How to Listen to and Change Your Self Talk

Self Talk (intrapersonal communication) is the way your mind speaks to you in all situations, from daily routines to difficult life events. It is the inner voice that can either encourage or chastise you. The good news is, by listening to your inner dialog and shifting it to become more in line with what you really want, you can transform your life.


  1. Image titled Listen to and Change Your Self Talk Step 1
    Observe the Self Talk you do on a daily basis. For an entire day, make note of the way you Self Talk in any given situation; pay attention to both positive Self Talk and negative Self Talk. The key to this step is to simply stand back and listen to the tone of your Self Talk, without making any adjustments just yet.
  2. Image titled Listen to and Change Your Self Talk Step 2
    Decide what type of Self Talk you want to hear. If you want to be more positive, look at the various situations throughout your day and see how you can change your prospective of them into something that will be positive.
  3. Image titled Listen to and Change Your Self Talk Step 3
    Catch yourself whenever you begin to Self Talk in a negative manner. By recognizing the tone, you can shift to a less stress-inducing thought pattern.
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    Work on managing your Self Talk every day. It is a learned process and it does take time, so be patient with yourself.
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    Figure out what type of positive Self Talk will encourage and motivate you throughout the day and then strive to stay in that frame of mind.
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    Discard Self Talk that is self-defeating or projects anger. Negative Self Talk can make a situation seem far worse than it is, causing unnecessary stress and potentially more conflict.


  • Observe the way others speak around you. Sometimes our peers contribute to the way we talk to ourselves. Surround yourself with people who encourage you and who have the same outlook you wish to obtain.
  • Read material that will help you maintain your new Self Talk. There are several great books on the subject that you can purchase or obtain from your local library.
  • Make a list of the positive ways you wish to think. Include goals and proactive steps to achieving them. Whenever you need to shift your inner dialog look at the list and remember what you are working for.
  • Start changing your Self Talk in small ways. Trying to change it all at once can be overwhelming. By breaking it down into phases, you increase your likelihood of sticking to it and making a lifelong change.
  • Write motivational phrases or words on sticky paper and post them in places that you look at every day, like on your bathroom mirror or the dashboard of your vehicle. By looking at these, you will be able to change your mindset to positive thoughts.


  • Do not think this is an easy process. Changing your Self Talk can be challenging, especially if you have been in a depressed or negative frame of mind for an extended period of time.
  • Do not get overwhelmed or discouraged. Changing the way you Self Talk does take time. Be patient and the changes will happen.
  • Do not associate with others who are negative of you or your goals.
  • Do not act upon negative Self Talk. Please seek help from a licensed medical professional if you feel you are a danger to yourself or others.

Things You'll Need

  • Sticky paper or notepads
  • Writing utensils
  • Notebook
  • Post-It Notes

Article Info

Categories: Personal Care and Style