. This is a win-win mentality that accelerates success for you and everyone you interact with.

What do you think of these “flip it around” self-talk scripts? Comment below and click “Share” to inspire your friends!

Featured photo credit: Ashley Campbell via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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