The conversations you have are life defining — both the ones you have with other people, and the monologue that runs, nonstop, within your own mind, all day, every day.

What you talk about with others, and your self-talk, shapes your thoughts and feelings.  The more you talk about a subject, the more you’re affected by its message.  Repeatedly telling others how your boss doesn’t value your opinion, it becomes true forever. Recounting the time you tried exercising and got injured may close the door to the wide variety of fitness options available to you.

With sufficient repetition, the story is embedded in your mind.  Once there, it directs your behavior.  Putting words and narrative structure to a situation makes it real and harder to discount.  If those stories are negative ones, they can keep you stuck in a place that doesn’t serve you well.

Are you stuck in a story?  Notice what you talk about – with others and yourself?  Do you talk about what you don’t want to happen, or what you want?  Do you talk about situations that build up negative feelings inside you or ones that inspire you?  Do you revisit old fears or boast of your growing courage?  Do your stories focus on relationships wherein you feel devalued or the ones wherein you feel seen and appreciated?

For many, particularly women, it is a struggle to talk about yourself in a positive way.  Humility and self-deprecation are so deeply ingrained in us that we feel uncomfortable seeing ourselves in a flattering light or talking about ourselves in a way that may feel like bragging.  But bragging may just be what your psyche needs to remind you that you’re capable, worthy and already accomplished.

Choose the content of your conversations with care.  Opt out of discussions focused on complaints, blame and criticism.  Find ways to comfortably share the good things that happened during your day.  Talk about what empowers and uplifts you.  That’s how you can talk yourself into a good life.

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