How to Talk to Yourself 3 (1)

Beware of what researchers call self-talk dissonance: If your existing self-talk is negative, don’t try to overcompensate with overzealous, motivational monologues (“You’re the best!”). Research suggests that people with low self-esteem who try to force positive self-talk can end up feeling worse. Instead, begin slowly, with what Van Raalte calls an experimental mind-set. Try commands (“Take a deep breath”). In a study of scuba divers, Van Raalte found that those who practiced instructional self-talk were significantly more focused and confident during certification than those who practiced motivational self-talk.

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