The Power of Positive Self-Talk & How It Will Change Your Life!

The “I am’ is extremely powerful.  

What do I mean by the “I am”? Well, it is the ways in which you describe yourself, the ways in which you explain your actions and beliefs. Think about that for several seconds. What do you tell yourself? What words do you use to describe yourself, and your habits?  This is self-talk! Psychology Today explains “cheerful and supportive or negative and self-defeating, this internal chatter is referred to as “self-talk.” Your self-talk combines your conscious thoughts with your unconscious beliefs and biases. It's an effective way for your brain to interpret and process your daily experience.”

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I think there are times when we all have to give ourselves pep talks: “Get it together!” “Look, you got this!” and the “Remember who the hell you are!” Our parents, siblings, partners and friends can help and reassure us along the way, but many times it comes down to the messages we tell ourselves in order to move forward. Self-talk is real, and it is powerful! Graduate school was one of the most demanding times of my life. After living in Florida for a few years, I was back home in NYC, a familiar and welcoming territory. However, I was starting an unfamiliar journey of graduate school. 

At NYU, the courses were rigorous, and then a majority of my classmates were already doctors, nurses, lawyers, politicians, surgeons, public health professionals and more with years of public health education. While many found the tests or assignments “easy” and “no problem,” I found myself needing more time to grasp the materials and the difficulty was real challenge for me. Assignments took me a while to complete, the lessons moved rather quickly, and after working for a few years I had to learn the routine of being a student again. My mind would tell me “maybe this isn’t for you,” “take a break, and try another path.” I had come so far, but was human and feeling exhausted, at times defeated, and confused.

During the winter break between first and second semester, I went back to the root of why I started graduate school. I read my personal statement, reflected on my interactions with people in the field through my career, found moments that excited me, and I focused on gratitude. I am big on connection to people, and that is why I appreciate the wellness space. I started telling myself “I add value,” “I am worthy,” “ I deserve to be in the program.” There was a  Summer Community Health study abroad program in South Africa that intrigued me, so I applied and forced my mind to see the good that was coming.

I began to form relationships with other students, and the support did alleviate stress as we all shared our strengths and weaknesses. I knew that I did not deserve to feel heavy, that life is much bigger than these moments of a test or a grade. When you feel pressure, or defeat it helps to remember why you started, and reflect on what you deserve.

You see, The  “I am” is influential. The power of positive self-talk is crucial.  If we believe we are one way, we continue to move this way subconsciously. It becomes a routine, it becomes habitual.

Think about, and then even write out what you believe you are. Words have power. Dr. Maya Angelou once said “words are things; someday we will be able to measure the power of words. Words get on the walls, rugs, upholstery, clothes and finally into you.”

Reflect on this:

  • When do you feel most at peace?
  • When do you feel relieved?
  • When do you feel joy?
  • When do you feel most accomplished?
  • Think of what you are and what you wish to be.

Now, write down these occurrences.  This is one way to foster a mindset to create your affirmations for yourself. Affirmations are statements which you can declare for yourself, even if it isn’t happening that second.

I am __________________

I am  __________________

I am  _________________

the power of self-talk

I am capable; I am ready; I am worthy of happiness and love. There are so many affirmations you can create. Others will always have their set of adjectives they place upon you. Sometimes these may be pejoratives, and other times they may be flattering. However, what matters is what you believe you are. Inside of all of us is a sacred space all we have to do is find it. Dr. Maya Angelou said “there's a place you must keep inviolate. You must keep it, pristine, clean, so that nobody has the right to curse you or treat you badly. Nobody, no mother, no father, no wife, husband, nobody.”

“That pristine place may be where you go to meet God..  that place must remain clean and clear.”

We all hold different identities; as a student or working professional you may someone’s son or daughter. As a mother, you may be an aunt or sister. When you think of people in this context, as being as human as you are, you realize we are more alike that we are different. Remembering these unifying factors, think about who you are. Really reflect on how you identify yourself and consider the kind of impact you make in your community.

Remember- You are worthy of goodness. You are worthy of abundance in all aspects that lead you to your fullest potential.  The conversations you have with others is based on the conversation you are already having with yourself, and the benefits of positive self-talk are endless!

Did you love this post? Did it help you rethink how you rethink your internal dialogue? Share it with your girls, and of course, comment below.



Fiona Harvey, is a transformational coach, health educator and co-instructor of TrapAerobics hailing from NYC. You can find her dabbing and dancing in her workout class, promoting self-care and gratitude or traveling the globe. Fiona believes we all have a story that is worth sharing.

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