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How to Self-Talk Your Way Out of a Tough Spot

How to Self-Talk Your Way Out of a Tough Spot

    What is the one least-tapped resource in the world today? The power of thought. You can radically change the world around you, that is, every aspect of your life, by paying attention to your thoughts and tapping into the power within them.

    Part of being aware of your thoughts include paying attention to how you are talking to yourself.

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    Sound hard? Not at all. Here are five ways to self-talk your way out of a tough spot.

    1. Change your overall tune.

    Chances are, you got into whatever type of “tough spot” you’re in (financial, emotional, life situation, etc) by singing the song that life is hard. It isn’t. It doesn’t have to be. That “life is hard” song is like a top hit from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, and even though it’s completely lost its popularity, you keep listening to it. Life absolutely does not have to be hard, and if it is, it is only that way because you have been telling yourself that it is.

    How to do it:

    Start every day on a new tune by telling yourself something new – tell yourself that things are always improving. We have collectively found so many solutions to our problems, a solution for your particular problem is just around the corner, just minutes away from being found. Life is getting better! Life is easy when you’re in the flow. Tell yourself it simply doesn’t have to be hard.

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    2. Learn how to cheer yourself up.

    You must not rely on anyone or anything else to cheer you up, because that person or thing will never be as consistent as you can be for yourself, once you know how.

    How to do it:

    Imagine that you have a personal cheer leading team, or a way-to-go aunt or uncle who always cheers you on. What would this person say to you? Even if it sounds ridiculous – like a squad of teenagers shouting “One! Two! Three! Four! Who’s the best one out the door! You are!!” – if it makes you giggle to yourself or smile inside, then do it. Connect with this “positivity team” in your imagination at the start of every day, and whenever you can throughout your day to boost your mood.

    3. Start out general.

    When you are really in the thick of those tough things, don’t try to affirm your way out with specifics. When you talk to yourself, go general in order to turn from negativity to positivity.

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    How to do it:

    Look at the core of the area of life where your problem exists – relationships, health, financial, or personal – and go as general and as positive as possible. For a health problem, you might try: “hey, six feet above ground is better than below!” For a relationship problem: “I have lots of friends and all sorts of people like to be with me.” For a financial problem: “Things really are going to turn around any day. The good thing about being at the bottom is that the only way out is up!” For business trouble: “All the big successful people and companies went through tough times before making it big…” Use whatever general, optimistic thoughts you can find to tell yourself.

    4. Trick yourself.

    Let’s face it, we do this all the time anyway, so we might as well harness this ability for our good. Rather than slanting things to the negative, make a conscious effort to slant them to the positive and trick yourself into thinking things are better than they may actually be right now. Your life will improve to match your “tricked” version of reality.

    How to do it:

    Whenever you are feeling down, ask yourself what thoughts you have been thinking for the last few minutes. Take any negative aspects of those thoughts and focus on the positive equivalent. You can always decide to be happy, in whatever situation you find yourself.

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    5. Do Something Fun.

    Okay, so this is more than talk, but it can often be the best mood-lifter and doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. We often “punish ourselves” (for all sorts of things) by not allowing ourselves to have or do that one little pleasure that we enjoy so much.

    How to do it:

    Let yourself have that reward now, even though you may not have quite reached whatever goal you had set. Stop holding yourself away from fun as a punishment! Go and do something you really love – that you can really lose yourself in – and don’t regret it for a second.

    Use all five tips above and watch your life swing around!

    (Photo credit: Young Man with a Mirror via Shutterstock)

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    Teresa Griffith

    Teresa is a passionate writer who shares about productivity tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on July 27, 2020

    7 Ways to Make Life Changing Decisions

    7 Ways to Make Life Changing Decisions

    Most people don’t know the profound effects of making life decisions. Often times, we go through life oblivious to what thoughts we are thinking and what actions we are taking. Every single decision we make in our days shapes our current reality. It shapes who we are as a person because we habitually follow through with the decisions we make without even realizing it.

    If you’re unhappy with the results in your life right now, making the effort to changing your decisions starting today will be the key to creating the person you want to be and the life you want to have in the future.

    Let’s talk about the 7 ways you can go about making life changing decisions.

    1. Realize the Power of Decision Making

    Before you start making a decision, you have to understand what a decision does.

    Any decision that you make causes a chain of events to happen. When you decide to pick up a cigarette to smoke it, that decision might result in you picking up another one later on to get that same high feeling. After a day, you may have gone through a pack without knowing it. But if you decide not to smoke that first cigarette and make a decision every five minutes to focus your attention somewhere else when you get that craving, after doing this for a week, your cravings will eventually subside and you will become smoke-free.

    But it comes down to making that very first decision of deciding whether or not to pick up that cigarette.

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    2. Go with Your Gut

    Often times, we take too much time to make a decision because we’re afraid of what’s going to happen. As a result of this, we go through things like careful planning, deep analysis, and pros and cons before deciding. This is a very time consuming process.

    Instead, learn to trust your gut instinct. For the most part, your first instinct is usually the one that is correct or the one that you truly wanted to go with.

    Even if you end up making a mistake, going with your gut still makes you a more confident decision maker compared to someone who takes all day to decide.

    3. Carry Your Decision Out

    When you make a decision, act on it. Commit to making a real decision.

    What’s a real decision? It’s when you decide on something, and that decision is carried out through action. It’s pointless to make a decision and have it played out in your head, but not doing anything about it. That’s the same as not making a decision at all.

    If you want to make real changes in life, you have to make it a habit to apply action with your decision until it’s completed. By going through this so many times, you will feel more confident with accomplishing the next decision that you have in mind.

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    4. Tell Others About Your Decisions

    There’s something about telling other people what we’re going to do that makes us follow through.

    For example, for the longest time, I’ve been trying to become an early riser. Whenever I tried to use my own willpower, waking up early without falling back asleep felt impossible. So what I did was I went to a forum and made the decision to tell people that I would wake up at 6 AM and stay up. Within two days, I was able to accomplish doing this because I felt a moral obligation to follow through with my words even though I failed the first time.

    Did people care? Probably not, but just the fact that there might be someone else out there seeing if you’re telling the truth will give you enough motivation to following through with your decision.

    5. Learn from Your Past Decisions

    Even after I failed to follow through my decision the first time when I told people I was going to wake up early and stay up, I didn’t give up. I basically asked myself, “What can I do this time to make it work tomorrow?”

    The truth is, you are going to mess up at times when it comes to making decisions. Instead of beating yourself up over it, learn something from it.

    Ask yourself, what was good about the decision I made? What was bad about it? What can I learn from it so I can make a better decision next time?

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    Remember, don’t put so much emphasis focusing on short term effects; instead focus on the long term effects.

    6. Maintain a Flexible Approach

    I know this might sound counter-intuitive, but making a decision doesn’t mean that you can’t be open to other options.

    For example, let’s say you made the decision to lose ten pounds by next month through cardio. If something comes up, you don’t have to just do cardio. You can be open to losing weight through different methods of dieting as long as it helps you reach your goal in the end.

    Don’t be stubborn to seek out only one way of making a decision. Embrace any new knowledge that brings you closer to accomplishing your initial decision.

    7. Have Fun Making Decisions

    Finally, enjoy the process. I know decision-making might not be the most fun thing world to do, but when you do it often, it becomes a game of opportunity.

    You’ll learn a lot about yourself on the way, you’ll feel and become a lot more confident when you’re with yourself and around others, and making decisions will just become a lot easier after you do it so often that you won’t even think about it.

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    Anything you decide to do from this point on can have a profound effect later on. Opportunities are always waiting for you. Examine the decisions that you currently have in the day.

    Are there any that can be changed to improve your life in some way? Are there any decisions that you can make today that can create a better tomorrow?

    Final Thoughts

    Some decisions in life are harder to make, but with these 7 pieces of advice, you can trust yourself more even when you’re making some of the most important decisions.

    Making a decision is the only way to move forward. So remember, any decision is better than none at all.

    More Tips for Making Better Decisions

    Featured photo credit: Justin Luebke via unsplash.com

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